Softball: Elgin’s Perryman shuts out South ElginSouth Elgin's Sam Bolin fires a pitch against Elgin on Monday afternoon in South Elgin. | Karen Naess ~ For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 2, 2012 9:13PM
Elgin pitcher Jennah Perryman had the right stuff Monday at South Elgin. In fact, it may have been her best stuff.
The sophomore dominated Storm hitters with better speed, movement on her pitches and perfect placement in a three-hit 5-0 Upstate Eight Conference-opening victory.
“I felt like I had a lot more oomph today, and I felt like I was able to control my pitches better,” Perryman said.
Two days after she verbally committed to play at Ball State, Perryman struck out 11, walked one, and kept the Storm from getting a runner past second base.
“I keep saying, ‘that’s the best game I’ve seen you throw,’ to her, but today she was mixing it up, throwing it in, out, changing speeds. And that’s the best game I’ve seen her throw,” Elgin coach Chad Dahlman said.
Elgin (6-2, 1-0) backed Perryman with the bats and in the field, which pleased her to no end.
“As a team we worked perfectly,” she said. “It was perfect chemistry. We all hit, we all contributed to the win.”
Perryman’s sister Hannah went 4-for-4 with an RBI, sophomore shortstop Bri Wright drove in two runs, Monica Stockman had two hits, including an RBI double, and Anna Eckholm went 2-for-4 with two runs as the Maroons rapped out 11 hits off losing pitcher Sam Bolin.
Wright’s run-scoring single to right-center in the second after Jennah Perryman had reached on the game’s only error had given Elgin a lead it maintained until the fifth. Then the Maroons scored in each of the last three innings. But Jennah Perryman made all the runs except the first one superfluous.
“She had 11 strikeouts,” South Elgin coach Jason Schaal said. “We only had three hits. I know she (Perryman) scored two runs. Obviously we scored zero, so she would have beat us by herself. She’s an exceptional pitcher.
“Our biggest weakness right now has been our offense.”
South Elgin (2-10) struggled through a winless trip to Tennessee over spring break with problems scoring. The Storm is hoping to get Kara Rodriguez in the lineup after her fall knee surgery, and she swung a bat in pregame.
“We’ve got to get a couple hits together,” Schaal said. “Three hits in a game isn’t going to do you too much especially when they’re two innings apart.”
The Storm started like it would break on top. With two out, Alyssa Buddle singled in the first and stole second, then Sara Irving got hit by a pitch. Facing one of the Storm’s best hitters, Bolin, Perryman got a strikeout and seemed to grow much stronger after that point.
“It gave me a lot of confidence,” Perryman said. “I wasn’t too worried about it when it came up because I feel I’m a confident pitcher, but I felt then like I’d be OK.”
Relying extensively on her changeup and rise ball, Perryman set down 14 straight starting with that strikeout of Bolin. At one point, she struck out seven out of eight and the only non-strikeout was a diving catch in center field by her sister.
Taylor Rees, who relieved Bolin in the seventh, had the Storm’s only extra-base hit, a two-out seventh-inning double.
“If we can play like this, especially like this with what we’ve got coming up, seven games in six days, it’s a good start,” Dahlman said. “We’ve got to come back and play Bartlett (today). These are the two teams we just haven’t seemed to be able to beat the last couple years.”