By MIKE SHAFFER
For the Star Beacon
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP —
Amy Pitcher did what she’s done all year long for the Geneva Eagles. The senior southpaw struck out 15 Lakeside batters as the Eagles wrapped up the conference portion of their Premier Athletic Conference championship season with a convincing 8-0 victory over the Lakeside Dragons at Lakeside on Wednesday.
Pitcher worked the complete game, shutting out the Dragons on four hits and walking just one. Pitcher is now the team’s sole hurler since a thumb injury to the team’s second starter, Kristen Schupska, last week has sidelined her for the remainder of the season.
The Eagles, who successfully defended their PAC title with a 2-1 win over Riverside on Tuesday, finish the conference season with a record of 11-1 (13-2 overall).
“I’m thrilled”, Geneva coach Eleshia Pitcher said. “The girls really wanted to win the PAC. I thought we’d have a chance to win it, but I really didn’t think we’d only have one loss going through it. There are a lot of tough teams in the PAC.”
Pitcher struck out eight-consecutive batters from the second to fourth inning. Then she struck out four-straight in the fourth and fifth innings.
Lakeside did get two runners aboard in the fourth and sixth only to see Pitcher record strikeouts to end the threats.
“She did a great job for us today,” Eleshia Pitcher said. “I feel really bad for Kristen with this being her senior year and now she’s out. I thought there would be a lot of pressure on Amy but so far she’s handled it well.”
The Eagles offense got all the runs they would need in the first inning. After Pitcher led off with a bunt single, Becky Depp and Taylor Stoltz rapped back to back two-out doubles to plate a pair of runs.
The Geneva offense struck again in the third inning when Alyssa Donato and Becky Depp singled and came around to score. Becky Depp would finish the day with two hits and two RBI.
In the fourth inning Dani Zapp would single and score. Pitcher reached on an error and came around to score as well putting the Eagles up 6-0.
Geneva capped off the scoring with two more runs in the sixth inning. With one out Pitcher collected her second hit of the day. She stole second and cruised home on an RBI single from Sarah Depp, who would later score to cap off the offense for the day.
Bre Leonard started on the mound for Lakeside and worked four innings giving up four earned runs while striking out three.
“Bre did well out there today I thought,” Lakeside coach Kerry Weir said. “She gave up a few hits here and there but she did a good job of hitting her spots.”
The loss drops Lakeside to 1-15 on the season and they remain winless in the PAC at 0-11.
“We just couldn’t get anything going on offense,” Weri said. “Their pitcher did a great job of keeping us off-balance and her rise ball was really good. We had a few opportunities but couldn’t get the clutch hit when we needed it.”
Andrea Davis came on to pitch in the fifth inning for the Dragons and allowed one earned run while fanning three in three innings of work.
Courtney Smith also had two hits for Lakeside in the losing effort.
Shaffer is a freelance writer from Ashtabula.