After savoring a Raccoon River Conference (RRC) championship and perusing the menu at last season’s state softball tournament, the Perry Jayettes’ fast start has them believing, “a table for 13 at state” might be needed.
“We do want to win state!,” Tina Kenny, Jayette head coach explained. “It was great to get a taste of the postseason last year and this year we want it all. We want to finish stronger in our conference and find a way to compete in every game.”
So far this season the Jayettes (7-2, 3-1) have followed their head coach’s recipe to the final out.
Recently the team has been on a tear posting a five game winning streak where they outscored their competition 36 to 4 and in the process recording three straight shutouts.
On May 31, they beat host the Carroll Tigers 16-2. The following day they were in Boone where they took care of the Toreadors 3-0 before winning Saturday’s tournament at Perry, 8-0 against Van Meter and 3-0 against Interstate 35, Truro.
Kenny attributed the solid start to the play and leadership of her seniors whose mentoring stretches far beyond the playing field.
We have four experienced seniors who all contribute in different ways but each brings something intangible to the field, the coach noted.
“Johanna Diw is a game changer” Kenny said. “She sees the ball well at the plate and has a great read on balls hit her way. She has continued this season the way she ended last season. “Emma Olejniczak is giving solid and consistent effort in every game in the circle and at the plate.”
Olejniczak’s arm has been a reason for the team’s early success. In nine starts she posts a 7-2 record with an ERA of one and is the RRC leader in strikeouts with 91. Her strikeouts place her fourth in the state.
Batters are also hitting a low .169 against her, which is second in the conference and she’s averaging just one walk a game.
As a team Offensively as a team the Jayettes bats have been dining on their opponent’s pitching. In nine games they’ve crossed the plate 45 times, have 78 hits, 5-home runs, 42 RBIs, and have a .318 batting average.
Leading the way is Diw who is averaging a .485 at the plate with a team leading 4-home runs, 9-RBIs, 12 runs and 16 hits.
“Rachel Kinney and Alyssa Kruger are hard girls to get out and are tough in our outfield,” Kenny said.
Both Kinney and Kruger are hitting .393 with 11 hits and six RBIs a piece. Teammate Maddie West also has 11 hits and his hitting .407 with 11 hits and 5-RBIs.
Currently the team sits in third place in the conference just a half game back of first place the Winterset Huskies (8-2, 3-0).
Unfortunately for the Jayettes, they had their five game winning streak snapped on June 5, in a 11-5 contest against the visiting Carlisle Wildcats.
Currently the team sits in third place in the conference just a game back of first place the Winterset Huskies (11-2, 4-0).