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Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016

Hughes perfect for Kelly

Friday, September 1, 2006

Kelly Pitcher Kailie Hughes fires a pitch.
BENTON - The Kelly Lady Hawks softball team continued their wining ways early in the season with a 3-0 shutout over the visiting Cape Central Lady Tigers at home on Thursday afternoon.

Kelly starting pitcher Kailie Hughes was untouchable on the mound for the Lady Hawks. Hughes faced the minimum number of batters in seven innings and threw a perfect game.

Hughes mixed up her pitches well with a devastating fastball and a knee buckling change-up that had the Lady Tigers off balance all game long.

"Kailie pitched extremely well today," said Kelly head coach Rhonda Ratledge. "She had every pitch working and just threw a heck of a game. It is really not a surprise to us because we know that Kailie is capable of this kind of performance every single game."

Hughes threw seven complete innings and struck out 12 Cape Central batters in the game. Hughes' dominance began from the first pitch of the game as she struck out seven of the first nine hitters she faced through three complete innings.

"I can't say enough about the performance of Hughes on the mound today," said Cape Central coach Amy Blattel. "She pitched a heck of a game and mixed up her pitches extremely well. We just had no answers for her. She has improved greatly and is the best pitcher we have faced this year."

While Hughes was dealing it up on the mound for Kelly, Cape Central starter Kelsey Greene kept the lethal Lady Hawks bats at bay through three strong innings. Kelly managed only two hits through three as the game remained scoreless.

"The negative of today's game was our lack of hitting," said Ratledge. "We couldn't string any hits together early and then late in the game we couldn't get clutch hits. We left too many ladies on base and we are going to have to work on that."

The Lady Hawks had a golden opportunity to break the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third. Katee Moore singled with one out and then promptly stole second and third base.

With Moore at third with one away, Hughes walked and then stole second. Casey Kern was at the plate with runners in scoring position with only one out.

Even though Kern is the cleanup hitter for Kelly, she laid down a bunt in between third base and the pitcher's mound. An alert Cape Central third baseman got an excellent jump on the ball and fielded and flipped to home to nail Moore at the plate.

Hughes was the main story on the afternoon, but the secondary line had to be the aggressive base running of the Lady Hawks. Kelly stole nine bases in the contest and base running led to the first run of the game.

Freshman Londyn Backfisch led off the bottom of the fourth with a walk. Backfisch stole second and third base to be in prime position for a go-ahead run.

With one out in the fourth, Sarah Ruff laid down a bunt that was fielded by Greene. She tried to freeze Backfisch by looking her back to third and then turned to throw to first.

As Greene whirled to throw, Backfisch immediately dashed towards home plate and was safe after beating the throw from the Cape Central first baseman.

"We were definitely aggressive on the bags today," said Ratledge. "We are known for that and we just try and keep the pressure on the opposing team at all times."

Greene tired in the bottom of the fifth after walking the lead off batter and Amanda Nichols took over. Greene allowed two runs, gave up three hits, struck out two and walked four in her four innings of work.

With the bases loaded full of Lady Hawks in the fifth, Summer Proctor hit a deep sacrifice fly to center field that scored Moore. Kelly added another run in the inning on a RBI single by Ruff that plated Kern and Kelly led 3-0 heading into the top of the sixth.

Hughes started strong and she finished the game in the same fashion. Hughes struck out five of the last seven Lady Tiger batters for the completion of the perfect game.

Ruff was the only multiple hitter for Kelly going 2-for-3 with a RBI and a stolen base. Moore went 1-3 in the contest but had three stolen bases for the Lady Hawks.

Cape Central (4-3) travels to St. Louis today to participate in the Cor Jesu Tournament. The Lady Tigers opening game is against Lindbergh.

Kelly (4-0) will participate in the Notre Dame Tournament. In the round robin format, the Lady Hawks will have three games scheduled for today.

Kelly will face the Notre Dame junior varsity at 3 p.m. Then they will meet Poplar Bluff at 4:30 p.m. and Delta at 8 p.m.

Kelly 3, Cape Central 0

Cape Central0000000-000

WP- Kailie Hughes

LP - Kelsey Greene

Multiple hitters - Kelly: Sarah Ruff 2-3.

SB - Kelly: Katee Moore (3), Hughes (2), Londyn Backfisch (2), Ruff, Ponder.

LOB - Kelly 8, Cape Central 0.

Records - Kelly (4-0), Cape Central (4-3).