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Cape Central softball team pounces on Perryville in opener
PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Kadie Orenstein had an eight-run lead before she ever took the circle Wednesday.
It was that kind of day for both the Central and Perryville softball teams as they opened their seasons.
Central got its campaign off to a rousing start by scoring eight runs in the first inning and crushing the host Pirates 13-0. The game was stopped after five innings by the 10-run mercy rule.
"I thought it was great," Central junior right fielder Becky Kitchen said. "The team came out and played very well."
Orenstein, a junior who already is in her third year as a mainstay on Central's pitching staff, was the beneficiary of that early explosion.
"It was relaxing," she said. "But I knew I had to still come out with my game face on because there was still going to be a game left."
Orenstein made sure the Pirates never got back in the contest. She fired a one-hitter and walked one while striking out four. Perryville had just two baserunners.
"I was just trying to mix it up and catch the batters off guard," Orenstein said. "Me and my catcher have been working on a lot of pitches."
Central coach Amy Blattel credited Orenstein and sophomore catcher Sarah Kitchen for meshing well together.
"I feel very confident with Kadie on the mound, and Sarah does a good job behind the plate," Blattel said.
The Tigers took advantage of wildness by Perryville junior Kelcie Fahnestock to turn things into a rout right off the bat.
Fahnestock walked five and hit one during the top of the first inning that lasted 20 minutes and saw Central send 12 batters to the plate.
"We were patient at the plate when she was struggling in the strike zone," Blattel said. "She's a good pitcher, and Perryville is a good team."
Two of the walks in the first inning came with the bases loaded to force in runs. Another run scored on a wild pitch.
Central had just three hits in the frame. The big blow was a three-run double by senior second baseman Bailey Kratochvil that completed the inning's scoring.
Becky Kitchen and junior left fielder Samantha McLemore added RBI singles in the frame.
"It was pretty good," Orenstein said about the huge first inning. "It's exciting to know we can come out with the bats."
The Tigers scored two unearned runs in the second inning to make it 10-0. Sophomore center fielder Madison Daum had an RBI single.
Central finished the romp with a three-run fifth inning that featured RBI singles by Orenstein, Becky Kitchen and sophomore third baseman Winnie Smee.
Orenstein was asked if she was surprised by the lopsided victory over a team that has been among the area's better squads over the past few years.
"No. I have a lot of confidence in my team this year," Orenstein said.
Becky Kitchen led Central's eight-hit attack by going 3 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. She also made the defensive play of the day, a shoestring catch on a line drive.
"She made two really nice plays in right field and hit the ball well," Blattel said.
Daum and senior shortstop Tatiana Reagan added two RBIs apiece for the Tigers.
"It's always good to get one under your belt," said Blattel, whose young squad featuring just two seniors did not commit an error. "We played well."
Fahnestock pitched all five innings. She allowed 11 earned runs and walked nine while hitting two batters.
"She pitched six, seven games for us last year," Perryville coach Jeff Steffens said. "Hopefully it was just a bad start. She seemed to settle down a little bit after the first inning."
Michaela Cavins had Perryville's only hit, a double over the first-base bag to lead off the third inning.
"Central's pitcher is very good," Steffens said.
Steffens, whose squad also is young, was encouraged that the Pirates were fairly solid defensively.
"Not much went right today, but it's a long season," he said. "We start four freshmen in the field. We'll probably have some growing pains early. But we only made one error."
WP -- Kadie Orenstein. LP -- Kelcie Fahnestock. 2B -- Becky Kitchen (C), Bailey Kratochvil (C), Michaela Cavins (P). Multiple hits -- Central: Kitchen 3-4. Records -- Central 1-0, Perryville 0-1.