Senior Warren uses experience, pitch control in final season

Senior pitcher Hanna Warren pitches the ball during the Chippewas game against Northern Illinois University on April 22 at Margo Jonker Stadium.

Senior Hanna Warren returns to the Central Michigan softball team with more experience than any other pitcher in the rotation. 

But, Warren isn't the only person who will contribute on the mound.

“It’s kind of cool this year because we have three seniors instead of just one like last year,” Warren said. “In terms of playing time, I bring a little more in that sense but everyone brings their own ability to the table.”

Warren was referring to Rachael Knapp, who used her last year of eligibility last season.

Knapp was the 2017 Mid-American Conference Pitcher of the Year. She holds program records in game appearances (38) and complete games (27). She also posted a conference-leading 1.02 earned run average.

Warren has learned a lot from Knapp through her actions on the field. 

“I’m very outspoken and Rachael was very quiet and silent leader,” Warren said. “You could say one thing and do another and Rachael really proved that by how she would push the team.”

Warren was named to the All-MAC Second Team in 2017. She appeared in 20 games while making 16 starts. She boasted the league's No. 8 ERA (2.52) and had 11 wins, which ranked ninth.

Head coach Margo Jonker said the coaching staff anticipates Warren will have another good season.

“I think at the end of last year she pitched really well,” Jonker said. “The key to (Warren) is her location, as long as she can mix her pitches and keep those under control, with a good defense behind her that should mix together for a good year.”

Warren also thinks her location is the most important pitching element.

“I’m a location pitcher, I have been through and through my whole life,” Warren said. “I really rely on hitting my spots and corners to succeed.

“I rely a lot on my curveball for a go-to strikeout pitch.”

Senior catcher Maison Kalina said Warren has worked on those pitches so much that it would be “unfair” to say any of her pitches are better than the other.

“Hanna does a good job of working both sides of the plate and incorporating an off-speed pitch,” Kalina said. “She’s such a diverse pitcher that controls every aspect of being on the mound.”

Through eight games this season, Warren has made five appearances with four starts. She posted a 1-3 record with a 3.50 ERA. She has recorded a team-high 15 strikeouts with seven walks.

Warren wants to get ahead of hitters in the count in 2018. 

"Instead of thinking about results, I need to take it one pitch at a time and one batter at a time," Warren said. "If I can do that, I think I’ll find better results.”