BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
DONNELLSON – Central Lee’s Sophie Turner threw a five-inning perfect game against Holy Trinity Catholic Tuesday night in a 10-0 five inning affair in Donnellson.
The Crusaders have lost their last six games in a row and Head Coach Loren Menke said the Crusaders have also lost their confidence.
“We’re just not playing very well right now,” he said. “Our girls have lost their confidence at the plate. We’ve seen good pitching early and we’re able to hit it. We’re just not doing that now.”
Turner had it on cruise control with the only real test coming in the top of the second with the score tied at 0-0. Turner and sophomore Kayla Box engaged in an 11-pitch battle with Box fouling off seven pitches, the first of which went about 245 feet over the left field fence just foul. The ball cleared the fence about 15 feet in the air.
Turner actually threw what would be considered a perfect game not allowing a single base runner by walk or hit.
Central Lee put up seven runs in the bottom of the second when Shanna Buford, Makayla Morrison, Abby Simmons and Carlee Pezley all reached on consecutive hits to open the inning. Morrison’s hit scored Buford and then Simmons doubled to plate Morrison. Pezley’s single would score Simmons before HTC hurler Mary Hellige got Turner to ground out to Box at third.
Bailey Schwartz would then start things up again with a one-out single. She would eventually get forced on a fielder’s choice at third for the second out, but a double by Meghan Hopp and an error on a grounder to short would allow three more runs to score to give the Hawks an early 7-0 lead.
HTC would surrender another run in the bottom of the third on an error at shortstop, but Hellige would get the Hawks 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the fourth.
Central Lee would get the needed two runs for the 10-run rule in the bottom of the fifth when Morrison hit a lead-off single. After a flyout to right field, Pezley would single moving Morrison to third. She would come around to score on a infield throwing error by the Crusaders.
Pezley would steal second and come around to score with two outs. Turner sacrificed Pezley to third on a bunt for the second out, and then Schwartz scorched a liner back up the middle to plate Pezley with the game winner.
Central Lee Head Coach Tiffany Woodruff said it was probably one of the cleanest games the Lady Hawks have played this year.
“Pretty close. We had to move our infield out a few times, but being able to finally have a set infield and deciding on our defense – it’s looking pretty sharp now,” she said.
“Throughout the season we’ve had to move people around and I just feel like we’re getting kind of set and getting that chemistry built up.”
The Hawks host two doubleheaders this week with Davis County (12-4) Wednesday and New London (4-12) on Thursday, before traveling to Hillcrest Academy on Friday. Central Lee has played only one doubleheader all season and that was a split with Fort Madison in Fort Madison.
Woodruff said the twinbills are little tough on pitching.
“I think it’s gonna hurt pitching just because that’s kind of our weakness only with Turner. Meghan does a good job, but Turner does most of the work. But our defense will stick around and we should be pretty stellar there.”
Davis County’s sophomore hurler Madison Barker is 8-4 on the year and has struck out 128 hitters this year and could pose problems for the Lady Hawks Wednesday.
Hellige went the distance for the Crusaders scattering 14 hits and giving up 10 runs, all earned with no strikeouts or walks. Turner had a perfect line going five innings and gathering four strikeouts.
Buford, Morrison, Pezley, and Simmons all had multiple hit games for Central Lee (8-4, 4-2). Hopp had two RBI on the night.
Holy Trinity falls to 2-6 in Southeast Superconference South play and 3-8 overall. The girls lost 13-5 Monday night at Cardinal after leading 2-1 three innings into the contest. They host Danville Thursday and then travel to Winfield-Mt. Union on Friday night.