ADM (17-2, 7-1) is currently the top-ranked team in Class 4A, but few squads test the Tigers in every meeting as much as Perry (9-8, 2-6) does.
The Tigers received four walks and a hit batsman Wednesday, but it was a trio of Jayette errors that led to four of the five runs they scored being unearned, a difference that turned a 2-1 loss into a 5-2 Raccoon River Conference victory.
The game featured the two pitchers who lead 4A in strikeouts last season, as ADM senior Molly Jacobsen had 386 whiffs and Perry junior Emma Olejniczak 261, which was 63 K’s clear of third place. Entering Wednesday’s tilt, the duo were once again the top strikeout queens of 4A, with Jacobsen fanning 209 in 112 innings and Olejniczak 134 in 94.2 frames.
Jacobsen was her usual stingy self, yielding two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out 10. Olejniczak — who passed the 700 career strikeout mark in the game — allowed only two hits while striking out six.
Free passes set the stage for all of ADM’s runs, but the first four were helped across the dish after reaching base thanks to meltdowns by the Perry defense.
Shannan Jones drew a one-out walk in the second and raced to third when Montanna Popp reached safely on a sacrifice bunt with an errant throw. Popp then began to dance between first and second base, trying to distract the Jayette defense enough to allow Jones to break home from third base.
The ploy failed, as Olejniczak smartly ran directly at Popp, forcing her to commit one way or the other. The Perry pitcher flipped to second baseman Sid Vancil, who swiftly fired a strike to catcher Brooke Huntington in plenty of time to nail Jones at the plate. A second errant throw on the play allowed Popp to race to third, from where she scored on a wild pitch.
Two-out walks to Kila Carbine and Jones in the fourth proved fatal to Perry, as an outfield error that should have ended the inning allowed Carbine and Jones to score and Popp to speed to second base. She scored from there on a two-strike single from Lexi Wyant for a 4-0 ADM lead.
Perry immediately responded, with Jo Diw walking to start the home half of the fourth. Two short fly outs kept her on first base, but the speedy sophomore raced all the way home when Rachel Kinney doubled off the bottom of the fence in left field. Olejniczak followed with a single to score Kinney, halving Perry’s deficit in the process.
Olejniczak worked around one-out walks in both the fifth and sixth innings and received a fine play from right fielder Rachel Kinney on what looked like a clean single from the left-handed hitting Popp, but Kinney charged hard and fired a bullet to Maddie West at the bag for the out.
Kinney and center fielder Alyssa Kruger both had fine running catches at different points in the game to rob ADM batters of hits, with Diw making a lunging scoop of a little blooper in the infield to prevent another hit.
Maddy Jans singled with one down in the Perry fifth but was stranded at second after a Gabby West sac bunt, with Jacobsen pitching a 1-2-3 sixth.
ADM added an insurance run in the seventh when Gabbie Glenn was hit by a pitch with one down. She stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored when Jacobsen doubled into right-center. A strikeout ended the rally, but Perry could get nothing going in their final at-bat and suffered the loss.
Perry will visit Saydel tonight before playing twice Friday and twice Saturday in Roland as part of the annual Roland-Story Kiwanis Tournament. All four Perry games will be on the north field, with Perry to face Roland-Story at 1:30 p.m. Friday and South Hamilton at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday will see Perry pitted against Mt. Vernon at 10:30 a.m. and Gilbert at 4:30 p.m.
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