Wildcats' Stone strikes out 17
April 15, 2010Danbury High School
Wildcats' Stone strikes out 17
BY KEVIN SHIELDS • Sports Writer • April 13, 2010
LAKESIDE -- Woodmore softball coach Aaron Clouse lost his Suburban Lakes League player of the year and ace pitcher, but he's found himself a solid starter.
Elishia Stone, who replaced graduated Sam Michaelis, was dominant Monday. The senior struck out 17 Danbury hitters and was 3-for-4 with two RBIs at the plate as the Wildcats topped the Lakers 6-1.
"She's hitting her spots," Clouse said. "She's a power pitcher, and when she hits her spots and moves the zone around, she can be dominant."
Stone scattered two hits and allowed a single unearned run as the Lakers (2-1) had no answers for the Woodmore ace, now 4-0 in her new role.
"It feels good to come out and throw strikeouts like that," Stone said. "I like throwing strikes and knowing I can feel confident about it."
Nine of Danbury's first 10 outs were strike outs, as Stone sat down eight in a row between the last out of the first inning and the first out of the fourth.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats collected 12 hits and pounded out four doubles. They scored four runs in the third and single tallies in the fourth and sixth. Most of the damage came from
Woodmore's second through sixth hitters.
"The top of the order has done a good job of consistently putting pressure on the defense," Clouse said. "They're making contact, might not always be hits, but they're making defenses think and eventually those hits are getting through."
After two innings where the Wildcats (6-0) left four total runners on base, they finally got some across in the third. Melissa Busdeker led off the inning with a double to right center and scored two batters later on an RBI single from clean-up hitter Brittany Mondragon.
Stone gave herself more cushion in the circle, slugging an RBI triple that saw her and two others scored on an error to give Woodmore a 4-0 edge.
Bailey Ulinski's RBI double in the fourth inning added another Wildcat run, before the Lakers finally crossed the plate on Stone in their half of the fourth.
With one out, Devin Pollock singled and stole second with Meggie Ogiesbee in the box. Ogiesbee then hit a two-out single and Pollock reached home on an error by the Woodmore catcher .
But it was the lone time Danbury scored. Stone struck out seven of the final 12 hitters she faced.
"The defense has been great behind me," Stone said. "I'm not afraid to throw strikes knowing they're back there."
Clouse says he's been very happy with his pitcher's control and her ability to throw strikes and not get into bad situations.
"She's done a good job with having little experience coming into the year," Clouse said.
"Her control has been very impressive. She focuses on hitting her spots and she's been doing that so far."
Only a home run kept Stone from hitting for the cycle. Also collecting three hits for Woodmore was Ulinski, who was 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Tallying two doubles was Busdeker, who went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
"We're putting the ball in play and driving it to the gaps," Clouse said. "They're being patient, getting hitters' counts and when they get a pitch to hit, they're doing something with it."
As for the strikeouts, Stone had no idea she was having a big day.
"I'm surprised, I didn't know I had that many," Stone said. "I'll take it, though, feels good being able to come in and do that after Sam did it for us all the time."
On the other side, Laker coach Chris Matta knows her defense cost her squad a chance to make it close.
"Defensively, we had a couple of boots and had a couple balls hit over our head," Matta said. "They hit the heck out of the ball."
"But you take away those four runs in the third because we didn't hit the cut-off, and it could've been closer."