Christine “X-tine” first played Tapey Beercone during Season 4, and as a graduate of the R Cascade Minor Tapey Beercone League she made her Buckos League debut during the 3rd running of the Oregon Invitational. Christine was never scouted as a top prospect during her time in the R Cascade League. Christine was never flashy, never a power threat or a pitcher with much velocity, yet through both Cascade play and exhibition games she always managed to perform well. And during her games in Buckos League Christine has continued that success, and proven to be a worthy competitor.
As a pitching prospect in the R Cascade League, the right handed Christine isn’t flashy and has below average velocity on her heater but she has excellent control of a three-pitch mix. When she’s on, she induces a lot of ground ball outs, but her biggest weakness can the lack of strikeouts. Her main pitch isn’t a hard thrown pitch like others, but a slower arc-ball which she can locate well at the top of the strike zone. While not a threatening pitch in and of itself, it helps to enable the rest of her arsenal.
Her primary off speed pitch is her changeup, which to the batter looks from the hand like a standard arc-ball left tantalizingly over the heart of the plate. Instead, the pitch arrives late and low which generates weakly hit ground balls and plenty of swing and miss. Less used is her slider, primarily used as an out pitch against right handed batters. The pitch starts off similar to the arc-ball before twirling off the plate into the left handed batter’s box inducing chase swings.
With these tools at her disposal, Christine entered her first Buckos League game as a sleeper, but ended that season as a legitimate rookie of the season candidate. During the Oregon Tapey Beercone Invitational double-header Christine started and won both games for her team. She had all aspects of her pitch mix working. She showed great control on her arc-ball, which limited her walk rate significantly, and allowed her secondary offerings to play up. Her slider was especially devastating, leading to eight strike outs in eleven innings, and her changeup was on, generation weakly hit ground ball after weakly hit ground ball, all culminating in a BABIP of under .550 for the event. With the help of excellent defense behind her, she ended the season with an extremely low ERA of 0.73, a single season record.
So the pitching results were there, which more than made up for any definite she had as a batter. Add to this that Christine holds the record BPI for a female player and you clearly have a legitimate Tapey Beercone player. But some doubt still remains as to whether these results are sustainable, or just an aberration. Regardless, few should doubt Christine’s abilities, because “X-tine” has the X-factor.