Waubonsie Valley pitcher Jordan Kurth is on such a roll that Friday's 1-hitter could almost be considered a slump after her two previous starts.
Kurth (6-2) took to the mound against West Chicago coming off back-to-back no-hitters. In fact only an error by Kurth herself kept her from tossing back-to-back perfect games. In Friday's 9-0 Upstate Eight Conference win over the visiting Wildcats, she extended her no-hit streak another 5⅓ innings before finally allowing a double to West Chicago catcher Ellie Braun.
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"I was trying to do my best to hit my spots and work all my pitches. Personally I think my best pitch is my changeup, so I tried to work that in," said Kurth, who had 7 strikeouts and 2 walks as the hosts won their 12th straight game.
The Warriors offense gave Kurth plenty of support early and often, starting with a run in the first and then adding 2 runs in each the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Waubonsie Valley totaled 12 hits off West Chicago starter Jenna Foreman and reliever Amy Goldsmith, but the young Wildcats didn't help their pitchers enough by not coming up with some catchable deep flies to the outfield.
"Even when it was 5-0 it should have been 2-0 if we make plays," West Chicago coach Kim Wallner said. "But they're a good team and they take advantage. I thought Jenna got some bad luck. The game could have been a lot closer if we're a little sharper defensively."
The top of the Warriors lineup stayed hot, but the 7-8-9 hitters also came up big. Leadoff hitter Layne Thresh had a single and stolen base and scored in the first on a bloop single by Amanda Lack, who was 2-for-4 from the cleanup spot. Kurth had 2 hits from the No. 2 spot and Mel Koulus, who ended Thursday's game with a walk-off home run, had a double and sacrifice fly from the third spot in the order.
Then there was No. 7 hitter Meghan Grannan, who went 3-for-4 with 3 runs scored, and Sabrina Calabrese batted eighth and had an RBI triple and 3 runs scored. No. 9 hitter also Christina Pembrook got in on the hit brigade with an RBI double that made the score 7-0 in the fifth.
"Our offense has been amazing," Kurth said. "We worked a ton … we hit against live pitches at almost every practice. Everyone has done an amazing job just coming out and seeing the ball, hitting the ball and having good at-bats."
Warriors coach Val Wood, whose team is now 19-5 overall and 10-1 in the UEC, thought Kurth and Grannan were exceptional. Kurth was sharp on the mound and at the plate, while Grannan was great in the field and helped turn a pair of double plays with throws to third and second base.
"She has been doing such a nice job," Wood said of her hurler. "She is just doing a fantastic job. I could not be any prouder of her. And Meghan Grannan had the game of her life today. She got those two double plays that saved us and she had a great day at the plate also. All the way around I'm very proud of them."