Throughout the season, Tina Lutterman has handed out commemorative paper cutouts for players’ successes. She was lucky to have cut out extra to hand out Thursday.
Taking on Woodward-Granger (5-13) just down the highway, Perry (2-12) landed a giant 12-1 win with plenty to celebrate.
An Inning for the Ages
Over the last six games, Perry scored just five runs and was shut out four times. So not only did the Jayettes production in Woodward outdo the past two weeks of games combined, they only needed one magical nine-run inning to make it happen.
Perry’s momentum was enough to get almost everyone two at-bats in the third inning, and it all started with back-to-back-to-back hits from Kennedy Tunink, Macy Killmer and Molly Lutmer.
The hits came automatically from that point, forcing errors all over the field from the Hawks, scoring five consecutive runs. All but one of the nine batters turned their at-bat into a score, with Tunink getting through for two runs.
“We definitely deserved this one,” Lutterman said after playing a dozen ranked opponents so far this season. “I feel we played hard. We were confident in all the things that we talk about, that we try to bring out on a daily basis.”
The last time Perry scored that many runs in a single frame was a game against Des Moines North during the Jayettes’ 26-win season. While Tunink scored twice in one inning, Lutmer got on 4-of-4 times, and Cassidy Heck also earned two runs throughout the night.
Shriver’s Prove-It Moment
Helping get those runs through was boosted in confidence at the bottom of the order.
Jasmine Shriver started the season out in centerfield but had been replaced by Kathryn West over time. Taking reps with the JV team, Shriver earned back a shot with the varsity squad and entered Thursday as the designated hitter.
After Shriver let by a couple pitches, Lutterman voiced from the third base line to stay confident with a swing.
She connected and laid the ball right out of reach at third base. Two runs on the board and she logged her first extra base hit of the season.
Her work wasn’t done yet. The next inning, she drove in another two teammates for four total RBI.
“I feel like in the beginning I was scared to mess up and lose my spot, and then I did lose my spot. But it didn’t hurt as bad as not being there for my team. So I knew I need to get my head in the game and my confidence up,” Shriver said. “It was fun. I was there for my teammates when they needed me.”
Wins Beyond the Scoreboard
While no decibel reading is available, the difference between the dugouts’ energy levels were palpable. But the noise from the Jayettes didn’t come out of nowhere, it’s an atmosphere Lutterman said she’s seen encouraging signs, particularly in the previous game against Winterset.
Though the team lost in a 9-0 contest, Lutterman said the work Jayna Kenney (who had five strikeouts in Thursday’s win) put in making batters chase pitches, and others laying down bunts that may not normally bunt, among other efforts Tuesday flashed signs of promise on the field. Those moments were heightened by the team’s energy and fed into the larger accomplishments in Woodward.
“I felt the energy was still good even though we didn’t get the W (Tuesday night),” Lutterman said. “We’re learning that there are ways we can win. Small wins still count. And I guess that’s what we’re playing for so we can find the big wins. We’re gonna play for the things we’re doing well.”
Up Next: Collins-Maxwell (Friday)
The Jayettes take on yet another ranked opponent, this time in the form of the Spartans led by a dominant senior pitcher. Mikayla Houge has allowed just seven runs all season and averages nearly 10 strikeouts per game.