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Ridgewood ace Breanne Hill just getting warmed up

The junior holds school records in strikeouts for a season and career and is eyeing the career wins mark.

By STEVE LEE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published June 2, 2002

NEW PORT RICHEY -- Breanne Hill, a junior, already can be touted as the best pitcher in Ridgewood history.

Armed with the Rams' career (393) and single-season (172) strikeout records, she is two games shy of tying Ridgewood assistant coach Crissy Martin on the school's all-time win list. Martin has 35 victories to Hill's 33.

And Hill went 15-4 in a 17-10 season, meaning the Rams went just 2-6 without their ace.

"She did everything I asked her to do, and next year I'm going to ask even more of her," Ridgewood coach Greg Bollinger said.

Impressive as those statistics are, however, they cannot match perfection -- as in Hill's two perfect games this season, the first ones in school history.

Hill was perfect in a 7-0 win over Hudson and a 10-0 victory over Hudson.

"I wasn't that worried about breaking records," Hill said. "I knew that they were out there, but it wasn't like, "I need so many strikeouts this game.'

"If it happened, great, but if not I have next year."

The perfect games and records notwithstanding, Bollinger said a true measure of Hill's value to the team was her 172/27 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That consistency, the coach said, made the Rams playoff contenders.

Still, it was not enough as Ridgewood bowed out of the Class 4A, District 8 tournament after a 7-3, 12-inning semifinal loss to Mitchell.

"I think she was pretty consistent and strong all year," Bollinger said.

Setting individual records and helping her team win more than it lost made the season "fun for me," Hill said.

Hill said she maintains her strength by pitching in the offseason for the Clearwater Bullets' travel team. That experience, she hopes, will help her lead the Rams back to the playoffs next season.

"We were more like a rebuilding team (this year)," Hill said. "I think next year we'll be a lot better."

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