Softball: Hannah Perryman hits walk-off homer, fans 16 in Elgin winElgin's Hannah Perryman delivers a pitch against Larkin on Thursday at Judson University in Elgin. | Michele du Vair~For Sun-Times Media
Playing her final regular season game against rival Larkin, Elgin senior Hannah Perryman couldn’t have asked for a better finish.
Locked in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, Perryman took a first-pitch offering from Kiernan Schock and drove it over the left field fence to give the Maroons a dramatic 1-0 walk-off win under the lights at Judson University Thursday night in Upstate Eight River play.
“I was thinking base hit, and it kind of … went over,” Perryman said. “First pitch was the best to hit all night. (Schock) was doing a great job all night keeping us off balanced with that changeup.”
In the circle, Perryman (16-7) was again overpowering. The Royals (3-26, 1-14) had just one hit on the night — a leadoff single from Lexi Smithberg to start the game — as Perryman struck out 16 and walked three for a complete-game win. She now has 315 strikeouts on the year, seven short of the school record.
“It will be a nice thing to say you’ve done,” Perryman said of perhaps breaking Elizabeth Waller’s mark. “(Catcher) Kelly Bremer does everything in her power to be the best back there. The strikeouts wouldn’t be there without her.”
Overshadowed was the performance of Schock. After a bad loss to Elgin (18-10, 11-6) in the teams’ first meeting of the year, Schock, a senior, kept the Royals in it until the end, striking out two and walking four, while allowing just four hits in a complete-game effort.
When the Maroons looked poised for a breakout inning in the bottom of the third, Schock got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam, by getting a strikeout and inducing a ground out to end the threat.
“She did a great job of mixing it up,” said Elgin coach Chad Dahlman. “We were out in front. We had some opportunities but couldn’t get the big hit; give all the credit to Schock.”
Anna Eckholm and Monica Stockman (2-for-3) rounded out Elgin’s hitting. Although victim of a walk-off loss, Larkin coach Anne Vogt couldn’t have been happier about her team’s performance.
“Kiernan did a phenomenal job and our defense was the most solid it’s been all year,” Vogt said. “In the last three games we’ve turned it around a bit. As a former Royal, this is what Elgin-Larkin is all about.”