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Washington pitcher Brooklyn Ogden wheeling and dealing in red-hot start to season

Junior has yet to allow a run against in-state competition
The latest, up-to-date local news provided by the Heart of Illinois ABC News team, with updates on community issues in the Peoria and Bloomington-Normal areas.
Published: Apr. 11, 2022 at 11:07 PM CDT
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WASHINGTON (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Washington softball junior pitcher Brooklyn Ogden has been red-hot to start the season. Since returning from a season-opening trip to Tennessee, the Panthers ace has yet to allow a run in in-state competition, tossing three shutouts, including a no-hitter against East Moline. Ogden says it’s her ability to pitch to contact and let her defense work that’s been the key.

“Well I really just trust my team and defense so it’s really easy to be like relaxed on the mound because I know they’ll back me up no matter what,” Ogden said. “Ideally it’s nice to strike everyone out but that’s just not always going to happen so I’d rather just have them groundout if possible.”

But the strikeouts have also plentiful during Ogden’s red-hot start and she says that comes down to one thing: location, something she says that’s one of the biggest things she worked on in the offseason.

“Probably location of my pitches,” Ogden said. “It’s just really important for the game and if we want to win. Just really focusing on hitting my spots because like even if I don’t hit my spots, as you saw, my defense has my back.”

But as important as that focus on location has been for Ogden, she says the biggest way she’s improved since her All-Mid-Illini Second Team season a year ago is in the mental aspect of the game and it’s become apparent to everyone, including her coaches

“Just being mentally focused and not getting frustrated when things aren’t working,” Ogden said. “I used to struggle with it when I was little so just growing up with it as a player and as a person, I’ve just really focused on that to be a better person and a better player.”

She’s turned what she once viewed as a weakness in her game into a strength.

“I think her strength is having the confidence and poise on the mound,” Washington coach Stephanie Lawson said. Being able to mix in her pitches. Being able to continue keep us in games all the time. She’s been a huge asset.”

Pitching with confidence and poise and dominating opponents, Brooklyn Ogden has Washington softball off to another good start, a start they hope ends with another deep state tournament run after making the 3A Elite Eight a season ago.

“We work really hard every single day,” Ogden said. “I think we can be really good because all of us put in as much effort as possible.”

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