STOW: The frigid air didn’t cool down Perry’s bats, and the Panthers cruised to an 11-0 softball win over host Stow in five innings on Wednesday.
Perry (1-1) scored two runs in the first inning, four in the second, four more in the fourth and the final run in the fifth.
The top half of Perry’s lineup got in on the action. Together, hitters one through five finished the day 10-for-14 with three walks, seven RBI, three doubles and nine runs scored.
Junior Katelyn McArthur, hitting leadoff, went 3-for-3 (two doubles, a single and reached on an error), drove in one run and scored four times. Junior Ashley Beck was 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored. Freshman Lauren Deitrick finished 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Sophomore Kassidy Troxell had three hits, two RBI and was hit by a pitch. And junior Lena Kortis was 1-for-2 and made a nice heads-up play, taking second base after a walk while Stow set up for the next batter.
It all started with McArthur, who set the stage by taking the first pitch of the game deep to right field for a double. Her next time up, she roped another double to left-center and then stole third base. She had four trips to the plate and four runs scored.
“Katelyn’s our leadoff hitter for a reason,” Perry coach Alison Heppe said. “We were hoping she’d have some productive hits and her speed is a factor also. When we can put it all together, it’s a good day for us.”
Senior starting pitcher Abby Cameron had to blow on her hand after nearly every pitch to retain feeling but was lights-out, throwing all five innings, allowing just four hits, one walk and striking out five. Only twice did a runner reach second base for Stow (1-1).
“She did a great job today,” Heppe said. “She’s our senior pitcher, she was hitting her spots. Our defense played well behind her along with getting the offensive production we needed.”
Stow’s only real scoring chance came in the fourth inning after two singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out. Cameron struck out one batter on three pitches and then induced a ground ball to third base to escape the inning unscathed.
Stow coach Doug Hawkins said this game was uncharacteristic for his team, and especially his lineup, but isn’t blaming the low temperatures.
“It’s freezing but I don’t make any excuses for the kids at all,” he said. “Perry played a nice game and they went through the motions too and got through it. It’s really not like us to do this. It’s probably the first time in seven years we’ve [lost by the mercy rule].”
Hawkins likes his lineup and says the Bulldogs will be able to hit one through nine in the order. Stow will look to get back to basics (and warmer weather that is expected this weekend).
“There’s always room for improvement and I tell them that,” Hawkins said. “We want to get better every game, obviously. We have a doubleheader this weekend and we just need to go back to work tomorrow and do the little things and get back to basics again. We are a decent hitting team, we just didn’t show it tonight. We’re hoping to get back on track on Saturday.”
Ryan Lewis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.