JOHNSONBURG – Taylor Schlimm gave up only one hit Monday afternoon as Elk County Catholic won a 20-0 3-inning shutout over host Johnsonburg.
ECC erupted for 18 runs in a marathon second inning while Schlimm systematically shut down the Ramettes in the 1-hit win. She struck out six batters en route to the shutout.
The visiting Lady Crusaders opened up with a run in the first inning but broke the game open with an 18-run second inning.
ECC led off the second inning with a single from Schlimm and a walk from Michelle Imbrogno. With two aboard, Sadie Viglione hit a single to left field and a walk to Stephanie Zimmerman gave ECC a 2-0 lead. Sierra Meyer would bring in a run with a single for a 3-0 lead and a single from Jessie Ginther brought in another run. Jena Struble and Kristy Hanes would connect with singles before Lyndsey Trumble reached on an error at third base. A Schlimm double gave ECC a 10-0 advantage as Imbrogno followed with a single. After consecutive groundouts by Viglione and Zimmerman, a single from Sierra Meyer got things rolling again for ECC. Ginther then reached on an error at third base and Struble's double cleared the bases for a 15-0 lead. Hanes would follow with a triple to bring home Struble and Trumbull followed with a double to plate Hanes for a 17-0 lead. Schlimm would later connect with a single off mound opponent Kiana Myers and would later score as would Imbrogno, who reached on an error at third base. After consecutive singles from Viglione and Zimmerman, Meyer rolled into a 6-4 fielder's choice to end the inning with ECC leading 19-0.
"Everyone had good at bats [Monday]," ECC head girls varsity softball coach Dr. Joe Coroso said. "Our power game is rapidly improving, the team showed great discipline at the plate and Taylor [Schlimm] hurled another gem.
"It was also satisfying to get all our players into the game."
Schlimm set down the first six batters she faced. She got Kassa Kocjancic and Danie Jo Dwyer to go down swinging in the home half of the first inning and Tommi Wildnauer hit a flyout to second base to go down 1-2-3.
Similar to the first inning, Myers and Brittany Watts went down swinging in the bottom of the second inning and Katie Galsick hit into a 4-3 ground out to end the quick inning.
Looking for three more outs to secure a 3-inning perfect game, Elena Solorio connected on a slow roller that died in the dirt in the infield along the third base line. The throw to first base was not in time as the Ramettes had their first hit of the game.
"It was important to get on base but for me though as a pitcher, that breaks my heart for [Schlimm] but even though we lost, I was glad to see that we kept at it," said Johnsonburg head girls varsity softball coach Jenny Lewis.
Solorio advanced to second on a 1-3 groundout from Cassie Biondi but would get no further as Schlimm caught Alexa Marciniak and Kocjancic both looking at called third strikes to end the game.
"I knew this was going to be really tough and I was glad we came out swinging but ECC really just hit like crazy off of us," coach Lewis said. "They had a bunch of bloopers behind second and short, and they had a couple nice hard hits, and it seemed like we couldn't catch a break there in the second inning."