The routine goes like this:
Helmet. Elbow pad. Left batting glove. Right batting glove.
“I’m pretty superstitious,” Reagan Schutte said. “I just try to keep the routine the same, every time I bat.”
Now a sophomore at Center Point-Urbana, Schutte hit three home runs last year.
She matched that total in the first game of the season, against Maquoketa Valley.
“I wasn’t really expecting that,” she said. “I was just aiming for line drives.”
Schutte’s slugging hasn’t ceased. Through eight games, she leads the state with seven round-trippers and 23 RBIs.
“She’s seeing the ball really well,” first-year CPU coach Shane Light said. “That’s the best thing I can say ... she just has a very good eye.”
Schutte’s first three home runs came in her first three plate appearances on May 22. She drove in nine runs in that game against the Wildcats, then followed with another homer in the nightcap.
The following night, she homered in both games of a doubleheader against Maquoketa.
Then, after three homerless games, she went deep in a loss to Cedar Rapids Jefferson on Saturday.
Before Wednesday’s doubleheader at Anamosa, Schutte was batting .500 (12 of 24). Eleven of her 12 hits are of the extra-base variety. Her seven homers and four doubles boost her slugging percentage to 1.542.
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“My mechanics are better this year,” she said. “They are more smooth. I’m timing it up better.”
Schutte splits time between shortstop and pitching; she is 2-1 with a 1.34 ERA.
Hit hard by graduation after a third-place finish at state last year, CPU is 5-3.
“We’re pretty young, but we could be good,” Schutte said. “We’re motivated. Coach Light pushes us hard.”
A different vantage point
As Erin Doud, she helped lead Cedar Rapids Jefferson to a state championship in 1997.
As Erin Johnson, she was in the opposite dugout Tuesday, and with pretty good success.
Johnson returned to Niemeyer Field as a first-year head coach for Cedar Rapids Prairie. The Hawks earned a Mississippi Valley Conference split.
After Jefferson rolled, 11-2, in Game 1, the Hawks claimed the nightcap, 9-3, handing the J-Hawks their first defeat of the season.
Prairie is 4-2.
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