Kaylee Hayton was two pitches away from perfection Thursday afternoon at Rosary.
The West Aurora right-hander fanned 13 batters while walking none in a dominant 1-hit victory over the Royals in the schools’ annual softball nonconference game.
With their 6-0 triumph the Blackhawks (1-6) ended their six-game season-opening losing streak; Rosary dropped to 1-2.
Hayton faced only 22 batters during her masterpiece; Emma Molenhouse was hit by a pitch in the opening inning, only to be later erased by West Aurora backstop Carly Frauenhoff trying to steal second base.
Hayton retired 10 Rosary batters in succession — including seven in a row via strikeouts — before Cara Smoczynski had a bloop single down the right-field line for the Royals’ only hit.
“We came out and had a good feeling (about ending the losing streak),” said Hayton, whose 13 strikeouts were a career high. “I went outside on a lot of (the Rosary batters), because they couldn’t hit the outside pitches. My screwball and riseball (were working the best).”
Rosary starter Elayne Young also carried a no-hitter into the fourth inning, but West Aurora would score all the runs they would need with 4 consecutive two-out hits.
Hayton began the uprising and scored all the way from first base — escaping a pickle-play between third and home — when Rosary booted a Taylor Podschweit single to left field.
“I just went for it,” Hayton said of her run-opening dash for home.
Kendall Podschweit followed her twin sister with another single for West Aurora to plate her sibling and double the Blackhawks’ lead to 2-0.
“The (Rosary) catcher was setting up early, and you could kind of tell where the pitch was coming,” Kendall Podschweit said. “There were also gaps in the infield.”
With Hayton virtually unsolvable on the mound, the Royals’ woes were worsened by 6 errors.
Four of the miscues went for multiple bases as West Aurora capitalized on two-thirds of the Rosary errors in its half of the fifth to take a 5-0 lead.
Ally Wazer had the only hit in the inning for West Aurora to lead off and later scored on a passed ball.
One misplay was particularly painful for Rosary outfielder Danyal VanGundy, who was taken to the hospital after being struck under the left eye on a misjudged flyball.
“It’s the story of the game,” Rosary coach John Kazmierczak said of the Royals’ defensive play. “I’m not going to make excuses. You don’t play defense, you’re not going to win games.”
Kendall Podschweit had her second RBI of the game to conclude the scoring in the Blackhawks’ seventh.
The win was the first for new West Aurora coach Randy Hayslett.
“We’ve been waiting to break out,” Hayslett said. “We’ve been struggling to score runs.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.