The junior pitcher for the West Orange softball team has shown herself to be a capable No. 2 for the Warriors when given an opportunity to step up over the past two weeks.
WINTER GARDEN As a sophomore last spring on the West Orange Warriors’ state champion softball team, Landry Newgent accumulated just four starts and threw a total of 20.1 innings on the season.
That much made sense — Georgia signee Lauren Mathis, then a junior, was having one of the best seasons on the mound of any pitcher in the nation in 2016. Behind Mathis, in addition to Newgent, current North Carolina State outfielder Jade Caraway also pitched for the Warriors.
This season, though, Newgent already has as many starts (four) as she did in all of 2016 and has pitched more innings. Within the past two weeks, head coach Todd LaNeave has given Newgent an extended opportunity to show what she can do — and Newgent, our Observer Preps Athlete of the Week, has responded.
“I go into any season also looking to future seasons and trying to get some of these girls that are going to have to step up next year as much opportunity as I can,” LaNeave said. “She’s had that opportunity the last three or four games and she’s really stepped up.”
Newgent has three starts in the past two weeks, with wins in all three.
In victories against Lake Brantley, Olympia and Wewahtchka — as well as a relief appearance against East River — Newgent allowed just one earned run and nine hits in 18.1 innings of work.
“It feels good,” Newgent said of her extended stretch of starts. “It’s definitely different — I’ve definitely had to step up.”
"(Newgent has) had that opportunity the last three or four games and she’s really stepped up.”
— Todd LaNeave, head coach
LaNeave says his junior pitcher — who will likely be the Warriors’ No. 1 pitcher in 2018 once Mathis has graduated — has exhibited strong composure while on the mound, in addition to mixing up her speeds and delivering a great changeup.
A left-handed pitcher whose ball dives naturally, LaNeave says Newgent can be a nice compliment to Mathis — a right-handed pitcher known for her riseball.
“You have somebody that is throwing hard and up and then you bring Landry in and the ball is diving,” LaNeave said.
The Warriors (10-2) will compete during their Spring Break in a tournament at Montverde Academy. Before the tournament, which starts March 22, Newgent says she is going to try and enjoy a bit of her break.
“(I’ll) definitely go to the beach — probably New Smyrna,” Newgent said.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].