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(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)

GUTS AND GLORY: Hun School junior pitcher Emily Rosenthal uncorks a fastball in the Raiders' 4-2 win over Blair Academy last Thursday in the state Prep A championship game. Rosenthal, whose right forearm was taped due to pulled muscles suffered three weeks ago, fought through the pain to record nine strikeouts in pitching Hun to its first Prep A crown since 2000.
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Rosenthal Refuses to Let Injured Arm Keep Her from Hurling Hun to Prep Title

By Bill Alden

Emily Rosenthal's life the last three weeks has revolved around schoolwork, softball, and ice.

Rosenthal, a Hun School junior and star pitcher for the Raiders' softball team, pulled two muscles in her right forearm three weeks ago. Determined to not let the injury derail her season, Rosenthal has iced her pitching arm at every opportunity as she went about her daily business.

The sight of Rosenthal's arm wrapped in ice has been commonplace in the hallways at Hun as well as on the softball diamond.

Fighting through the pain, the intense Rosenthal pitched Hun into the state Prep A final last Thursday against Blair Academy.

With her arm heavily taped, Rosenthal iced the Bucs with her pinpoint pitching, giving up only two runs and seven hits to lead the Raiders to a 4-2 win and their first Prep A title since 2000.

As she basked in the glow of the team's triumph, Rosenthal asserted that she wasn't about to let pain deprive her of a shot at a state title.

"It is painful," acknowledged Rosenthal, who struck out nine in the title game, giving her 120 Ks on the season. "But I couldn't rest it now because I had to get to the championship game. There was no way I wasn't going to pitch in the semifinal and championship game. I just kept it wrapped and compressed. Once you get started in a game, your adrenaline takes over and you don't feel the pain."

Rosenthal certainly didn't feel any pain when she helped herself against Blair by stroking a run-scoring double in the bottom of the first inning to knot the game at 1-1 and trigger what turned into a decisive three-run rally.

"That felt so good as soon as I hit it," recalled Rosenthal, who bats third in the Hun lineup. "I knew we were going to come back and that it was a new game once we got that run."

For Rosenthal, Wednesday's heroics were the product of experience and the intense conditioning regimen she has undergone since the end of last season.

"I've pitched every single day since last season," said Rosenthal. "What makes me different from last year is that I've worked on my spot pitching a lot. Last year, I just tried to overpower people. I worked on my spot pitching all summer. I also ran a lot. I think that really helped today, especially with the 80 degree weather."

Hun head coach Kathy Quirk knew that her junior ace would do whatever it took to help the Raiders prevail.

"I couldn't have asked for anything more from Emily," said a beaming Quirk after the celebration following Wednesday's triumph. "She's done everything we've asked her to do. She's in pain, she comes down every hour and we pack her in ice. She knew today was the last day of the season and she said I'm going."

While Rosenthal's pitching prowess is a focal point for Hun, she knows the squad isn't a one-woman show.

"I get too much credit," asserted Rosenthal. "I've just been trying to get the other team to hit it on the ground. My defense has really backed me up. We lost a couple of times earlier in the season and we all hate the feeling of losing. We're all so competitive, it's ridiculous how competitive we are."

But based on how Rosenthal fought through her injury, it's hard to imagine that any of the Raiders could match the competitiveness shown by their pitcher.

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