Queen of K's at Lakeridge High - KPTV - FOX 12

Queen of K's at Lakeridge High

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Kailey Krueger Kailey Krueger

With 23 more strikeouts than anyone else at the 6A Oregon softball level – as a sophomore no less – it's somewhat fitting that pitcher Kailey Krueger's initials are Ks because she chalks up many of them in the Lakeridge scorebook and paces the Pacers in the circle. 

"She's as good of a pitcher that I have seen anywhere at the high school level," said Maddie Collura, head softball coach at Lakeridge High School. 

Freaky fast, Krueger is frightening batters throughout the Three Rivers League.

"I love pitching in games," she said. "I love getting people out."
Having thrown a no-hitter as a freshman and now two 14-strikeout performances as a sophomore, Krueger is chalking up the Ks at a rapid rate.

"She is shaking me off a lot more this year, which is good because … if she doesn't want to throw that pitch to that batter, then by all means, she's in charge," said catcher Kelley Ericson. 

Starting her life in the circle at the age of 7, Krueger is a rather silent assassin, displaying an arsenal of four pitches.

"I have a four-seam, a two-seam, a change up and a rise ball," she said. 

It's the last one that has impatient batters seeing a beach ball, then it sails away.

"My favorite pitch is the rise ball," said Krueger. "I love that pitch."

Ericson added, "It's a really pretty pitch. I love that rise ball."

It's so enticing, so inviting and yet so difficult for a hitter to lay off. 

"You can see the girls, they want it so badly, they just go full out for it and then ... nothing," said Ericson. 

The rise ball is her finisher, flying high on the radar gun at 58 mph. Krueger won't hit the road until she turns 16 next month, but think her coaches, a pair of former Pacific University Boxer softballers would step to the dish?

"Today or four years ago? Today? Probably not well," said Collura. 

"I am not really excited to get back in the box and try to hit off Kailey, especially with that rise ball because I have a tendency to swing at those," said assistant coach Kiera Melton. 

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