Locke, McChristy duo amasses most strikeouts in county history

Wright City's Melissa Locke (left) and Warrenton's Kathryn McChristy combined for 473 strikeouts this season, accounting for the most in Warren County history.
Brandon Corrigan

Quality arms aren’t always easy to find, but Warren County was a gold mine for good pitching this fall.
The Wildcats and Warriors didn’t have to worry too much when their aces occupied the circle. They knew it was smooth sailing ahead, that everything was going to be A-O‘K.’
Big emphasis on the K – the letter that traditionally denotes a strikeout.
Whether a gut punching punchout or an awkward looking whiff, when it came to piling up Ks no one seemed to do it better than Wright City’s Melissa Locke and Warrenton’s Kathryn McChristy. And when you dive into the numbers you’ll discover that no one really has.
Locke, a senior southpaw, had 240 strikeouts in 147.3 innings pitched, and McChristy, a sophomore right-hander, had 233 strikeouts in 147.7 innings pitched this year.
Each set their school’s single-season strikeout record and delivered batters more one-way trips from the box to the bench than anyone else in the St. Louis metro area. Union’s Kelsie Hardester was a semi-distant third with 197 in 137.3 innings.
Combined, Locke and McChristy accounted for 473 Ks in 2019, which is more than any other Warrenton/Wright City duo in county history.
And they’re pretty much in a league of their own. They had 340 combined Ks in their first seasons as starters last year and no other duo has hit 250 or more in the past 15 years.
“(Locke and McChristy) come from softball programs with some deep traditions so that’s a pretty special accomplishment for them,” Wright City Coach Fred Ross said.
“Both of those girls are amazing to watch play and it’s crazy we have them in the same county,” said Warrenton Coach Chad Berrey. “Obviously, they share some of the same qualities but they’re two different pitchers.
“Locke is a power pitcher who can really blow it by opposing hitters. And while Kathryn has good velocity on her pitches, she creates a lot of her success with her ability to spin the ball and getting it to move. Both absolutely deserve the recognition they’ve received.”
While Locke’s never lacked velocity, in the past she had some struggles with location. It wasn’t an issue in 2019 though.
“She threw a little harder, but she was just so much better at hitting her spots this year,” Ross said. “She had multiple pitches she could throw with precision.”
In addition to her 240 strikeouts, improved consistency helped Locke earn a team record 23 wins in the circle. She finished with a 1.66 ERA while helping the Wildcats to their first conference championship in 15 years. She tallied double-digit strikeouts in 12 starts, including a 16-K no hitter at Van-Far in October.
Locke awarded first team All-EMO, first team all-district and first team all-region honors in Class 3. And even though she didn’t land all-state accolades, she did land a scholarship to Des Moines Area Community College where she’ll pitch next year for the Bears in Central Iowa.
And while Locke’s in the Hawkeye State, McChristy still has two more years in Warren County. She finished this one with a 15-7 record and 1 .77 ERA, and also developed into a threat at the plate, posting a .385 average with four doubles and 10 RBIs in 78 at-bats.
McChristy guided the Warriors to their sixth conference championship in seven years and was named the GAC North Player of the year, earning team all-conference, first team all-district, first team all-region and second team all-state honors in Class 3.
“She’s a lights out pitcher who has the ability to take the game in her own hands and keep the bases clean from the first to the last inning,” Berrey said. “She’s still young but has already proven she’s one of the top pitchers in Missouri and has improved her offense,” Berrey said. “It’s exciting to think about what she can do with two more seasons at Warrenton. She’s racked up 454 strikeouts in two years and the 1,000-mark looks pretty attainable to me.”
Only 10 pitchers in state history have hit 1,000 strikeouts in their careers with 2010 Walnut Grove graduate Hannah Harman at the top of the list with 1,109.
But hey, don’t put anything past McChristy. She’s done pretty well for herself so far.

2019 Class 3 All-State
First Team
• Addison Purvis, SR, Sullivan
• Izzy Erickson, SR, Reeds Spring
• Alexa Rehmeier, JR, Helias Catholic
• Kenzie Schopfer, JR, Savannah
• Piper Montgomery, JR, Windsor
• Maddison Cantrell, SR, Reeds Spring
• Madde Graves, JR, Savannah
• Hannah Cox, SR, Sullivan
• Sayler Todd, SR, Pleasant Hill
• Whitney Kinser, SR, McDonald County
• Abby Rickerman, SR, Festus
• Brooklyn Moore, SR, Wright City
• Sam Wood, SO, Odessa

• Kaesha George, SR, Monett
• Taylor Woehr, SR, Helias Catholic
• Kylie Swinney, SR, St. Charles
• Riley Burger, SR, Cape-Notre Dame
• Abby Allnutt, SR, Warrenburg
• Hanna Johanning, JR, Sullivan
• Allee Brattin, JR, Pleasant Hill

Second Team
• Katie Brooks, JR, Bolivar
• Kathryn McChristy, SO, Warrenton
• Michaela Carr, JR, Smithville
• Abi Schmidt, JR, Borgia
• Grace Paez, SR, IWA
• Ryley Schaub, SR, St. Charles
• Maddie Greco, SR, Pacific
• Sydney Hedgepath, JR, Fulton
• Kennedy Kohler, SR, North County
• Ainsley Burnett, FR, Cape—Notre Dame
• Natalie Schellert, SR, St. Dominic
• Amelia Stone, SR, Lutheran South
• Logan Blevins, SR, Mexico
• Tori Forbeck, SR, St. Dominic
• Haue Heuring, JR, Cape-Notre Dame
• Emme Hall, JR, Bolivar
• Ann-Marie Simpson, JR, Perryville
• Mia Boyd, JR, Incarnate Word Academy


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