As far as Ashley Mickschl is concerned, no batter should get a hit off her, but on the occasion, someone actually does get on base — well, that’s where it gets fun.
“Whenever she gets in a jam, you see her get a little look on her face like, ‘OK, that’s enough,’ ” Royals assistant coach Bob Nickleby said. “Then the BBs come. That’s the competitiveness in her.”
Never mind Mickschl’s low-60s fastball or devastating changeup; that competitiveness might be her greatest asset. And Mickschl will be the greatest asset for the Royals (22-2) when they go for their third straight Class 4A state tournament with a quarterfinal matchup Thursday morning in North Mankato against unseeded Buffalo (19-4).
The senior pitcher/slugger is 12-1 with a 0.70 earned-run average and 111 strikeouts in 89 1/3 innings pitched. Add her bat — a .473 batting average and six home runs — and Mickschl is the 2017 Pioneer Press East Metro Softball Player of the Year.