Wilmette, Sports

Hunter Lewis can’t lose — even if Resurrection snapped her 19-inning no-hit streak

Ramblers ace is of to special start, striking out 48 batters in three shutout victories

It was fun — and incredible — while it lasted.

Loyola Academy sophomore Hunter Lewis began her high school career by pitching 19 no-hit innings, the feat lasting until midway through the Ramblers’ 8-3 victory over visiting Resurrection on Monday, March 25, at Heritage Park in Wheeling.

When Ella Anderson’s base hit up the middle ended Lewis’ bid for a third straight no-hitter, Lewis — a sophomore right-hander from Highland Park — said she was not really upset and she knew she’d give up a hit at some point.

But, understanding the competitor Lewis is, Loyola coach Leah Herlocker knew better.

“She was not happy,” Herlocker said with a grin. “(But) she’s such an excellent teammate that she’s not going to let it overshadow what the team did.”

Despite the streak ending, Lewis delivered another sparkling line in Monday’s victory: 7 innings pitched, 2 hits, no walks, 16 strikeouts. In Loyola’s 3-0 start, Lewis is 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA, 48 strikeouts, and 2 hits and 1 walk allowed in 21 innings pitched.

Hunter Lewis releases a pitch en route to 16 strikeouts.

Last season, Lewis, then a freshman, watched from the Ramblers’ dugout following offseason shoulder surgery. She got back on the mound in late summer 2023, working her way up to Loyola’s spring season — and so far so good.

“It’s been really fun,” she said. “With this group of girls, we’re all just having a ton of fun, coming out and playing the game like we practice and having fun with it.

“Something I always tell myself, and my coaches tell me, is just do what you do. I just go out and be myself on the mound.”

That spells trouble for opposing lineups as Lewis greets them with a powerful — and precise — fastball, which opens the door for three other plus pitches: a rise ball, curveball and changeup.

Herlocker said Lewis also has a couple other nontraditional pitches to work with, but maybe more importantly, she brings other factors to the circle.

“She’s just got momentum, her speed is just faster than what most high school girls are used to seeing,” the Ramblers coach said. “And I think her presence, just how aggressive and how confident she is, is something that really works to her advantage.”

Herlocker added, “She is a unique spirit and unique talent. You can tell in her energy in every single moment that she exudes confidence and excitement and determination to be the best version of herself as an athlete.”

In Monday’s victory against Resurrection, Lewis struck out the side to begin the game, and then her offense immediately gave her something to work with.

Leanna Keller heads toward third base during the Ramblers win.

Emilia Bartholomew smacked the first of her two triples and was knocked home by Leanna Keller’s single.

The Ramblers added four more runs in the second inning. Bartholomew’s second triple drove in two runs, and Gwen Coleman’s infield single another as Loyola snagged a 5-0 advantage.

Lewis continued to dominate through three innings but was then replaced in the circle to start the fourth. Herlocker said with another conference game scheduled for Tuesday, she wanted to give Lewis some rest.

But Resurrection jumped on the opportunity and strung together five hits that plated three runs. Lewis then re-entered the circle and recorded three straight swinging strikeouts to end the threat.

The Ramblers added two more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth to put the game out of reach, and Lewis finished off the Bandits with three strikeouts in the final inning.

Abby Murphy hit a pinch-hit, two-run triple for Loyola, and Keller and Coleman had two hits apiece. Lewis added a double off the fence, and Paige Smith walked three times, as well.

The Ramblers roster nine returners this season. Seniors Bella Giannos, Sophie Wilhelm and Rosie Kerrigan are the captains, but Herlocker said she expects all nine returners to lead by example on and off the field.

“This team brings a ton of energy and excitement to the game,” she said. “And they have prioritized getting along and really bonding. … We work together as a team. We trust each other moment to moment. Whether it’s good or bad, we know we’re going to work together.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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