FORT BRANCH, Ind. (WEHT) – Opposing batters are in for a long night when Olivia Stunkel is on the mound.
The Gibson Southern ace has been on a tear in her senior season.
Stunkel has an ERA of 0.89, which is ranked 14th in the state of Indiana. But that’s nothing new for coach Gary May and his program.
“We’ve been fortunate,” May said. “We’ve had a string of good pitchers going back to 08, 09. Something like that. She’s been lights out.”
Perhaps even more impressive, the Lady Titans pitcher has recorded five shutouts and three no-hitters this year. But the progress hasn’t come overnight.
“Definitely just working in my off time,” Stunkel said. “I’ve been pitching a lot, and of course my defense behind me has kept those no hitters coming. So that’s definitely helped.”
It’s tough to critique the season Stunkel has had to this point. Despite missing the first seven games of the season due to injury, She’s gone 13-0 in her starts.
“She’s always been a powerhouse of a pitcher, and that’s just becoming evident this year,” said junior Brenna Blume. “She’s really showing what she’s made of this year.”
She has helped guide the Lady Titans to an 18-4 record this season. That consistency has helped instill confidence in her Gibson Southern teammates.
“It gives us as people behind her on the field a lot more confidence,” said senior Emilee Edwards. “I feel like I don’t have to do as much because I know I have a solid pitcher in front of me. I know that she’s going to pitch where she needs to be. I know where I need to position myself on the field because I know she’s going to hit her spots, and she’s going to do what she needs to do.”
But there’s still plenty left to prove. With sectionals just over one week away, Stunkel and the Lady Titans will be out to avenge their 2019 semi-state loss.
“She knows what she needs to do. And she’s going to get it done,” Edwards said.
And if Stunkel’s continues to get it done, that loss could be avenged very soon.
(This story was originally published on May 14, 2021)