Athletes of the Week: Ritchie County Pitchers Moie Ray and Kenna DeLancey
By Andrew Clay, Monongalia and Preston County Reporter - bio | email
Ritchie County junior Moie Ray, the finesse junk-baller, and Kenna DeLancey, the gunslinger, make up one of the best pitching rotations in the state.
"If you don't have pitching, it doesn't matter how good your defense is because you're going to walk batters and they'll score that way," said senior catcher Abby Burgess.
"It's definitely an intimidation factor, it gives us confidence," said Ray.
A first team all-state selection in her own right, Rebels senior catcher Abby Burgess has the distinct privilege to be Ritchie County's starting catcher.
"Just walking on the mound, you know you have two All-State selections is an amazing feeling that's hard to explain," said Burgess.
Most teams are happy to find one great pitcher, but two, and both underclassman, is hard to come by.
"When jumping out you have to stay in your 'X'. I call it Jenny Finch. You have to keep your wrist tight and close your hips as hard as you can to put all the force on your pitch. If you don't, it won't work," said DeLancey.
Those mechanics help the gunslinger throw 65 miles per hour. Once the ball leaves her hand at the end of the pitching circle, it's in the air for roughly .37 seconds before crossing the plate.
"It's something that doesn't just happen overnight," said Ray. "You dedicate years of your life to it. I've been pitching for 12 years and I work year-round to try to be a better pitcher for my team."
"These kids here, and this is all over the state, work hard. If you want to be a good pitcher you have to have good training and work year-round," said Ritchie County Softball Head Coach David Mosser.
With three returning first team selections, in the most crucial of positions, the Rebels are poised to make another run at the coveted state title.