Although her varsity sports career is just months old, freshman softball player Raime Cohen is already making a big splash.
Cohen has compiled some impressive statistics as both a pitcher and a hitter. As of Friday, she had a 9-4 overall record and a 3.00 ERA. On hitting, Cohen has compiled a .636 batting average and has recorded three home runs, six triples, five doubles and 21 singles.
In the Greyhounds' 12-3 victory Monday against Valley Park, Cohen pitched 14 strikeouts and one walk.
Clayton softball coach Bill Schmalz said the freshman’s success can be attributed to plain old dedication.
“Everything starts in the (pitcher’s) circle,” he said. “It’s 80 percent of the game. She’s played select softball for years. She plays for quality teams against quality competition.”
Cohen, 14, said she concentrates on perfecting four pitches: the fastball, change up, drop ball and rise ball. Clayton catcher Taylor Gold, a senior, has played softball for CHS for four years. She said Cohen is the first pitcher she has worked with who considered herself a pitching specialist.
“She has a rise (ball) and drop ball, but I try not to know that,” Gold said. “I like reacting to the balls because I don’t like to second guess myself. I just react as they come in. So catching is always a surprise, but it’s fun to do.”
Cohen said that she faces different types of batters and that some adjust to her pitching speed better than others. When it comes to hitting, she has a simple plan.
“I just try to make contact with the ball on any pitch,” she said.
Clayton’s offense has produced a lot of runs this year—it averages 11.5 per game. Gold (.433), Izzy Greenblatt (.400), Stephanie Langendoerfer (.372), Nina Murov (.355) and Claire Bliss (.341) are hitting well this season.
“We have a lot of power hitters,” Cohen said. “It seems like everyone hits on our team. There’s a lot of games where we all score and we all hit home runs.”
Clayton has compiled a 14-4 overall record so far. It finished conference play with a 5-1 record in the Suburban East Conference.
“It just creates a lot of confidence when we win and do well,” Cohen said.
The freshman started playing T-ball in a recreational league at 6 years old. She started playing select softball at the age of 8 with the St. Louis-based Cheetahs. She plays select softball with St. Louis-based Esprit.
She has created quality memories in her first year on a successful high school softball team.
“I really love my team, my catcher and my coaches,” she said. “This year has just been a great experience.”
Cohen said she’ll take the rest of her high school softball career one year at a time and try to have as much fun as possible.