November 25, 2014

Elyria
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Same old stuff: Black River’s Dagmar Smith opens season with no-hitter

SULLIVAN TWP. — Dagmar Smith started off this season the same way she pitched most of 2011 — practically perfect.

The Black River junior pitched a five-inning, rain-shortened no-hitter Friday to lead the Pirates to a 3-0 non-league win over Crestview in the season opener.

Over the past two seasons she has six no-hitters, including three perfect games.

“I wasn’t nervous today, just really excited for the season to start,” Smith said. “My curveball and riseball were really working for me. I felt just like I did last year.”

The only Crestview batter to reach base was leadoff hitter Brette Purvis, who popped up the second pitch of the game.

After some confusion among the Pirates infielders, shortstop Nora Smith charged to the center of the diamond where the ball ticked off her glove and landed in the center of the pitching circle.

The early defensive miscue didn’t rattle Dagmar Smith, who retired the next 15 hitters. Smith struck out the side in the second and third innings on the way to a nine-strikeout day. Last season she fanned 245 hitters in 131 innings.

“It was a typical Dagmar performance,” Pirates coach Merle Simmons said. “Every times she pitches she just sets the tone for the game.”

Smith also set the tone for the offense, scoring the game’s first run on a Taylor double in the first inning.

Goff almost didn’t make it to the field in time to take her position as cleanup hitter and starting catcher. She spent the morning on a school-sponsored field trip to the Cleveland International Film Festival at Tower City Center in downtown Cleveland. The group was scheduled to return to the school around 1:30 but after one bus broke down on the way back to the school and a second got lost on the way to picking up the students, Goff didn’t make it back to school until 4:25. She had to sprint off the bus and across the street to the field with just seconds to spare before the first pitch.

“I was really upset because I didn’t think I was going to make it back for the game,” Goff said.

Once she got on the field, Goff took her frustrations out on the Cougars (0-4), driving a double to right-center in her first at-bat and scoring a run in the fourth after drawing a walk, stealing second and advancing on a pair of wild pitches.

“I was struggling to hit in our scrimmages so it was really important for me to get that hit in my first at-bat,” Goff said. “I know that I need to get on base to set the tone for our entire offense.”

Crestview’s Sara Kreitzer wasn’t too shabby either, allowing one earned run while holding the Pirates to one hit for four innings before Black River pounded out three straight hits before thunder, lightning and a soaking downpour stopped play.

“It felt good to play a game and see the girls come out and perform,” Simmons said. “We scrimmaged all Division I teams because I wanted us to be tested and ready to face stiff competition.”

Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.