Ida Baker sophomore Lacie Ellithorpe appeared to be cruising to her first win in her first start of the season Thursday at Southwest Florida Christian Park.
With a 1-0 lead and two outs in the sixth inning, Kayla Doerstling and Meghan Sullivan hit back-to-back doubles as SFCA rallied for a 2-1 softball win.
“When I saw the pitch coming, I was thinking it’s the first strike, jump on it,” said Doerstling, whose double scored pinch-runner Mallory Volz from second base to tie the game. “It was kind of right in the wheelhouse so I swung at it and it went, which is nice.”
Sullivan, SFCA’s starting pitcher, then delivered the winning hit and then retired Baker in the seventh as the Kings improved to 5-2. Sullivan pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts and one unearned run. The Bulldogs’ only run came when Jessica Kane scored on a mishandled throw to first base in the opening inning.
“I didn’t listen to my music before the game,” Sullivan said. “I’m very superstitious and I knew once I didn’t listen to my music something bad was going to happen. I forgot my iPod at home.”
Aside from that sixth inning mishap, Ellithorpe was impressive. She struck out nine and gave up two runs on three hits with one walk in a complete-game effort.
“Her pitching was phenomenal. She was hitting her spots,” Baker coach Jim Schlotter said. “She was keeping them off balance. She did a really good job.”
Baker left six runners on base, which Schlotter attributed to Sullivan’s pitching and SFCA’s defense. Doerstling made a diving catch in the fifth and center fielder Mia Swierz’s bare-handed grab robbed Maddy Peres of a double with runners on second and third in the third inning.
Ida Baker (2-2), which reached the Class 6A regional final last season, matched its 2012 loss total through four games, but Schlotter isn’t pressing the panic button.
“It’s early, we’re still working some things out,” Schlotter said. “I told the girls before the season we’re going to practice for three months. These games mean something and we want to win but they don’t matter until April 16.”
SFCA will be in action tonight at Golden Gate while Baker faces Riverdale at home Tuesday.