Strong pitching carries South Elgin past Metea
Updated: May 17, 2011 9:03PM
Pitching a shut out isn’t easy — South Elgin’s Sam Bolin knows that — yet she has managed to throw six this season.
The junior helped blank Metea Valley 5-0 Tuesday in an Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division, error-free game. The win — Bolin’s 14th — also set a single-season record for victories.
“Sam has done a great job this year,” South Elgin coach Jason Schaal said. “She’s only a junior, so she’s going to surpass some career numbers also. I’m very proud of her.”
“It’s pretty cool, but honestly, it’s not just me, it’s the team helping me,” said Bolin, who improved to 14-10 after allowing six hits, no walks and three strikeouts. “(The shutout was) big for us. I’m happy I have a team behind me I trust.”
The shutout is rare for Metea Valley (14-10, 9-8). It has only happened one other time this year against rival Neuqua Valley. In the 24 games the Mustangs have played, they have scored 211 runs for an average of 8.7 per game.
“I don’t think we swung at very good pitches,” Metea Valley coach Kris Kalivas said. “We pretty much played into (Bolin’s) hand and swung at the pitches she wanted us to. We went 0-2 a lot in the count and were forced to be into a defensive situation at the plate instead of being aggressive from the start.”
South Elgin (18-13, 10-8), which fell to Metea Valley 17-3 on April 29, scored four runs in the fifth on four hits. With one out, Sara Irving drew a walk. Her pinch-runner, Natalie Tortorici, got to second on a Victoria Watt single in the next at-bat. Leadoff batter Katelyn Stonecipher’s single loaded the bases.
The next batter, Kara Rodriguez, hit a two-RBI single that allowed Tortorici and Watt to score. Stonecipher and Rodriguez also scored when Shannon Conway hit a two-RBI double to push the lead to 4-0. In the sixth with two outs, Irving smashed a solo home run to left field.
“We’ve played games where we have lost games by two runs, one run and we get runners on and don’t get that big hit,” Schaal said. “Today, we got a couple of hits...that’s what you need against good teams. Metea Valley, for a first-year varsity program, I give Kris all the credit in the world...they are returning their entire team next year, and they will be a force in our division and in the Upstate Eight Conference.”
Metea Valley’s best opportunity to score was in the first. The Mustangs ended up leaving three on base in that inning and a total of six stranded all game.
“I don’t think we played our game,” Kalivas said. “Defensively, we were OK and pitching-wise we were successful because we kept the ball down and we hit our spots. But then, we started to hang the ball and not hit our spots, and they took advantage of that.”