At Skyline, Teton and West Jefferson, good hitting is measured in hits, runs and high-5s.
At Rigby, good hitting is all about the Lumberjack Rating.
And just what is a Lumberjack Rating? It’s how you swing the axe.
How much cord wood you can stack in an inning.
About chopping hard and low until the pitcher gets the hook — in the second inning.
Because at Rigby High School, coach Barry Parkes has come up with a calculation to measure a hitter’s total contribution at the plate. He call’s it the Lumberjack Rating, or “LR.”
“The Lumberjack is the player who can do it all,” Parkes said. “The players don’t even know what it is. It’s just for me to know who is coming through with big hits.”
The LR is derived from a convoluted, yet elegant, calculus dreamt up by Parkes himself.
To arrive at your own personal LR, run this calculation through your noodle: LR equals (HRx3)+(3Bx2)+2B+(R/3)+(RBI/3)+(H/3)
Entering today’s state championship tournament opener, Junior Clarissa Smith and teammate Randi Anderson lead the Trojans with a LR of 41.0. Tori Anderson (39.3) and Monica Parkes (38.3) are right on their heels, sporting sweet checkerboard flannel of their own.
As a team the Trojans are batting .403 and averaging 8.7 runs per game through 22 games. Parkes gets all “aw-shucksy” when asked about his ability to coach up hitters.
“I just teach them the basics,” Parkes said. “You know, hands through the ball, mental approach, using their legs. Basically just hitting 101.”
Skyline, Teton and West Jeff can hit the snot out of a softball, sure.
But to get a Lumberjack Rating, you gotta play for Rigby.
Firth, Sugar-Salem and South Fremont also made the state tournament, and District 6 will be represented by seven teams when the state tournaments begin this morning in Nampa.
All teams will play at least two games today, with the remainder of the double-elimination brackets to be completed Saturday.
Skyline (21-4) draws Mountain View (22-3) in today’s 11 a.m. opener at the Skyview Softball Complex in Nampa. The Grizzlies faced the Mavericks in late March at the Idaho Sporting Goods tournament, falling 8-2.
Mountain View claimed the coveted “A” seed out of District 3 with three straight wins at the district tournament, capped by a 19-2 win over Boise. Mountain View has now won eight straight.
Rigby (14-8) claimed the top seed in the 4A District 5-6 tournament with a dominant wins over Century and Pocatello, outscoring the D-Backs and Indians 28-6 for a pair of mercy-rule blowouts.
That top seed drew the Trojans a toughie in 20-3 Kuna. The Kavemen fell to District 3 champion Bishop Kelly, settling for the “B” seed.
Blackfoot rebounded from a tough home loss at districts to smash Poky 15-0 in the second-place, winner-to-state game.
The Broncos get defending state champion Bishop Kelly (18-5), winners of seven straight – by an average score of 12-2.
Rigby and Blackfoot both play their first games at 9 a.m. today.
South Fremont (10-8) is hot at the right time, flipping the district bracket to win from the four seed. Coach Chester Peterson’s troops take their hot streak into Nampa’s West Park Softball Complex to face heavyweight Filer, which enters today’s opener with a 23-1 mark.
Sugar-Salem claimed its state berth with a win an 11-8 over Snake River on Saturday in the state play-in game in Pocatello.
The Diggers will play Timberlake (15-8) which blanked Bonners Ferry 10-0 in the District 1 championship game. Both the Cougars and Diggers play their first games today at 11 a.m.
Wendell (18-7) is first up for the Firth Cougars today when 2A play begins at 9 a.m. at Nampa’s West Park Softball Complex.
Neither the Cougars nor the Trojans have a state softball win since 2007.
West Jefferson (12-14) will take on the Maniacs of Orofino (18-5) in their state opener. The Jeff made the state tournament with a 12-6 win over West Side in Saturday’s state play-in game in Pocatello.