Indiana Shockwaves – Perry Uses Small Ball for Lead, Big Swings for 18U Bracket Win at Summer Nationals
By Jason Hanes
There are a variety of different, sometimes forgotten, ways to score in softball. Indiana Shockwaves – Perry seemed to remember them all, using bunts, ground outs, a wild pitch, and a pair of home runs to top Carolina Elite National – Maddaluna, 9-0 (5) to win Pool B in 18U play at the Myrtle Beach Summer Nationals.
While the scoring played a large role in the win, Shockwaves – Perry also got an outstanding performance in the circle from Josie Newman. Working five scoreless innings, Newman struck out 11 batters and walked one while only allowing one bunt single.
“Really everything was working for me; change, curve, and rise. Whenever they were catching on to me by looking more outside, I just came in on them,” Newman said.
Indiana Shockwaves – Perry used a pair of bunts to bring home the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the second. Megan Nichols slid in just under the tag on Charly Koehler’s fielder’s choice sacrifice bunt for the first run of the game. One batter later, a bunt single by Ainsley Phillips would make it 2-0.
“We do that quite a bit,” said Shockwaves head coach Walt Perry. “We’ve done that for the last few years. We’re comfortable doing it and it’s part of our game every day.
“I think when you can create a little havoc on the basepaths, it gets everybody into the game,” coach Perry continued. “The bench gets excited, and it just makes it easier from then on.”
Nichols and Koehler would drive in runs in the third, with a third run coming home on a wild pitch to make it 5-0 after three complete. Then in the fourth, Shockwaves – Perry put the game away. On a 2-1 pitch, Ella White drilled a two-run homer to left to put her side up 7-0. Following a double, Savannah Baker drilled the first pitch she saw over the fence in center for a 9-0 lead.
That would be more than enough scoring for Newman. The hurler would field her position to help record the final out of the game and give her side the bracket victory. “I was just trying to get [outs] however I could,” Newman said. “I’m confident in my defense behind me, so if I could get them to put it in play, great. But a strikeout is pretty nice too.”
The win gives Indiana Shockwaves – Perry a 9:45 a.m. first pitch Friday, with two wins in back-to-back games needed to stay in the championship bracket. “We’ve been here multiple years and know how important it is to get that good seed and not have to stay out here playing all day on those bracket days,” coach Perry said.