ELYRIA TWP. — Perkins coach Matt Yaratch had a simple response to what happened Thursday afternoon at the Elyria Softball Complex.
“Wow. That was about all I could say,” Yaratch said after his Pirates defeated the Pioneers 5-4 in a non-league game.
It wasn’t just that the Pioneers (2-1) lost at home, which is a rare occurrence in itself, it was how they lost — committing four errors that led to three unearned runs.
It was also about who became the star of the game for Perkins (2-0) — sophomore Emily Lipstraw.
In one inning, Lipstraw, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the seventh, collected her first career hit, RBI and save.
“I feel awesome right now,” she said. “I just texted my mom and dad to tell them what happened because they weren’t here today.”
Lipstraw’s RBI single gave the Pirates a 5-2 lead in the top of the seventh but Elyria wasn’t through just yet.
Freshman Elizabeth Ellis led off the bottom of the last with a four-pitch walk against Lipstraw, who came on in relief of starter Darcy Daniel. Haley Looney followed with a triple off the fence in right-center to drive in Ellis and then scored on a fly ball off the bat of Marie Masters.
Lipstraw, however, recovered to strike out Patty Davis to end the game with the tying run on second base.
“They beat us with the game we like to use,” Elyria coach Ken Fenik said. “They put the ball in play and pitched and played defense well. They’re a good ball team.”
“I don’t know how many losses it’s going to take for this team to learn they have to play defense. To hear people in the stands saying they have never seen an Elyria team play defense like this is embarrassing to me because I like defense more than offense. That’s what Elyria has always prided itself on is defense. “
The Pirates scored two runs in the first, one on an error. They also scored unearned runs in the second and seventh innings.
Daniel held Elyria to three hits over the first six innings and helped her own cause by going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
“We knew Elyria was a really good team but we just tried to come in with positive thoughts,” Daniel said. “They are always so good it’s hard to believe we just beat them.”
Daniel said she actually approached Yaratch and suggested making the pitching change because she thought the Elyria hitters were beginning to time up her fastball.
“You always want to finish what you start but I had a lot of faith in Emily to get the job done,” Daniel said. “I thought that what was best for the team at that moment.”
The Pioneers scored two runs in the fourth inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Anna Daly and Ellis. The chance to inflict further damage was thwarted when Looney hit a hard groundball back to Daniel, who started a 1-3-2 double play to end the inning.
Ellis was strong is her first career start, striking out five and allowing two earned runs while scattering eight hits.
“For a freshman making her first high school start I’m really proud of how Ellis pitched today,” Fenik said.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.