Dayton pounds Perrydale for big win
For the second time this season, the Pirates took it to the Perrydale Pirates. Dayton beat Perrydale 19-1 in five innings Thursday on a blustery afternoon. The Pirates completed the sweep, outscoring Perrydale 27-2 in the two-game series this year.
The Pirates (19-2) this season have used quick starts to win games. In 12 of their 19 wins, the Pirates have scored first. Dayton coach Rob Umbenhower said the offense has really started to gel recently, and it’s made the team more dangerous since clinching the West Valley League title last Tuesday.
“Once we get going it’s good,” Umbenhower said. “We’ve produced big time and it’s really nice, especially at the end of the season when you face a good pitcher.”
That pitcher was Perrydale’s Bryce Baucum, and she pitched well in the first two innings. She allowed a triple to Dayton leadoff hitter Sydney Van Noy, who would score on an error, but that was it.
Perrydale (9-6) scored in its half of the first inning to tie the game at one after leadoff hitter Cheyanne Locke walked, took second on an error and took third on a wild pitch. Perrydale No. 2 hitter Brooke Barnes singled to tie the game and give the Pirates their only run of the game. Dayton pitcher Jamie Chenea gave up one run on four hits, a walk and five strikeouts.
Dayton got it together in the third inning and seized control of the game. Teddi Hop and Van Noy led off the inning with singles and Pirates sophomore Cooper Ringnalda came to the plate swinging a hot bat.
Ringnalda smashed a two-run double to left-center field to give Dayton the 3-1 lead, and an RBI single from Michaela Shouldis made it 4-1 Dayton after three innings.
“Yeah, it (Dayton’s offensive performance) was really good,” Ringnalda said. “We’ve really improved and have worked hard in practice. We’ve focused on hitting, done really well and I’m really happy with this team.”
Dayton caught fire in the fourth inning. Baucum faced 12 Dayton hitters in the inning and gave up eight runs on nine hits, which gave Dayton a 12-1 lead. Van Noy had a single, double and three RBIs in the inning.
“The girls work hard on timely hitting,” Umbenhower said. “That showed today against a quality pitcher.”
The Pirates continued the barrage in the fifth inning. The inning led off with a big moment. Rachael Fluke came to the plate looking for her second hit of the day. Fluke took the third pitch from Baucum, a high fastball, and hammered a deep home run to left field that gave Dayton a 13-1 lead.
The homer was Fluke’s fourth of the second, and her second in the last two weeks.
“It was right where I like them,” Fluke said. “That’s always been the spot I like them. I saw it, and I just knew it.”
“I was looking for a line drive, saw that pitch and knew it was mine,” Fluke said. “My dad is always telling me not to go for the high ones, but I had to take a chance. That was my time to just let it go.”
Fluke’s home run sparked eight straight Pirate hits, which gave Dayton five more runs. Fittingly, it was Fluke that gave the Pirates their 19th and final run of the game, an RBI single on her third hit of the game.
If only Dayton’s day could’ve ended at that moment. Dayton’s afternoon ended on a more solemn note. With one out in the inning, Perrydale’s Sarah Nelson singled. On her attempt to steal second she caught the leg of Van Noy, which buckled and Van Noy went down instantly, and stayed down .
Coaches had to carry Van Noy off the field, and Hop came in from center field to take her place at shortstop to finish the game.Van Noy has been the Pirates offensive leader this season, and Umbenhower was uncertain how the injury would affect the offense, the extent of the injury itself, and whether or not Van Noy would miss Friday’s game.
“We don’t like the fact we got banged up. This is our second major injury,” Umbenhower said. “This was just really bad. I’m not sure how this will (mentally) affect the defense or offense.”
If Van Noy is unable to play in Dayton’s 4 p.m. game Friday at Sheridan, Umbenhower said either Hop or Shelby Byerly could play at shortstop.
“Shortstop now becomes our biggest concern,” Umbenhower said. “I hope she’s alright, but we’re pretty solid and have players that can step in if needed.”