ASHLAND – Lexington wasn’t perfect, but Kelsey Oh was.
In Friday’s opening game at the Wendy’s Spring Classic in Ashland, the Mount St. Dominic of New Jersey pitcher threw a perfect game to blank Lexington 3-0 at the nationally renowned softball invitational.
“From the first pitch I felt on,” Oh said. “Our defense was really working hard and everyone in the field was doing well so I felt confident.”
In facing the minimum 21 batters, she struck out 12 with no walks. Of her 89 pitches, 62 were strikes.
“When you get in the rhythm, it’s much easier, especially when people are making plays behind you and you’re scoring runs. It’s a really great feeling,” Oh said.
Only three balls left the infield, as St. Dominic right fielder Jamie Hebert threw out Lex’s Morgan Ziegler at first base and caught a Chelsie Alt liner in the seventh inning.
“I thought I had a few hits on me,” Oh said. “I was shocked when I heard (about the perfect game).”
Lexington coach Mike Hamman said putting the ball in play hasn’t been an issue this season – until Friday night.
“We’ve been hitting the ball pretty good. She’s probably the first one where we haven’t put the ball in play. She’s the best pitcher we’ve seen so far. Hopefully we get better by watching those types of kids,” Hamman said.
• MEASURING STICK: Mount St. Dominic is a defending non-public state champion from New Jersey and it is now 11-1 this year.
To limit a team of that caliber to three runs was a positive for a Lady Lex squad that fell to 3-5.
“We’re taking baby steps, but we’re getting better,” Hamman said. “Good teams don’t beat themselves.”
It’s a lesson Hamman tried to impart to his team when meeting with them after the game.
“Look, there’s the defending state champion team and now how far off are you?” Hamman asked. “Without a couple of errors this is a 1-0 ballgame. I’m trying to encourage them that they’re close. There’s just these little things that we need to execute and work upon.”
• LIKE LAST YEAR: A year ago Lady Lex was scuffling along when it came to the Wendy’s, but finished the season with 18 wins and a trip to the districts. Through eight games in 2015, Hamman is still tinkering with the Lady Lex lineup in hopes for a second-half push.
“I think we improved last year after coming here,” Hamman said. “We struggled early on and then settled in on what we were going to do, and we came to the Wendy’s and had good games. From that point on, we played pretty solid ball.
“If we can just eliminate the dumb errors, we’ll be fine.”
• OH MY: Besides pitching a perfect game, Oh also was 3-for-3 at the plate with three singles and an RBI. Helyna Bissell hit a triple and scored, while Hebert scored twice, including off an inside-the-part home run in the sixth inning.
Lexington senior pitcher Abbey Sgro went the distance, striking out seven and walking two while giving up nine hits. She threw 94 pitches with 69 strikes.