At times during Monday night’s season opener against crosstown rival Ryan, it seemed as though Guyer starting pitcher Suzette Palmer was on the diamond all by herself.
During some defensive lapses, the senior pitcher was put in difficult situations throughout the game. But in the end, Palmer put up a line that looked almost pristine en route to an 8-0 win despite seven Guyer errors.
“She does not surprise us a bit because she is such a competitor,” Guyer head coach Keith Medford said. “I don’t really have any words for that. She has kept us in games for three years just out of sheer grit, determination and competitiveness, and tonight was no different.”
Palmer finished the complete game, allowing three hits and striking out three with one walk, overcoming numerous errors including two to lead off the Ryan fifth before she struck out the next two batters.
The Lady Raiders left 10 runners on base and couldn’t make Palmer and Guyer pay for their defensive miscues.
“Sometimes luck just doesn’t go your way,” Ryan head coach Aimee Foutch said. “Some weird things happened and you have to just chalk that up and go with it. You’ve got to respect that they were awesome up at the plate and their pitcher kept fighting us off every inning. We just didn’t execute as well as we needed to back-to-back. We got runners in scoring position and couldn’t get them in.”
The unlucky breaks began in the Guyer half of the third inning when it broke a scoreless tie thanks to Ryan’s lone error on the night.
With the bases full, Guyer catcher Megan Washam hit a two-out roller back to the pitcher but the throw to first base caromed off Kayla Cunningham’s glove before Washam collided with her. Cunningham collapsed in pain while all three Guyer runners scored on the play. Cunningham was able to remain in the game.
The next inning, however, saw the Lady Wildcats score some runs without Ryan’s help.
Guyer reeled off five hits in the inning — all singles — as six out of seven hitters reached base. Kaitlyn Thomas and Shayne Starkey each drove in a run, while Kennedy Been hit a two-run single to right-center field to turn a 3-0 Guyer lead into a 7-0 rout.
Guyer’s No. 9 hitter Hannah Hodapp, who made her first start at third base, went 2 for 2 at the plate with a walk and scored three runs.
“Timely hitting is the key to this game,” Medford said. “If you can pitch good and get timely hits, you’re going to win a lot of games.”
Though her team couldn’t push any runs across the plate, Foutch said she was happy to renew the rivalry with Guyer, as the teams met for the first time since they were district foes in 2010.
“I enjoy playing them,” she said. “They’re a great team to measure your team with. They give you challenges so you have things to work on later. Coach Medford is money in the bank, so I just enjoy him; he’s a class act.”
ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872. His e-mail address is email@example.com .
GUYER 8, RYAN 0
WP – Suzette Palmer. LP – Carol Raabe. Records – Ryan: 0-1. Guyer: 1-0.