Your Prep Sports
TIFFIN – Entering her sophomore season Ashley Webb was aware there was an opening in the top spot on the Clear Creek Amana pitching staff.
To shine in the spotlight of the ace role during the heat of the summer season Webb first had to embrace the cold that came with winter workouts in her garage.
“I would throw buckets and buckets in the cold garage all winter,” Webb said. “My dad really pushed me. I would go out after practice or hard days and throw extra and if I said it was too cold he brought out a heater so there were no excuses.”
The winter workouts in the garage didn’t just help Webb earn the spot as the ace of the Clear Creek Amana staff those extra throwing sessions are part of what has made the sophomore left-hander one of the biggest breakthrough performers in the state this season.
A year after going 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA in 14 2/3 innings as a freshman Webb has emerged as one of the most effective hurlers in the state.
Webb is 12-2 and leads Class 4A in both ERA and WHIP while helping the Clippers to a 21-4 record and a No. 9 ranking in Class 4A.
“She is getting after it,” Clear Creek Amana co-head coach Jodie Scheetz said. “She is coming mentally prepared. Every time we get to the field she is ready to throw, she is a gamer and she is ready to play.”
Webb entered her breakthrough season with 18 2/3 career innings in her belt as an eighth grader and freshman.
She had a career 0-3 record after she had a brilliant season-opening outing against Marion end in a 2-1 defeat after a two-run, seventh-inning home run by Marion junior Gracie Goad.
Since that opening day moment Webb has been almost unbeatable.
“(Clear Creek Amana co-head coach) Ken (Thimmesch) came up to me after the Marion hitter hit the home run off me and told me that was going to be the only home run I’d give up,” Webb said. “I’ve definitely been able to show that I’m not going to let one bad game stop me.”
Nothing has stopped Webb or the Clippers this season.
Webb has won 12 of her last 13 starts with the only loss during that stretch a 2-0 setback against 2A No. 13 Van Buren.
She has five shutouts over her last 12 starts and has allowed one run twice during that stretch.
“Every time I pitch I feel like I get a little more confident,” Webb said. “I’ve been able to keep building.”
In her first full season in the Clipper rotation Webb leads 4A with a .98 ERA and a .61 WHIP.
Her 12 wins rank third in 4A and the .158 that opponents are batting against Webb this season is fifth lowest in 4A.
“She has really matured and become a pitcher rather than just a thrower,” Thimmesch said. “She has just been excellent all season.”
Webb has struck out 108 and walked just eight while giving up 53 hits in 99 2/3 innings this season.
Last week Webb shutout out Center Point-Urbana and Dyersville Beckman and allowed one run in a three-hitter against Vinton-Shellsburg.
Webb then allowed two runs on five hits in a win over 5A Linn-Mar and gave up one run on four hits in a victory over 3A third-ranked Williamsburg both at the West Delaware tournament.
“She has been on every single game we have played this year,” Scheetz said. “She has just been lights out for us.”