Originally Published on: 2010-09-29
Only nine opponents score in Oakville’s first 17 games.
By Mark McNamara
For the Call
Senior Night went nearly perfect for the Oakville Tigers softball team last week in its 8-1 win over Marquette High School.
Senior Remy Edwards was pitching a perfect game in the 17th outing of Oakville’s perfect season until the seventh inning Sept. 23 when Marquette leadoff hitter Ashley Elliott powered a double to right-center field.
“It was something I really wanted because it was Senior Night. It would have been icing on the cake. That girl got a good hit off me, though, so I have to hold my head high,” Edwards said.
Marquette’s Kristin Lee nearly ended the perfect game in the top of the fifth with a hard line drive to the right side, but Oakville second baseman Baeley Reed snagged the hot shot.
“As soon as it was hit, I knew it was through. It was earlier in the game so I was thinking: ‘All right, that’s better than in the bottom of the seventh,’ but little Baels has my back,” Edwards said.
Edwards struck out 15 of 23 Mustangs to earn her 13th win in her 13th start.
A perfect game would have been the culmination of a celebration honoring seniors Edwards, Danie Farnam, Julie Kernen, Emily Lansford and Chloe Wolf.
“I started thinking about it in the fourth inning,” Edwards said. “I just kept getting my mind off of it, but I kept looking at my mom, and I saw that she was getting nervous, too.”
Marquette scored its lone run on a single to left field after Elliott’s double. Kernen gave Edwards a lead with a towering solo home run to right-center field in the bottom of the first. It was the first of three runs batted in by Kernen.
Later in the inning, sophomore Alexis Klable drove in Oakville’s second run on a double to left. Freshman Adrianna Wegmann reached on an infield single in the second and scored on an infield error to give Oakville a 3-0 lead. Junior Lauren Fussell opened the lead to 4-0 with an RBI single to left. Edwards’ one-out triple in the fourth led to the Tigers’ fifth run on a groundout by Kernen.
In the bottom of the fifth, Farnam laced a double down the right-field line with two outs and two runners on base to open Oakville’s lead to 7-0. Junior Erin Allen followed with a pinch-hit double to score Farnam.
The Tigers close the regular season at home today — Sept. 30 — against Eureka High School with their fourth game in four days. They begin district tournament play later next week.
“The leadership is there. All of the key ingredients to be successful in the postseason are there. It’s just a matter of us going out and playing to our level and not beating ourselves,” head coach Rich Sturm said. “If we don’t beat ourselves, we’re going to be tough to beat.”
With the regular season complete, their thoughts are on the Class 4 state playoffs for the first time since last October.
“These girls take it one game at a time,” Sturm said. “I’ve never heard them talk about anything but the one game that’s in front of them.”
Last year’s team finished second at the Class 4 state championships with a 23-6 record.
“We really want to get back. I know the group of seniors wants to definitely get back because it’s our last year. It’s something we’re all eyeing, but we’re not going to look at it yet,” Edwards said after the win over Marquette.
In their first 17 games, the Tigers allowed only nine opponents to score. Their offense had seven everyday players hitting for a .333 average or better.
“Our team chemistry is better than it’s ever been before. The offense and defense are working. Hopefully, it can stay all the way to the state championship,” Edwards said.