PREP SOFTBALL: Pitcher perfect
MCC’s Amanda Muecke tosses a perfect game as Rebels defeat Adrian Area 11-0
SLAYTON – Murray County Central’s Amanda Muecke was not just good in her outing in the circle against Adrian Area on Thursday. In fact, she was perfect.
Her teammates matched that energy at the plate as well.
With an outstanding performance from Muecke that was coupled with some hot bats, the Rebels rolled their way to an 11-0 victory over the Dragons.
In his 15 years as coach of the Rebels, James Wajer has only seen the feat accomplished twice, and has been able to witness Muecke’s growth as a player first-hand since her debut as an eighth grader.
“It’s probably the first one or two that I’ve seen in the 15 years that I’ve been coaching,” said Wajer. “She threw well, hit spots and when she missed it seemed like she missed in good spots. Overall she’s grown a lot since her eighth grade year.”
It would take some time for the MCC bats to get going, but after a pair of scoreless innings, Muecke received some much-needed help from the Rebels offense as the team put together a seven-run third inning that began with an inside-the-park home run by Laney Brown to make it 1-0.
Off the mound and at the plate, Muecke continued the rally by following a Lily Schmahl walk with a single before Danielle Kuball reached first with another walk to load up the bases. With a golden opportunity to increase their one-run lead, Courtney Schmitz stepped up to the plate and delivered a bases-clearing grand slam to make it 5-0. Before the final out was tallied, Alex Kleven drove in a sixth run with an RBI single and Vanessa Herrig drove in the seventh with a double.
Though it took some time to get adjusted to the change of scenery, Wajer came away pleased with how his team adjusted their approach at the plate by looking for the right pitch.
“We’ve been inside for a couple of days and it took a couple innings to get the executions down and just get used to being outside,” said Wajer. “But (it’s a) senior-led group and they started stepping up, looking for good pitches.”
The offensive fireworks continued in the bottom of the fourth inning when Montana Beckmann went deep with a two-run shot to push the lead to 9-0. After a pair of singles from Kuball and Schmitz, Kleven drove in a 10th run with a groundout. A wild pitch in the ensuing at-bat would bring home the 11th run before the inning came to an end.
In need of only three outs to end the game, Muecke put an exclamation point on her dominant performance in the top of the fifth inning with back-to-back strikeouts to conclude the perfect outing in an 11-0 final.
With the victory, the Rebels move to 2-0 on the season and will return to action on Tuesday when they face Red Rock Central on the road at 4:30 p.m.
Looking ahead, Wajer wants his team to continue to embrace its team-first mentality and approach everything one game at a time.
“It’s just about the team and we before me,” said Wajer. “I think it’s kind of a different girl stepping up every time. Courtney had that big grand slam to get us going and then Laney put one down the line and used her legs to get around, so it’s just kind of a team effort and that’s what we focus on. There’s never any selfishness so we just have to keep moving forward one game at a time.”