High school softball pitchers moved back three feet this season, but that has not stopped Carbondale’s Makenzie Lynn from being the most dominant force in Division 2 of the Lackawanna League.
With Lynn leading the way, Carbondale is 3-1, with its only loss coming to unbeaten Valley View.
All three of the Chargerettes’ wins have come by 1-0 scores and two of them have been in extra innings.
Lynn’s latest masterpiece came Thursday when she was perfect through seven innings and finished an eight-inning, no-hitter against three-time defending champion Old Forge. Lynn struck out 16, including the 500th of her career in the process.
The move from 40 to 43 feet obviously hasn’t fazed the senior.
“I really can’t tell the difference,” Lynn said. “I played travel ball and we were already back at 43 feet.”
It is in travel ball that Lynn has had her greatest successes to date. She joined many of the Valley View players who handed Carbondale its only loss, 3-0, Monday on the Carbino Club team that went to the Big League Softball World Series in Michigan in 2009.
“It makes it a little tougher to play them because I know they are all real good,” Lynn said.
Lynn helped the Chargerettes go 12-2 and finish second in Lackawanna League Division 3 as a freshman. A move to Division 2 led to seventh- and fifth-place finishes with 3-11 and 5-9 records the last two seasons even while Lynn was producing earned run averages below 2.00.
Despite the team struggles, other coaches recognized Lynn as a threat and she committed to Division II Shippensburg University before her senior season.
“Makenzie is a very accomplished power pitcher who equals her power on the rubber with her power at the plate,” Shippensburg coach Bob Brookens said, according to a press release on the school’s Web site, which listed Lynn as a prospect at first base and third base in addition to her work as a pitcher. “She throws a ball that really will jump on a batter in a hurry.”
Coaching Lynn in the Big League season allowed Valley View coach E.J. Weston to recognize that she “is one of the best, if not the best pitching in the division” prior to the season.
The Cougars fought for the only three runs an improving Carbondale team has allowed this season.
The Chargerettes bounced back and used Thursday’s no-hitter to move into sole possession of second place.
In four games, Lynn has a 0.68 ERA with just 12 hits and six walks allowed while striking out 47 in 31 innings.
“We’re not hitting the ball well, but our defense came a long way since last year,” said Patrick Lynn, Makenzie’s father and her coach at Carbondale. “Once we start hitting, we’ll be fine.
“I don’t know how many more 1-0 games we can win.”
With Makenzie Lynn pitching, the Chargerettes are clearly a threat to do that any time they take the field.