Tigers pounce on first victory

Thursday, September 3, 2009 ~ Updated 12:15 AM
Central's Brittany Perkins pitches against Jackson on Wednesday at Central High School. Perkins allowed four hits in the Tigers' 3-1 victory. (Kit Doyle)

Brittany Perkins hurled a gem and the Central softball team scored enough to knock off Jackson 3-1 for its first victory of the season.

The Tigers took advantage of two hits and three walks in the fifth inning to gain a lead they never relinquished Wednesday at Central High School.

"Everything clicked today," Central coach Amy Blattel said. "I thought offensively we were much more aggressive than what we have been. Defensively we made plays. We made a couple of mistakes, but after those mistakes we fought back and didn't give them anything. Pitchingwise I thought we did an excellent job hitting spots and mixing up speeds."

Perkins allowed one unearned run, four hits, three walks and struck out two batters in seven innings.

"I stayed focused," Perkins said. "I had good help behind me, and a good catcher, and good teammates to support me."

Central (1-3) scored twice in the bottom of the second on a pair of two-out, bases-loaded walks. Cally Nepp drew the first walk off Indians starter Ashley Cook to bring home Lexi Smith, and Victoria Schabbing then walked to score Tori Ourth for a 2-0 Central lead.

Cook threw six innings, allowed two earned runs, five hits, three walks and struck out four.

"She's pitched well for us," Jackson coach Amanda Forester said. "We just had the one bad inning we couldn't pull it through, and other than that she came out and had quite a few strikeouts to help us out. We just couldn't push the runs over for her."

Jackson (2-3) almost broke through in the fifth inning.

Cook led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two consecutive walks loaded the bases with one out, but Perkins got Brooke Whitledge to ground to shortstop Bailey Kratochvil, who forced the runner at home, and retired Tory Smith on a comebacker to the mound to end the threat.

"We need to have better hitting in some key situations," Forester said. "We were getting some base runners on and couldn't get them across the plate."

"They beared down," Blattel said of her team in the fifth inning. "I think [catcher] Taylre Scott did a really good job going out and talking to Brittany. I thought Brittany did a really good job of just letting her pitches go and not thinking about them. That was a big key. All those plays were huge. It got the team up and motivated us offensively. If we miss those plays, it's an entirely different ballgame."

Central added its final run in the sixth inning with the help of a single and a throwing error.

Jackson threatened to make a comeback in the seventh.

After an error and a base hit, the Indians made it 3-1 when Tory Smith lined a double off the third baseman's glove with two outs. With runners at second and third, Perkins coaxed a groundout to seal the victory.

"It is a big win," Blattel said. "It sets the bar. We know what to expect and we know the feeling of winning. We shouldn't expect anything less than that every day."


WP -- Brittany Perkins. LP -- Ashley Cook. 2B -- Lexi Smith (C), Taylre Scott (C). Multiple Hits -- Jackson; Megan Dockins 2-3, Central; Smith 2-3. Records: Jackson 2-3, Central 1-3.

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