Palmyra pitcher Madison Ragar got plenty of run support as she pitched a five inning shutout over Canton Monday night. The Lady Panthers sent 12 batters to the plate in the first and scored 8 runs as the Palmyra softball team beat Canton 11-0
"We scored eight runs early," Palmyra coach Brian Wosman said. "Defensively we looked pretty sound and Madison (Ragar) is starting to get in a groove a little bit now the more she pitches."
The early lead gave Ragar a lot of confidence as she headed into the top of the second.
"It definitely boosts me up," Ragar said. "It's good to know that I have a strong offense behind me as well as a strong defense."
Ragar allowed just two hits, a pair of doubles, as she faced just one batter on over the minimum. Ragar did not allow any walks and struck out 9 of the 16 batters she faced to earn the win.
"I have seen a lot of them before," Ragar said. "So I kind of knew what their weaknesses and strengths were."
Palmyra's Lexie Losson opened the bottom half of the first with a triple and scored when Evie Miles followed with a bunt. Miles then stole second and scored on a base hit from Alex Van Nostrand. Nostrand stole second and moved to third on a ground out before scoring on a single by Jamie Martin.
Martin then moved to third on a single by Katee Hinkle who advanced to second on the throw. Brianne Caldwell followed with a single to center that scored both Hinkle and Martin, but Caldwell was caught in a rundown between first and second and was eventually tagged out.
Now with two outs, Bowen Juette singled and moved to third on a double by Lindsay Van Tress, both of whom scored on a four-base error when Losson laced a ball top center that Canton's center fielder could not handle to cap off Palmyra's 9-hit, 8-run first inning.
Palmyra (16-4) added one run in the third and two more in the fifth before the game was called because of the mercy rule. After their 9 hits in the first inning, Palmyra had just six over the next four innings of play.
"We jumped out early there with the bats offensively," Wosman said. "I think we kind of put it on cruise-control. We hit the ball hard at times and deep to (Canton's) centerfielder who was playing us deep and she took some hits away from us.
Miles led the Lady Panthers offense with a perfect 3-for-3 day. Miles finished with a run scored and two RBIs. Losson, Hinkle, and Caldwell were all 2-for-3. Losson scored three runs while Hinkle scored twice. Caldwell scored once.
Canton freshman Allison Phillips was the only batter to get a hit off Ragar. Phillips doubled to lead off the second but was picked off by Nostrand, the Lady Panthers' catcher. Phillips led off the fifth with another double. After a Canton pop out, Phillips advanced to third on a ground out. Ragar struck out the Lady Tigers next batter to end the threat. Phillips and Allie Carper were the only Canton hitters not to strike out at least once.
Page 2 of 2 - "It is kind of frustrating when someone gets a hit off you," Ragar said. "But you have just got to move on and go to the next batter and make sure you do better on them."
Palmyra's defense did not commit any errors while Canton had four. The only inning the Lady Tigers did not commit an error was in the fourth inning. That was also the only inning Palmyra failed to have any runners reach base.
"We were pretty sound today," Wosman said. "That is one thing, defensively we have to be sure that we play fundamentally sound and not give up extra outs. The last couple of games they have tightened that up and hopefully we will continue that."
Palmyra will travel to Center tonight where they will take on Mark Twain.