Things to Know: Jayettes tested like never before

Sean Cordy - Correspondent
Perry Chief

The Jayettes finally got over the hump after a couple seasons teasing postseason success. They met their match in the second round to a state-bound favorite, and as the record shows, that was par for the course as Perry didn’t catch many breaks this season.

In reflection for the year, there might be more wins than the final standings suggest for Perry.

Schedule was no joke

This was a wood chipper of a season which featured nine games against ranked opponents. Not only were they ranked, Collins-Maxwell (1A) is the odds-on favorites to win a state title while Winterset defeated Carlisle for the 4A title.

Overall, Perry’s opponents combined for a 61.5 winning percentage, the sixth-highest in the Class 4A. Adding to the strength of schedule, two of the teams with tougher slates also hail from the Raccoon River Conference. The RRC was no joke this year.

Making improvements

Sticking with the strength of schedule for another moment — last year’s opponents ranked 31st with a 53.5 win percentage. In 2019, the Jayettes’ average margin was a 6.1 run loss.

Against steeper competition this year, Perry saw a slight uptick in overall production with an average margin of 5.9 runs. A marginal improvement, but one all the same that proved to have enough clout to win the first round of regionals.

The Jayettes’ improvements were felt down the line as they either stayed in place or increased production in most major stat categories compared to 2019.

On-Base Percentage: .295 (2018) / .312 (2019)

Total Bases: 6.3 / 6.6 per game

Fielding Percentage: .858 / .868

Strikeouts Thrown/Inning: 2.1 / 2.7

Returning players

Good news: Only two full-time starters won’t be back next season. Molly Lutmer and Cassidy Heck appeared in all 19 games, leaving behind on-base percentages of .269 and .296 respectively. Three more seniors leave vacancies as well, though only Bella Nath was on the team for more than one season. And all four of the Jayettes on the all-conference team are projected to come back for next year.

Bad news: The rest of the conference brings back a bulk of playmakers as well. Of the top hitters with at least a .300 batting average, only 16 are seniors while 34 juniors and sophomores occupy the list. On the opposite end of the plate, only three of 16 pitchers are 2020 graduates.