Jones Pitches Perfect Game in Softball Record-Tying Sweep

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
 

Baseball

Kelsey Jones said she didn’t know she was close to a perfect game until she heard someone say it before she went out to pitch the seventh inning in the first game of a doubleheader against Misericordia.

“I tried to put it out of my head,” she said. “If I had thought about it when I was out there, it wouldn’t have been good.”

Kelsey Jones
Jones is 14-2 with a 2.33 ERA. Her 14 wins are tied for the second-most in a season in program history.
It was good. Jones finished off a dominant pitching performance with a dominant seventh inning, striking out the side on 10 pitches to complete the first perfect game in Muhlenberg softball history.

The Mules won the game, 4-0, and captured the nightcap by the same score behind the combined three-hit pitching of senior Angie Sisco and freshman Laura Hess. The two wins gave Muhlenberg 26 for the season, tying the program record set in 1991.

“I just found out about [the school record for wins]. It’s a huge accomplishment,” said junior Kelly Kline, who made some history herself but was upstaged for a rare time in her career. “Every win is important, so if we’ve gotten this many, that has to be good.”

Jones was much better than good. The sophomore struck out 11 in her masterpiece and allowed only one ball to be hit out of the infield – a high fly ball to deep center that was easily caught in the sixth inning. The closest the Cougars (14-18) came to getting a baserunner was on a bunt attempt in the third, but the Muhlenberg infield retired the batter with no trouble.

“I’ve been feeling really good the last few days,” Jones said. “When I stay loose is when I throw best.

“It was pretty exciting. My dad was here and he said he’s been watching me since Little League and he’s never seen me throw a no-hitter or a perfect game. I’m glad he was here to see it.”

After retiring the side in order with two strikeouts in the top of the first, Jones got all the offense she would need in the bottom of the inning when Kline hit her 21st career home run, a two-run shot over the fence in left. The blast gave her a school-record 51 career extra-base hits.

“It always gives a pitcher a sense of relief when we score first,” said Jones, who in her last start pitched a three-hit shutout against Ursinus.

Amie DeFeo
DeFeo slides home safely to score from second on a single in the first game.
Jones offered no relief for the Misericordia batters in pitching the sixth seven-inning no-hitter in program history. She ended each of the first four innings with strikeouts, and her 11 whiffs were the second-most by a Mule pitcher in a no-hitter.

“Kelsey was all over it today!” said Kline. “I’m so happy for her.”

Junior Colleen O’Donnell and freshman Brittany Dzieciolowski drove in insurance runs in the fourth and fifth, respectively.

Misericordia got its first hit of the day from the second batter of the second game but could do little else offensively, never advancing a runner past first base. Sisco pitched the first four innings to earn her eighth win of the season, and Hess retired nine of the 10 batters she faced in her collegiate debut to earn the save.

Muhlenberg broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth, an inning that started with the first of two doubles by O’Donnell. Senior Elizabeth Sullivan brought in the first run with a single, and sophomore Alyssa Schell delivered a bases-loaded sacrifice fly for the second.

O’Donnell doubled in the fifth to bring in Kline, and two freshmen – Nicole Iannarone with a triple off the fence in right and Amie DeFeo with a sacrifice fly – combined on the last run.

Kline went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases in the nightcap, and junior Erica Wenzel also had three hits.

In addition to not allowing a run in the two games, the Mules did not commit an error and got contributions from many different sources, playing with great confidence in their first games since clinching first place in the Centennial Conference.

“It’s so nice to be in this position where we know we’re in the playoffs,” said Jones. “Last year we were scrambling at the end and things didn’t go our way. This is such a big change from last year.”
Click here for line scores.
Click for complete stats: Game 1 | Game 2