Perry baseball picks up first win, softball makes more noise, soccer teams pick up conference honors

Sean Cordy, Correspondent
Special to the Chief

In addition to some big headlines from the diamond this week, the soccer teams earned a number of accolades. (Note: Games covered June 8-13)

Softball (6-6)

Through the first eight games of conference play, the Jayettes is in the middle of the standings with a 4-4 record. For that alone, the Heart of Iowa already looks like a better home at the moment considering Perry had just two wins in the Raccoon River Conference the previous three years.

Understandably, Perry couldn’t find a fifth win over Saydel (15-0) as they are not only the conference leader, but arguably the odds-on favorite in Class 3A. Still, there’s some credit due. This year, the Eagles have scored five or more runs in 12 games, and have won by five runs more in 11 of those games. By comparison, Perry’s 4-1 loss on June 8 is an accomplishment.

Perry found itself back in the win column two days later in Nevada (5-8) where the Jayettes swept the doubleheader with scores of 4-1 and 11-0. The latter was the team’s second-largest winning margin of the season.

Lydia Olejniczak waits for the pitch during a game against Saydel on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, on Strike Out Cancer Night.

At the top of the order, Olejniczak proved that some teams may be better off giving her a free base after she drove two balls into the parking lot. Also hitting a double, Perry’s star shortstop was responsible for six RBI and four runs off three hits and a walk. She also took to the pitcher’s circle for the first time, striking out three and allowing just three batters on base.

Emmalee Bell also had a home run, driving in three runs overall for the night. Karagyn Whelchel had a two-hit performance. 

On Monday, Perry split two games against South Hamilton (7-8). Stats were not available at the time of writing.

Baseball (1-11)

After running into hurdle after hurdle, the Bluejays came out the other side with a win. 

In a doubleheader with South Hamilton (4-11), Perry came out and won 6-3 to kickoff the evening. Not only did it mark the team’s first win, but the highest-scoring game so far this year. And this game had just about all a team could ask for in a win in terms of emotion: A strong start scoring the first run, letting the lead slip away with the Hawks scoring three runs in the fourth inning, tying the game back up the next time at-bat and finally taking the final lead by scoring the most team has in a single inning all season.

And beyond the ebb and flow of the game, you couldn’t ask for much more of a team-win than Monday’s win: Every single batter got on base at least once, and eight of nine recorded a hit. While it was mostly a barrage of singles, Juan Hernandez had a key double and Bryce Anliker came through with a clutch triple. Gavin Hegstrom led the team with two RBI.

Juan Hernandez runs to third base during a game against Saydel on Wednesday, June 8, 2022, in Perry.

On the mound, Carter Iben pitched into the fifth inning, giving up five hits against three strikeouts but picked up the win.

Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time for celebration. Hamilton bounced back in the second game for a 14-4 win over Perry, making that three of the last four conference games that the Bluejays lost by at five runs.

Soccer

This week, the Heart of Iowa released its all-conference soccer teams that included a total of nine Perry players.

Perry's Anthony Chavez celebrates a goal made by Abraham Ruiz against Storm Lake during the substate semifinal on Monday, May 23, 2022, in Perry.

BOYS

Anthony Chavez (1st team - MF/F): Led the team with 22 goals

Tyler Devilbiss (1st - F): 5 goals and 3 assists

Omar Jaimes (1st - MF/F): 4 goals and 4 assists

Abe Ruiz (1st - D/MF): Led the team with 13 assists

Honorable Mention - Jonathan Barrios-Munoz (MF/F), Julian Guzman (MF)

As a team, the Bluejays finished with a 13-7 record and advanced to the regional championship, coming within two goals of a state tournament appearance.

GIRLS

1st Team - Jazmin Hernandez (1st team - D/MF)

Honorable Mention - Kim Castillo (GK), Erika Guardado (D)

*Full team and individual stats were not available for Perry’s 2022 season.

The Jayettes finished the season with a 2-15 record in a developmental season that experienced some high roster turnover, as a majority of last year’s roster graduated including the top two scorers and 10 seniors.

Perry's Jazmin Hernandez defends Des Moines Christian's Gianna Bennett on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, in Perry.