By Christopher Tenpenny
Archie senior Reese Plattner reached one of the more prestigious millstones in pitching when she collected her 500th career strikeout against Adrian April 26 at Archie.
The game was stopped and Plattner was awarded a banner celebrating the achievement. Plattner was excited to reach the milestone, but already had her mind on strikeout 501 and beyond.
“It feels good,” Plattner said. “But I know there’s still time to get more. I just have to keep working.”
There have been many obstacles along the way to Plattner’s 500th strikeout. In 2020, she lost her sophomore season due to COVID-19 cancelling the season. She then almost lost her senior season as well when she suffered a knee injury in the summer of 2021. The recovery did not progress as fast as originally thought and there was a concern she might not be able to start the season or pith at all. Fortunately for Plattner, she was cleared to play.
“The knee injury sucked,” Plattner said. “I had a lot of setbacks along the way, but my main goal was to be able to pitch. Even if I wasn’t able to bat, it would OK as long as I could pitch. It’s cool that I got to do that.”
Plattner’s favorite part of pitching is striking people out. She loves getting ahead in the count only to throw something slow to get batters out in front and swing over the top of the pitch.
“A lot of it is the mentality you have,” Plattner said. “I know I have control of the game and can control every at-bat. I try to throw strikes early so that I can get hitters to swing at embarrassing pitches. When you get hitters to two strikes, it’s easier to get them to swing at those kinds of pitches.”
Plattner has been the primary pitcher for the last two years and was used heavily her freshman year as well. With all eyes typically on her, it has never seemed to bother her.
“I’ve never really felt pressure on the mound, maybe my freshman year,” Plattner said. “Ever since then, I’ve kept working and know I can do anything. I don’t really get phased. My main goal is striking people out.”
Despite Plattner’s success on the mound, the Whirlwinds have fallen into a slump as a team, losing its last six games. Archie has been playing tough competition as five of the six losses have come from schools bigger than the Whirlwinds.
One thing the pitcher would like to see her team improve on is fielding.
“One thing we need to do before the postseason is lower our errors,” Plattner said. “We will have some games where we play really well defensively and then other where we have too many.”
Now the attention shifts to the playoffs as the Whirlwinds will compete in the Class 1 District 8 Tournament tomorrow in Wellington.
Archie was awarded the No. 4 seed and will play No. 5 seed Santa Fe. If Archie wins, the team will play Monday in the semifinals.