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Annie Wennerberg shuts out Amherst Comets
Avon Lake senior Annie Wennerberg allowed only one hit and struck out 10.
Paige Collins had three hits to pace the host Shoregals 15-hit attack as they stayed undefeated with a 10-0 six-inning Southwestern Conference win over Amherst Thursday.
“When you start the season 11-0 (4-0 SWC) that’s a great start in anybody’s eyes,” Avon Lake Coach Buzz Mullen said. “They are playing great ball. Defensive-wise, I think this is the fourth game without a single error. That is the thing I preach the most … defense, defense, defense. That will win the games for you.”
Having an offense which can put runs on the board also helps. Wennerberg led off the game with home run to right-center off Amherst (7-4, 2-2) starter Mallory Harrell.
Collins got the first of her three hits to drive in the second run of the inning with a single to right field.
“I thought we needed to have a strong first inning and set the tone for the game,” Wennerberg said. “As the lead-off hitter, it’s really important to set the tone. At first I didn’t think it was over. It was an outside pitch.”
Though Avon Lake’s was shut down the next couple of innings, Wennerberg was fantastic on the pitcher’s plate.
She set down the first 10 Comets in a row before a bunt single by Ashlee Dahman. The Shoregals defense turned a double play after a fly out to left to end the inning.
Harrell ran into trouble in the bottom of the fourth Taylor Thomas having an RBI single and Wennerberg getting an RBI on a fielder’s choice.
The Shoregals broke things open in the fifth inning.
Collins drove in her second run of the game. After a nice sacrifice bunt by Tori Meyer to put runners at second and third, Emily Young laced a single down the third base line to score Collins and Abby Rogers.
“Her (Wennerberg) and Thomas are tough and have been for a while,” Amherst Coach Bill Matthews said. “They’re all seniors. They should be good. They’ve got the players and have been playing well for three years. We’re young and they’re old.
“I thought we played well for four innings. Its experience — learning. We’re okay. The kids are okay. They played hard.”
Wennerberg, who allowed only one walk, recorded five of her strikeouts in the final two innings.
While throwing around 60 mph, she also mixed in a curveball and a rise ball with a great deal of success to improve to 9-0.
While Wennerberg and Avon Lake’s defense shut down Amherst, the Shoregals’ offense continued to have big hits.
Alexis Thomas (two hits) blasted a two-run home run to right field, while Collins tripled to score Tuner and end the game.
Collins went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, while Wennerberg helped herself with a couple of hits and two RBIs.
“That’s the thing (home runs) I think that’s amazing for us this year,” Mullen said. “We’ve hit a lot of home runs. They’re the same girls in the past we haven’t hit the ball long. We’ve hit balls in the gaps, but this year they are carrying.”
Collins, who transferred to Avon Lake in December from Terra Haute, knows how Wennerberg’s pitching helps the offense.
“We always feed off of her (Wennerberg),” Collins said. “When she throws a no-hitter or gets three-up and three-down; it’s a lot easier to come in and hit the ball when we have Annie out there pitching.”
Avon Lake 10, Amherst 0
Amherst (7-4, 2-2) 000 000 — 0 1 0
Avon Lake (11-0, 4-0) 200 233 — 10 15 0
TWO HITS OR MORE – Avon Lake: Annie Wennerberg, Paige Collins (3), Morgan Turner, Abby Rogers, Emily Young; 2B – AL: Thomas, Turner; 3B – AL: Collins; HR – AL: Wennerberger, A. Thomas; WP – Wennerberg (9-0); LP – Mallory Harrell (3-1).
Last Updated: 4/18/2013 11:00:57 PM EST