Cooperstown coach Dave Bliss said his team will miss everything about Cring next season.
“We’re going to miss her in the circle and we’re going to miss her at the plate,” Bliss said. “We’re going to miss her leadership and her work ethic. She has really shown the other girls how to work hard.”
In the circle, Cring had five pitches: a curveball, a drop curveball, a sinker, a screwball and a fastball; but it was her fastball, which could hit 60-plus miles per hour, which was her best one.
“Obviously that was her top pitch,” Bliss said, “but she was able to mix it up so you couldn’t time her fastball. She threw lots of strikes and not many balls. She didn’t walk a lot of people.”
Actually, she walked only 26 people all season, or 1.24 walks per game.
Cring’s 35 career varsity wins in two seasons is 10 behind Anna Sams record of 45, but Sams pitched for four varsity seasons, 2008-2011, at CCS. To be fair to Sams, she never pitched as many games or innings in a season as Cring did the past two years. This season, Cring pitched in 21 games, going 20-1, and 146 innings; her backup, Ellen Vibbard, pitched just twice, eight innings total this year.
Following Sams was a big motivation for Cring.
“I was always trying to push myself more, because I wanted to prove to myself I could be as good as her,” Cring said. “My sophomore year, I wanted to show the coaches I could pitch some of the innings and do as well as her.”
Likewise, Cring said she knows that someone will follow her at Cooperstown, motivated to knock down her records.
“We’ve got a lot of good athletes coming up,” she said. “I think the Clark Sports Center definitely helps a lot. People are always there working to get better. We’ve even got people coming up at the junior high level that are going to be good. Even as early as fourth and fifth grade, there are kids that are going to be good.”