Ex-Charger Robb learning at college pace

Ex-Charger Robb learning at college pace

Posted: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 12:00 pm

By KEVIN WEAKS
Press Sports
Shaylon Robb has learned one thing about college softball: Every pitch counts.
The former Westview standout is making the transition to the collegiate game as a freshman with Eastern Kentucky. She returned to her hometown over the weekend and saw two innings in a starting role Friday afternoon in the second game of a doubleheader against UT Martin, giving up five earned runs on seven hits and two walks.
“The hitters are different,” she said. “They’re a lot better, so every pitch counts. You have to make sure you execute every single pitch. If you don’t, then one’s going over the fence. It’s every single pitch instead of every other pitch.”
Robb showed she was a quick learner, earning Ohio Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week honors for the opening week of the season.
In her first week of collegiate play, Robb pitched in four games with two wins. She had a 1.67 earned run average over 21 innings, striking out 15 and walking just three.
One of her wins was an outstanding eight-inning relief appearance against Missouri, then ranked No. 5 in the nation.
“We did really good the first weekend,” Robb said. “We played some good competition. We just went out and did our jobs.”
Since then, the college game has caught up to her.
Robb is currently 7-9 on the season with a 5.25 ERA. In 811⁄3 innings, she has allowed 110 hits, while striking out 48 and walking 29. Of those hits, 29 have gone for extra bases, including 15 home runs.
It’s all a matter of fundamentals, Robb said. Getting those numbers down will come with better mechanics as she improves her skill set in the circle.
“Definitely pitch placement,” Robb said as her main focus of attention. “Sometimes, I leave them out over the plate, and that’s when I give up the big hits. I just have to keep my composure on the mound, make sure my pitches are in the right spot and execute every single pitch.”
Don’t be surprised if the college version of Robb starts looking like the prep version soon.
Likely the most decorated player in Lady Charger history, she ended four stellar years as the all-time team leader in wins (71), strikeouts (917) and ERA (0.72).
She was a four-time All-West Tennessee pick and a two-time All-State selection. She led Westview to the Class AA state tournament three times.
Eastern is currently 16-20 on the season, winning Saturday’s game against UTM. Robb is optimistic the season will begin to turn around.
“We’re kind of getting a little complacent with ourselves right now, but we’re going to get it worked out,” she said. “We’re going to get better. We’re going to practice and do our best. We’re going to come back and this weekend and win next weekend and the next weekend. We’re going to try to finish as OVC champions and then win the tournament.”
Robb is showing the same confidence she had when making her college choice.
“I love Eastern,” Robb said. “The campus is great, the players are great, the coaches are great. I love it up there, and I wouldn’t change my decision for anything.” Published in The WCP 4.10.12

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