If McKailyn Woodward’s performance in Perry’s 10-0 win over Orange on Tuesday is any indication of what she’s capable of this season, future opponents have a lot to fear.
Woodward struck out 14 batters in a five-inning perfect game.
“In McKailyn’s perfect game she worked extremely hard in getting ahead of the batters and rarely threw from behind,” said Perry coach Joe Medlen. “Mac worked the whole strike zone. When Mac does this she is very hard to beat.”
According to Woodward, she kept Orange’s hitters off balance with a variety of different pitches.
“What worked best for me in this game was my speed working outside and in with a touch of a few change ups and rise balls,” she said.
That’s nothing new. She has been overwhelming batters ever since she first stepped into the circle as a young tee ball player.
“I’ve been in the position since I was three years old,” Woodward said. “I was the kid who always wanted the ball and about the age of seven or eight my rec ball team needed a pitcher, so I said, ‘Why not.’”
Woodward began taking lessons and the rest is history.
She has been a mainstay in the circle for the Pirates over the last four years and last season was named first team All-Chagrin Valley Conference, team MVP and a News Herald all-star.
Despite her success, Woodward never looks beyond the next leap-and-drag.
“To be honest, I don’t pay attention to the scoreboard, stats, parents or anything around me,” she said. “Like my coach says, ‘So what, next pitch.’”
That mentality helped her shut down the Lions on Tuesday and she hopes it enables her to continue playing in college while she studies to become a physical therapist.
But first, Woodward and the Pirates have some unfinished business and she is eager to get back in the circle on Wednesday against Geneva in a battle of the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division's top teams.
“(The perfect game) made me anxious to exceed what I did yesterday in today’s game,” Woodward said. “This perfect game keeps me motivated just like a (Personal Record) for a runner would. Now that I have this as my PR it is my goal to go out there and try my hardest to beat it every game.”
That’s going to be hard to do but Woodward has the right mindset and work ethic to make it happen.
“McKailyn works as hard on the field as she does off the field,” Medlen said. “Mac attends Lakeland (Community College), she’s doing an internship at Layton Physical Therapy in Madison, while being on the Perry High School’s National Honor Society. I would consider McKailyn as the ultimate student-athlete.”