Perryville softball coach Dustin Wengert is not a fan of rivalry games, regardless of sport. The Perryville softball coach and boys basketball coach in the winter, is not fond coaching against the cross town St. Vincent, and it has nothing to do with the actual games.
“I’ve been on both sides of it and there’s just too much extra stuff that is associated with the game when St. Vincent and Perryville play,” he said after the now reinvigorated softball rivalry between the two teams.
He may not be too fond of the game itself, but he should be happy with the result. Perryville scored nine runs in the final three innings to beat St. Vincent 11-0 in five innings on Tuesday in the City Park.
Perryville junior Ann-Marie Simpson went 3-3 with four runs scored and two RBI to lead the Pirates (15-8) while Brooke Huber and Brittanie Stewart each had two hits.
The Pirates have continued their trend of offense as they have scored nine or more runs in the last five games, all of which were Perryville victories.
“For whatever reason we’ve found our stroke at the plate,” Wengert said. “I hope that continues to happen. The biggest difference is our 3-6 hitters are starting to get big hits. It’s made our lineup a little bit longer.”
The number 3-5 hitters went 4-12 in the game and helped carve out the big lead for Perryville in the later innings. Huber started the rally in the third inning, with a single that scored Simpson to widen their lead to 4-0, then later scored on an error.
But it was Simpson who was the catalyst for the Pirate offense.
She had an RBI triple in the fourth and another run scoring single in the fifth to put the game out of reach for Perryville. Her double to center and subsequent error on the play allowed her to score in the first. Huber then followed with a triple and later scored on a RBI groundout by Burns.
That was all starting pitcher Makayla Brown needed as she pitched a complete game, allowing two hits with six strikeouts. But it took her a few innings to catch her stride and St. Vincent nearly took advantage. Alaina Hotop doubled to start off the bottom of the first, then the next batter, Genevieve Lipe, was hit by a pitch. But Brown buckled down and got the next three outs to leave the two runners stranded.
“That could have changed the entire complexion of the game, at least early,” St. Vincent coach Nathan Unterreiner said. “When you have first and second with the heart of the lineup coming, you feel good about your chance. Unfortunately we didn’t come through.”
That missed opportunity put a damper on St. Vincent’s gameplan, as Perryville scored three more runs in the third. Hotop and Elizabeth Blessing had the hits for the Indians.
“I thought if we could just keep it close, we could have put some pressure on them,” Unterreiner said. “Maybe that gets in their head, because if we lose, than we are expected to, and if we win that’s a big victory for the program.”
St. Vincent will continue their season in the district tournament on October 14. Perryville will take on Farmington on Thursday. For Wengert it is a welcomed contest.
“I’m just glad it’s over and we can get back to playing softball and preparing for this final stretch of games,” Wengert said.