Anyway you slice it, Remington Stark was one of the best strikeout pitchers in the state this season.
Only one pitcher in the state struck out batters at a higher rate than the Orfordville Parkview right-hander.
The junior notched 15.1 strikeouts per seven innings—a mark that ranked narrowly behind Waukesha North’s Maddy Anderson (15.2).
Stark finished with 259 strikeouts, which ranked fifth in the state, according to stats reported to Wissports.net. Sydney Supple of Oshkosh North led the state with 298 Ks. She needed 30 games. Stark only pitched in 20.
Stark’s dominating performance on the mound and a .349 batting average at the plate led her to earn The Gazette’s area player of the year honor for 2019.
“As good as Remy was last year in earning all-state honors, I think a light bulb went off late last season after a loss to (two-time state champion) Horicon that really motivated her this year,” Parkview coach Ally Steinke said. “Everything seemed to click. She was throwing all of her pitches for strikes, had a little more velocity on her fastball and just had that drive to succeed.
“I think more than anything, Remy wasn’t satisfied with what she had done and her accomplishments. To be an elite athlete, she realized she had to go above and beyond and take her game to the next level.”
Stark finished the season with a 14-6 record and a minuscule 0.35 ERA. She allowed only six earned runs in 120 innings pitched. Deerfield was the only team all season to score more than one earned run off her—that coming in a 9-2 Parkview victory.
Stark was also stingy when it came to giving up hits. She threw four no-hitters on the season, including three straight in wins over Dodgeland, Argyle and Palmyra-Eagle in mid-April.
Parkview blanked Evansville 10-0 in a nonconference game early in the season. Evansville coach Charity Kostroun was impressed with Stark.
“She was as good as advertised,” Kostroun said. “She did a great job of mixing up her pitches. I think we struck out 15 or 16 times and had only one or two hits.”
Featuring a five-pitch repertoire of a fastball, change-up, screwball, rise ball and drop ball, Stark said not having to rely on one pitch made her more effective this season.
“My rise ball is still my go-to or out pitch, but I had pretty good luck throwing all of them this year,” Stark said. “I realized that even though I throw my fastball pretty hard, when they did hit it, they made really solid contact, so I had to really mix things up with my pitches.
“But more than anything, I worked hard on a lot of things because I knew our team had a chance to be really good. That was most important to me.”
Parkview started the season strong, including building a nine-game winning streak that led to a 9-1 start. The Vikings finished 15-7 overall and were second in the Trailways South to Johnson Creek, the team that also knocked the Vikings out of the postseason.
Stark did beat Johnson Creek once in the front end of a doubleheader. She struck out 16 batters, allowed four hits and went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles in that game.
Stark didn’t take any time off before gearing up for what she hopes is an even better senior season. She’s pitching for Illinois Gold this weekend in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, in a college showcase tournament. Many of the nation’s top Division I programs will have coaches in attendance as part of the summer recruiting trail.
Although she’s had plenty of collegiate offers, Stark said she’s likely to wait until the fall before making a choice.
“Our team (Illinois Gold) is traveling all around the country this summer playing in tournaments,” Stark said. “I’m just going to wait and see how the summer goes.
“Right now, I’m hoping to go to school in the southeast part of the country, but that could change.”
If Stark continues to mow down the opposition, all parts of the country may come calling.