Cheyenne Crawford Putting Up Big Numbers For Lavaca

Just the raw statistics for Lavaca pitcher Cheyenne Crawford are staggering. Crawford has a career pitching record of 58-14 and over the past two seasons she has six no-hitters, a perfect game and averaged 12 strikeouts per start.

At the plate, Crawford has maintained a .300 average and walloped 20 career home runs.

Considering Crawford is not finished with her junior season, those numbers are sure to get even better.

Crawford put up a 24-6 record her freshman year, but head coach Brian Schlinker says she is a much better player now.

"She was a great player inside the circle from the minute she pitched her first game," Schlinker said. "But she was still a freshman. Mentally, she has matured and come a long ways as a complete player and as a leader on the field and off it."

Despite all that success, a 3A-4 championship has escaped Crawford her teammates. Both years the Arrows have lost to rival Mansfield, which won state championship last year.

"This team this year has come a long way," Crawford said. "We have everyone on the same page and everyone is willing to do what it takes. We have been a lot more dedicated in practice."

Crawford had two incidents early in the season that could have been serious setbacks, but seems to have turned them both into a plus.

First, she took one of the worst losses off the year when Mansfield beat her 9-2. Then, at the end of spring break, she turned her ankle badly during a workout.

"When we played Mansfield the first time, Cheyenne had pitched a lot of innings over the weekend in a tournament when it was cold," Schlinker said. "She is normally hitting about 60 mph, but I think she lost 6-8 mphon her fastball. Against a good hitting team like Mansfield, that is going to make a big difference."

While some pitchers might have lost some confidence after a bad outing, Crawford came back strong in her next time out.

Then came the injury.

"It was a Sunday and she could barely walk," Schlinker said. "We had a big conference game at Atkins on Tuesday. She wasn’t near 100 percent, but she toughed it out and she struck out 10 and we won 6-5. That proved to me she could be tough when she needed to."

Crawford said the maturity Schlinker mentioned helped her through the rough stretch.

"After the Mansfield game the first time, I came back really motivated and focused," Crawford said. "Then after I got hurt, I had to focus and concentrate even more. In a way, it kind of helped me to get better."

While Crawford can reach 60 mph at top speed, Schlinker said her command and control sets her apart.

"There are a few kids out there that can throw as hard as her, but she is great at hitting her spots when we call it inside or outside," Schlinker said. "She’s got a really good change up, a pretty good rise ball and a few other pitches that we haven’t even thrown a lot. She’s got quite an arsenal."

Lavaca (15-2, 7-1) grabbed the inside track in the 3A-4 race with Monday’s 6-1 win against Mansfield, but still has some games left including a home date with Atkins.

"We have put ourselves in a good spot, but we haven’t won anything yet," Crawford said. "What we really want is to win state, that is our goal, and that is what we are working for."