Hannah Perryman put her name ahead of some pretty select company Tuesday afternoon.
With her eighth strikeout of the game against Streamwood in the third inning Perryman, Elgin's senior standout left-hander became the school's single-season strikeout leader, breaking a record set by Elizabeth Waller in 1996, a record that when the Illinois high school softball pitching distance was moved from 40 to 43 feet, many thought would never be broken.
But then, little did anyone know then what Perryman was capable of.
She finished with 15 Ks in Elgin's 8-0 Upstate Eight River win on Tuesday and now has 330 for the season, eclipsing Waller's 1996 record of 322. Further, Perryman could now threaten Waller's EHS career record of 836 strikeouts. Perryman will take 777 career Ks into Wednesday's Senior Day game against Geneva. In 23 starts this season, Perryman has struck out 10 or more 21 times. The two games she didn't strike out double-digits, she had 9 Ks.
But until Tuesday, Perryman said she was more concentrated on pitching well to help her team win. But she admitted being a little sidetracked by the impending milestone during the day.
"I never really focused on the record," she said. "I just threw my game. But in school (Tuesday) I really had to focus. I was thinking about it."
Perryman's catcher the last two years, sophomore Kelly Bremer, continued to be in awe of her batterymate.
"It's amazing catching her," Bremer said. "Her rise and her curve are amazing. We don't even have to use her fastball. I've loved working with her the last two years. I've learned to frame more and judge her pitches better."
In addition to another stellar performance in the circle Perryman, who says she feels her endurance building as the state tournament approaches, also swung the big bat for the Maroons (19-10, 12-6). She planted a 3-run home run over the left-field fence in the top of the third, her fourth of the season, to give Elgin all the runs it would need as the Maroons secured a second-place finish in the UEC River. St. Charles North claimed the division title Tuesday with a 7-6 win in 13 innings over St. Charles East.
"She's coming through every game, no matter who we're playing," said Elgin coach Chad Dahlman of Perryman, who allowed just 2 hits and 1 walk. "She's taking the pressure off our defense and she's being smart with her arm. She's resting it, she's staying healthy and she's getting stronger."
Perryman (17-7) struck out the first 9 batters she faced and allowed only an infield single to Natalie Fillippo in the fourth and a bunt single to Jackie Jastrezebski in the fifth.
Elgin's 3-run rally in the third came mostly with two outs. After junior Lissette Sanchez opened the inning with a single, Streamwood senior Kellee Conquest got the next two batters out. But Monica Stockman kept the inning alive with a double to left field and Perryman belted a 1-0 pitch over the fence in left to give the Maroons a 3-0 lead.
Streamwood (8-20, 3-14) had a chance to crack the egg against Perryman in the bottom of the fourth but came up empty. Andrea Barajas reached on an error, Fillippo reached on her infield hit and Brittany Delao drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. But in true Perryman style, she blew away the next three hitters to leave the Sabres scoreless.
"She's a tough pitcher and she pitched really well but we helped her out swinging at pitches we shouldn't swing at," said Streamwood coach Nick Baird. "When you have the bases loaded and nobody out and don't score, you're not going to win. She has a nice little rise and we were just too anxious today. But I was proud of our effort and the girls had a great attitude on the bench today."
Elgin added 3 runs in the fifth when Stockman led off by beating out a bunt, Hannah Perryman walked, Bremer sacrificed the runners to second and third, Jennah Perryman walked and Caroline Sobeski drilled a 2-run single up the middle. After Bri Wright popped up, Sanchez drove in Sobeski, who had gone to second on a throw home on her single. Elgin closed out the scoring in the sixth as Stockman belted a 2-run home run, scoring Anna Eckholm (2-for-5, 2B) ahead of her.
"We used all fields and we hit the ball well," Dahlman said. "The sticks are coming around a little."