Defense sparks Perry girls to pair of wins at tournament

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Perry second baseman Sid Vancil throws to first base for an out against ADM Wednesday.

ROLAND — The Perry softball team played error-free ball Friday at the Roland-Story Kiwanis Tournament, helping the Jayettes improve to 12-8 overall with wins of 2-0 over the hosts and of 4-1 over South Hamilton.

Emma Olejniczak allowed three hits and two walks while shutting out the hosts in Perry’s opening game. She struck out 10 batters in tossing her seventh shutout of the season.

Perry was on the board for the first time with a run in the top of the fifth. Brooke Huntington singled and Maddie West walked to start the rally, with an error followed by a Jo Diw RBI-single giving the Jayettes a 1-0 lead.

Diw tripled and second on a Sid Vancil RBI-ground out in the seventh to account for the other Jayette run.

Diw was 2-for-4 with a triple and a RBI, with Olejniczak, Huntington, Gabby West and Alyssa Kruger all adding base hits.

Olejniczak yielded a run on seven hits while striking out nine in defeating the Hawks in Perry’s second game. She did not issue a walk in the win and received plenty of help from her defense, which, according to head coach Tina Kenney, made a series of dynamic plays.

“They (South Hamiton) hit well and our defense had to play really tough,” Kenney explained. “Jo (Diw) had the best fake-throw-tag-the-runner on second base I have every seen and Maddy Jans turned a double play on a popped up bunt.

“Brooke (Huntington) threw out a runner trying to steal second and Alyssa (Kruger) ran down a deep fly in right-center,” she continued. “Sid (Vancil) also made two diving plays to throw out girls. A great game!”

Perry seized a 2-0 lead when Jans walked and moved to second on a Huntington sacrifice in the bottom of the second. Maddie West followed with a single, with Gabby West’s base hit plating one run and a Diw sacrifice fly another.

The Hawks plated a run in the top of the fourth to halve their deficit, but Gabby West singled in two runs in the sixth that, combined with continued defensive brilliance, helped deliver the win to the Jayettes.

Saturday will see Perry pitted against Mt. Vernon at 10:30 a.m. and Gilbert at 4:30 p.m. in the final day of the tourney.

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