Claar's old magic works for new team

Federal Way’s loss is proving to be Decatur’s gain during this spring’s high school fastpitch campaign.

Kelly Claar, who helped pitch Federal Way to a 15-1 season a year ago before transferring to Decatur, performed some of the same magic for her new team this week in the Gators’ three victories –– one at her old school’s expense –– in as many days.

The junior ace had an “average” outing, in coach Peter Waid’s estimation, as Decatur throttled Spanaway Lake 9-2 Wednesday. Considering it was her third complete game in 72 hours, maybe she was due for something ordinary.

Claar dominated Rogers in the Gators’ 3-0 blanking Tuesday, spinning a one-hitter and striking out 15 Rams. That followed a 12-strikeout effort in a 5-3 trimming of Emerald Ridge the day before.

“She had a good week, but she’s tired,” said Waid after Claar gave up four hits and struck out eight at Spanaway Lake, raising Decatur’s win-loss record to 4-1 –– the same as her pitching resume.

Decatur and its strongarmed chucker will have had four days off from competition before hosting Bethel Monday at 7 p.m. at Celebration Park.

The Gators pounded Spanaway Lake for 10 hits and raced to a 6-0 lead after three innings, including a four-run jump in the first. Samantha Ganacias, one of two sophomores in Decatur’s starting lineup, and Cristina Null, the lone starting senior, led the offense with three hits and two runs batted in, respectively. Claar helped by rapping two hits.

Against Rogers, Claar, last season’s Most Valuable Player in the South Puget Sound League’s South Division, logged her second shutout in three games.

Null drove in two of Decatur’s runs and Aubrey McCarney took care of the other one.

Two of the Gators’ five hits came from Breanna Klasen, whose output included a double.

On Monday, Claar and Null starred against previously unbeaten Emerald Ridge 5-3. The Gators scored all of their runs in the second, third and fourth innings to erase an early 1-0 deficit, Claar fanned 12 opponents and Null drove in two runs and scored one herself. Kaitlin Bailey also had an RBI for the winners.

Claar’s earlier shutout performance came March 22 against Federal Way. She stifled her former team on two hits as Decatur rolled 7-0 at Celebration Park, breaking the contest open with five runs in the first inning.

Decatur 3, Rogers 0

Rogers 000 000 0 0 -1-1

Decatur 000 300 x 3 -5-0

WP—Claar (3-1). LP—Brachman. Hitting highlights: Adams (R) 1 for 3; Ganacias (D) 1 for 3, Klasen (D) 2 for 3, McCarney (D) 1 for 2, Null (D) 1 for 2.

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