SPORTS HEADLINES

Cleaning up: Arlington leads nation with 33 RBIs in just 15 games

By Richard Greene | Published Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The frigid temperature and remnants of the weekend’s sleet kept the Boyd Lady Yellowjackets off the field Monday.

Getting an assist from Mother Nature may be the only way teams can cool down Boyd’s Chelsea Arlington and her red-hot bat.

Swining Big Stick

SWINGING BIG STICK – Boyd’s Chelsea Arlington leads the area and nation in RBIs through 15 games with 33. The Boyd clean-up hitter is also batting .521 with 14 extra-base hits. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Through 15 games, the Boyd junior is leading not only the area but the nation, according to MaxPreps, in RBIs with 33.

“It’s a weird feeling,” Arlington said about the ranking. “I just want to hit the ball and do my job.

“If people get on base, it’s my job to hit them in.”

Along with driving in more than two runs per game, Arlington has bashed four home runs – including one inside-the-park – and is hitting .521. Of her 25 hits, 14 have gone for extra bases.

“She’s seeing the ball well and hitting the ball to all fields,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins.

In her first two seasons, Arlington swung the bat well for the Lady Yellowjackets. She batted .410 last year with 33 RBIs and four home runs. Her freshman year, she batted .365 with three homers and 24 RBIs.

But those seasons pale in comparison to this year’s start, which she credits to experience.

“I’m more disciplined this year,” Arlington said. “I’m working on trying to drive through the ball and hit to all fields.”

She’s piling up stats, but she’s not worried about them.

“I’m playing to win and not for stats for myself,” she said. “The whole team is playing great.”

She points to the great play of those around her, that has allowed her to pile up the RBIs.

“Everyone in the lineup can hit,” Arlington said. “I have faith in everyone in the lineup. We have one of the best, if not the best, lineups in the district.”

As a team, the Lady ‘Jackets are hitting .475 and have scored 160 runs in 15 games.

Hopkins said teams have few options if they try to pitch around Arlington.

“I’ve got people in front of her and behind her that can hit,” he said.

Even when teams have tried to pitch around her, Arlington said she’s still been able to find something to hit.

“I don’t look for a strike,” she explained. “I just try to hit the ball. I want to win.”

Her strong start at the plate has overshadowed a strong season in the pitcher’s circle for Arlington. She is 7-3 with a 4.85 ERA, allowing 33 earned runs on 57 hits in 47.2 innings. She was Wise County Pitcher of the Year last year.

“I like pitching. I like to feel like I have control over the game,” she said.

But given the choice between pitching and hitting, Arlington would choose getting a chance to take a swing.

“I like it when you hit the ball and the crowd goes crazy,” she said.

After making the playoffs last year and seeing the season end in a bi-district loss, Arlington said she and her teammates are motivated to get back to the postseason.

“We were devastated last year,” she said. “The day after the loss, we went to work on the next year.”

Her goal for the team was to make opponents scared to play the Lady Yellowjackets.

So far, with her work at the plate, it’s working so well Mother Nature had to get involved.

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