GVSU rookie goes distance in first five starts

GVL/Spencer Miller
Courtney Reinhold

GVL/Spencer Miller

GVL/Spencer Miller Courtney Reinhold

Brodie Orent

Grand Valley State returned from Florida with a 13-4 record and the GLIAC Pitcher of the Week.

GVSU freshman Courtney Reinhold, a product of Saginaw, Mich., has been on fire to start the season. The righty is 5-1 with an ERA of just 1.07 in 39.1 innings of work, throwing 20 strikeouts and allowing just 11 runs (six earned) and six walks. She’s gone the distance in each start.

Reinhold credits her defense and coaches for the early success in her college career.

“(Assistant coach Jen Mackson) has helped tremendously, she is one of the best pitching coaches I’ve had and she is really calm, which helps us,” Reinhold said. “She doesn’t change a whole lot but makes everything that you do better and wants you to perfect every pitch.”

The freshman has an array of pitches in her arsenal with a drop ball, rise ball, drop curve, changeup and screw curve. She’s also working on a regular screwball.

Reinhold is tied with teammate Ellie Balbach for the most wins in the GLIAC with five, ranks second in complete games with five and has the third-best ERA in the conference.

“My defense has helped me tremendously,” Reinhold said. “I’m not much of a strikeout pitcher, I mostly get grounders and pop ups and have my defense help – and they’ve helped a ton.”

A big fan of Reinhold is head coach Dana Callihan. 

“Courtney is very composed and doesn’t get rattled,” Callihan said. “She has had some big games and has come in relief for us. As a freshman, you never know how they are going to handle that type of situation, but she never seems to get rattled. That’s something as a coach that is nice to have, something you can count on.”

Callihan said one of the things she likes most about Reinhold is that she’s a great team player. She gets along with everybody and is a nice personality to have around.

“She is going to be a big part of our pitching staff over the next four years, and we are hoping that she develops and becomes even stronger,” Callihan said.

Reinhold started her GVSU career on an indoor field against Upper Iowa. The Lakers won easily with a score of 8-1 as she allowed just one unearned run on seven hits. When the team left for Florida last week, Reinhold was 1-0 and still trying to prove herself.

When the Lakers arrived in Florida, she led the Lakers to a 2-1 win over Mary on March 1, giving up just one run in seven innings. In her second start of the trip, she recorded her first shutout in a 6-0 victory over Post on March 3.

Saving her best for last, Reinhold started the team’s last game in Florida against Truman State, pitching into extras as the Lakers notched a 5-3 win in nine innings. She threw a complete game, allowing just three runs on four hits – and retired the last 14 batters she faced.

As for the weekly GLIAC honor, Reinhold said she was surprised, honored and very happy about it.