Hip, hip, hooray!
Schad overcomes hip injury in state championship
Purdy first baseman Robyn Schad has been dealing with a hip issue all season long, and the junior forced herself to overcome the pain one last time on Sunday with the Lady Eagles’ first ever state title on the line.
In the game, Schad had hit a pop out to right field in the second, then reached on a fielding error in the third, resulting in the first score of the game by Kinsley Mattingly.
Back at the plate in the fifth, Schad and the team had just been told by Coach Lori Videmschek to drive the ball low and hard and that home runs were probably not going to happen — she didn’t listen.
Schad connected on a pitch and lined a ball high to left field, clearing the wall for a 1-run homer, the eventual winning point in the 4-1 victory over Holcomb.
“It was an amazing feeling when I hit it,” Schad said. “I knew it was gone. You just have that gut feeling when you hit the ball.”
“She has a lot of power on her swing, and the funny thing about it is that inning I told the kids we’re not going to get the ball out of the park today because the wind was blowing in,” Videmschek said. “We have to hit line drives. Then, Lauren [Schallert, started the inning by hitting] a deep one, and I turned around and said, ‘Guys, we have to hit on a line drive today and get through extension.’
“Then, Robyn turns around and hits it out of the park and I’m going, oh my goodness, and the girls go, ‘Well, coach, she hit it out of the park,’ and all I could say is, ‘Yeah, I know.’ She was able to get enough behind there and get it out of the park and that gave us enough momentum going up 2-1 so that was huge.”
Schad started taking her free turn around the bases, but just after tapping second, something slightly unexpected happened.
“I rounded second, and all of the sudden I was on the ground,” Schad said. “I knew my hip had fallen out. I said, ‘Well, I guess I have got to get up.’ Luckily, it was a home run, so I didn’t have any pressure to get to the base. I was just taking my time to get to home plate.”
Videmschek said the hip has been an ongoing issue and something they had hoped to rehab, but just had not found the time.
“She’s had a hip problem all year long where her hip will pop out of its socket and we have to put it back,” Videmschek said. “We haven’t had time to give her time off to get it healed. She’s been going to physical therapy a couple times a week trying to get through the season so she can get some time off and get that sucker healed.
“It just went out and when it goes out, she goes down. At least she was able to get up and finish it.”
Schad said it has happened so many times before, she knew exactly what it was, and that she could play through it.
“[When I got to home plate], everyone was just laughing and giggling,” she said. “They knew I was hurt, but I was fine, and it’s always funny and just a big joke when that happens.”
Laughs aside, Schad still had to play first base, fighting her way through the pain for two more innings.
“Two more innings — that’s what I kept telling myself,” she said. “Two more innings. I can do it, I can do it. Six more outs. That was my mindset.”
That mindset culminated in one final, painful play. In the top of the seventh with the 4-1 lead and two outs, Holcomb’s hitter grounded a ball to shortstop Bayleigh Robbins. She fielded the ball and hurled it to Schad at first. The throw forced Schad to stretch on her left leg and risk hurting herself again.
“I was nervous to stretch on it because the foot I stretch on is my bad leg, and I thought it would go out,” she said. “But, that feeling to catch the ball and know I was still standing up and OK was an amazing feeling — to know that we were state champs. It’s just amazing.”