By Jeff Webster
Host Perry finished 2-1 after a day of softball at the annual Paul and Mary Ann Graves Classic at Pattee Park Saturday.
Perry fell to Interstate-35, 4-0, in their first game before defeating Prairie Valley, 5-2, in their second game of the event. The Jayette bats erupted in the nightcap as the hosts posted a 15-2 win over Guthrie Center.
Woodward-Granger was also in action, topping IKM-Manning, 4-3, and Saydel, 7-4, before falling to Van Meter, 11-4 (see story, this page).
In other games, it was Van Meter over Saydel, 9-8, and Saydel over Prairie Valley, 11-5. IKM-Manning edged Van Meter, 6-4 and fell to I-25, 9-2, with Guthrie Center downed by I-35, 9-1, and by Prairie Valley, 8-2.
Junior Lindsey Kunch was scorching hot at the plate for Perry. After finishing hitless in three at-bats in Perry’s first game Kunch went wild with the bat, recording eight consecutive hits to finish 8-for-12 on the day. She rapped three doubles and a triple, crushed her first career home run, scored three times and drove in five runs.
Katelyn Whelchel had Perry’s only hit against I-35, as Roadrunner starter Caitin Weeks handcuffed the Jayettes by issuing no walks and striking out five in seven innings of work.
The Roadrunners scored twice in the fourth and twice in the fifth to chase Alexa Gilmore, who was handed the loss after yielding four runs (three earned) on seven hits. Emma Olejniczak allowed two hits in two innings of scoreless relief. Gilmore finished with five strikeouts and Olejniczak with four.
Brooke Brommel hit a home run to highlight the offense for I-35.
Julie Diw’s two-run single gave Perry a 2-0 lead over Prairie Valley after one inning, but Clara Pearson hit a two-out, two-run double in the top of the third to tie the game for the Warriors.
Kylie Brandt doubled, with courtesy runner Maddy Jans scoring on an error for a 3-2 Perry lead in the fourth.
The third of Kunch’s three-straight doubles plated two Perry runs in the bottom of the sixth to help secure the win.
Olejniczak allowed two runs on three hits and a walk in four frames to pick up the win, with Gilmore collecting a save with three innings of one-hit, one-walk relief. The former had six strikeouts and the latter one.
Brandt doubled home a run in the second inning for a 1-0 edge against Guthrie Center, with Kunch swatting a two-run home run to deep center field in the third while Brandt doubled again and Ellie Nielsen scored on a Gilmore ground out in the fourth as the margin grew to 4-0.
Rachel Long hit a long, two-run home run down the line in left field to trim the Tiger deficit to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth but Perry responded in big fashion to blow the game open.
Frankie Eklund doubled to open the Perry fifth and scored one a wild pitch after Katie England was hit with a pitch. Diw ripped a long two-run homer to left-center to push the Perry lead to 7-2, with three more base hits scoring three more Jayettes for a 10-2 lead.
Kunch, who had singled in the first and tripled in the fourth was finally retired on a pop out in the seventh after Gilmore doubled. Whelchel singled home a run, with Eklund tattooing a line drive blast over the fence in left for a 13-2 lead. Three singles and an error added two final runs for Perry.
Rachel Kinney had two hits in the game for Perry as every Jayette had at least one hit.
Gilmore tossed 3-1/3 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and one walk with three strikeouts in earning the win. Olejniczak threw the final 3-2/3 frames, but as she entered with Perry leading by only two runs was awarded a save. She allowed two hits and struck out four.