Tuesday, March 26, 2019 Elyria 28°

Diamond Report

H.S. Softball: Sydney Campbell downright dominant again as Keystone improves to 11-0

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    Keystone's Sydney Campbell gets ready to fire a pitch Saturday during the Wildcats' win over Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary.


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    Keystone's Autumn Acord slides safely into third base April 14.


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    Keystone's Brooke Piazza hits an RBI single in the third inning April 14.


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    Keystone's Marlie McNulty steals second base April 14.


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    Ali Pyles makes a throw for Keystone on April 14.



LAGRANGE — Sydney Campbell was no longer perfect Saturday.

Keystone gladly settled for dominant.

Campbell capped a week in which she threw back-to-back perfect games with a four-hit, one-walk gem, striking out seven. The Wildcats gave her more than enough run support in a 7-0 victory against St. Vincent-St. Mary.

She improved to 9-0 on the year and helped Keystone to an 11-0 start.

“I just made sure my pitches were moving,” Campbell said. “I threw hard and if they hit it I knew my defense was going to have my back. I knew they were going to be better hitters than what we have been facing. I was focused on keeping the ball low so we could get ground balls and easy outs for our defense.”

The Irish (3-10) found themselves behind from the get-go. Keystone scored on back-to-back hits with two outs in the first when Autumn Acord fired a shot into left field and Brooke Piazza drove her in with a double.

The duo, along with leadoff hitter Marlie McNulty, got things going again in the third. McNulty started things with a single into right and moved to second on Madi Herrington’s sacrifice bunt.

Acord drew a walk and Piazza shot her second double over second base, scoring McNulty. A hit batter and a walk brought Acord home, making it 3-0.

“I knew I had to do my job as a senior and as a leader,” Piazza said. “I had to bring those runs in and make things easier on our defense. We just got better little by little each inning and once we started we just didn’t stop.”

Campbell’s bid for a third straight perfect game ended in the second with a walk, but she retired 11 of the first 12 batters before allowing the first hit to Tara Lanham.

She was never in trouble, facing no more than four batters in an inning and without a runner advancing past first base.

“She was placing the ball where we needed it to be,” Keystone coach Jim Piazza said. “They put the ball in play, but that’s good because we want our defense to get some work too because she’s not going to strike out everybody. Pretty much all of her pitches were working.

“Overall, it’s hard to grip the ball when it’s wet, but that’s not an excuse. They stood in the box and looked strong.”

With Campbell in lockdown mode, the Keystone bats eventually broke things open.

The Wildcats twice had bases loaded with two outs but couldn’t deliver a knockout hit. That changed in the sixth, as McNulty led off with a home run and three of the next four Wildcats got hits — Acord and Shelby Fortune each driving in a run to make it 7-0.

“Autumn has just been on fire for us lately and when Marley starts things for us, great things happen,” Jim Piazza said. “We tell her, ‘when you get on base, we score runs.’ We have the people behind them who come through, and today especially when they got on we had some big hits to bring them in.”

Contact Chris Sweeney at 440-329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com. Follow him @CSweeneyCT on Twitter.

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