Softball: Hannah Perryman fans 15 in Elgin triumphElgin's Hannah Perryman pitches during the fourth inning at St. Charles East High School in St. Charles, Ill., on Wednesday, May 9, 2012.
| Andrew A. Nelles~For Sun-Times Media |
Updated: May 9, 2012 9:40PM
British prime minister Margaret Thatcher was the original “Iron Lady,” but Elgin pitcher Hannah Perryman has earned the title for the Maroons this season.
The senior Missouri-St. Louis recruit has had to carry virtually the entire pitching burden with sister Jennah limited to batting duties due to a shoulder injury, and she just keeps on striking out batters. Hannah Perryman struck out 15 St. Charles East batters Wednesday and benefited from an Anna Eckholm home run off the foul pole in the Maroons’ 4-1 Upstate Eight River road victory.
“It’s tough, but I like it. I do well with it,” Perryman said about doing all the pitching. “I’m sore, but it’s fun.
“I just try to get ahead more often, and stay ahead, like coach (Chad Dahlman) says all the time. Then I’m throwing fewer pitches.”
Perryman will pitch for the third straight day in tonight’s game against rival Larkin at Judson University (7 p.m.).
“She’s been able to get some rest,” Dahlman said. “We got rained out of our tournament last Saturday and she’ll pitch three days in a row this week but then get a break.
“In summer, some of these pitchers go three games or more in a few days in 100-degree heat.”
Perryman (14-7) pulled to 299 strikeouts for the year, 23 short of the school record set by Elizabeth Waller in 1996. She allowed five hits and walked three against a Saints team that knew her well, including her Wasco Diamonds summer ball teammates Alexis Perez and Casey Basic.
“I just kind of have to make it move a little bit more against them,” Perryman said. “They know what’s coming.”
Perryman got Perez in the fifth, which proved Elgin’s key defensive inning. Perez, who singled in the Saints’ only run in the seventh, grounded out to second with the bases loaded for the last out in the fifth with the score 3-0.
The Saints (17-10, 8-7) left runners in scoring position in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh innings. Twice Perryman got strikeouts to end the threat and let her infield do the work the other two times as she beat the Saints for the second time. The Maroons won the April 24 matchup at Elgin 3-1.
“Hats off to her; she beat us again,” said Saints coach Kelly Horan. “We would have a couple good at-bats, get on base and have runners on and then have a poor at-bat. That poor at-bat — swinging at bad pitches — is deflating.”
Shannon Pedersen (10-4) took the loss, allowing seven hits without a walk. She struck out three.
Elgin (17-10, 10-6) struck in the first when Eckholm singled, moved up on Bri Wright’s sacrifice, and scored on Hannah Perryman’s single to center.
It was 1-0 in the fifth when Eckholm came up with two out and Kendra Johnson on first after a single. She ripped a high shot well up the left-field foul pole that caromed then off the fence and caused some confusion at first as to whether it was actually a home run.
“I was just running with my head down and I just stopped at second,” Eckholm said. “I didn’t even know it hit the foul pole.
“I just got ahold of it and took it out.”
Elgin got its fourth run in the sixth when Perryman singled, moved up on a ground out, stole third and scored on Jennah Perryman’s single.
The timely hitting pleased Dahlman, but so did Elgin’s flawless defense despite playing with Caroline Sobeski at first base for injured first baseman Monica Stockman (knee).
“Caroline has played, I think, four or five different positions for us this year,” Dahlman said. “Girls have been willing to play different positions and that’s great because they’re stepping up.
“Hopefully we can stay healthy the rest of the year and finish out with everyone at their positions.”