PALMYRA, Mo. — Watching her teammate Brooke Lawson throw a perfect game earlier this week motivated Palmyra softball pitcher Lydia Althoff to duplicate that performance.
While she couldn’t, she still managed to toss a two-hit shutout in a 10-0 six-inning victory over Mark Twain on Thursday night at Flower City Park.
"I was ready to come out here and get a no-hitter," Althoff said. "I can’t complain though about a shutout."
It’s difficult for Palmyra coach Jill Arch to be anything but pleased with her pitchers this early in the season.
"There’s nothing better than the two-pitcher combination that are out here pushing each other and making each other better," Arch said. "Then they come out here and do their job. We’re pretty pleased so far. I’m really proud of them."
Althoff never let Mark Twain threaten.
The Tigers (0-3) got their first hit on Emma Clarkson’s one-out double in the fourth. Althoff responded by getting a groundout and a strikeout to end the frame. The only other hit Althoff allowed came on Elizabeth Trower’s bloop single with one out in the fifth, but she was caught stealing second base by Palmyra catcher Megan Stone.
Althoff finished with 10 strikeouts and no walks.
"Our bats will come around, and we’ll do some hitting this week," Mark Twain coach Jacob Bogue said. "We’ll get that cleaned up. But to play as tough as a team like them like we did tonight, I’m proud of that."
Palmyra (4-1) blew the game open with a seven-run second inning. Althoff doubled to left and moved to third on Sophie Hoerr’s single. Emma Wittler executed a squeeze bunt to plate Palmyra’s first run.
Abbey Redd drove in a run two batters later, and Stone added an RBI double on a ball that smacked off the center field fence. Cameron O’Brien followed with an RBI triple, and she scored when an error was committed on a ball hit by Bailey Lovelace.
Jazlin Gottman hit an RBI triple to score Lovelace, and she scored on another error to make it 7-0.
"I think once we went through the lineup the first time, we were confident we’d get a hit the second time," Stone said. "We just wanted to put runs up for Lydia."
Palmyra scored a run in the fifth before Althoff’s two-run line drive single scored two runs and ended the game.
Althoff went 3 for 4 and drove in three runs. Redd, Lovelace and Hoerr had two hits apiece for Palmyra.