AVON — Facing elimination in the Little League District 3 U10 softball tournament, Mya St. Peter was nearly perfect for Elyria East.
St. Peter faced just one batter over the minimum in tossing a 5-0 no-hitter against Avon at Veterans Memorial Park to keep East alive in the losers bracket. St. Peter missed out on a perfect game with one fielding error by Elyria and one walk.
“It was good to throw a no-hitter to keep us playing,” said St. Peter about her first career no-no. “My fastball was my best pitch and I really didn’t have to do much different (from the first time they played).”
East advances to the finals and will face Tallmadge on Monday at 5:15 p.m. at Macca Park. Elyria will have to beat Tallmadge twice to advance, which will be a tall order after losing 24-10 in their first meeting of the tournament.
“She (St. Peter) pitched a great game, but the defense helped out a lot too,” said Elyria coach Brook Blankenship. “The defense was there backing her up all night.”
East wasted little time jumping into the lead, scoring one in the first and three in the second to put the pressure on the Eagles from the start.
Walks hurt Avon starter, and summer travel teammate of St. Peter, Taylor Graham as Bailey Blankenship drew a bases-loaded walk to drive home Jessica Chapman, who had also reach on a walk.
Emma Clark drew a walk to start the second inning for Elyria, but it looked like she might be stranded after Graham got a fly ball to left and a strikeout with Clark standing at third base.
Jamie Morton chopped a ball in front of the plate and Graham’s only play was at home, but Clark beat the throw to run the lead to 2-0.
That opened the gates for East as St. Peter (2-for-4, two runs, RBI) doubled to left-center and came home on Chapman’s flare single to left field for a 4-0 lead.
Graham settled down after the first two innings, allowing just two more hits and one walk in the final four innings of play.
Even with Graham settling down for Avon, the damage had been done as St. Peter mowed down Eagles hitters one right after another, retiring the first 11 batters with four strikeouts.
Graham was the first Avon batter to reach base, wiping out the perfect-game bid when the Elyria second baseman misplayed a ball. Graham was stranded when Kayla Dykin grounded out to end the inning.
Carrie Biesterfeldt was the only other Eagles player to reach base, drawing a walk to start the fifth inning. She was erased on a 2-6-3 caught stealing.
St. Peter clamped down, striking out three of the last five Avon hitters to finish off the no-hitter.
“Defensively they shut us down,” said Avon coach Joe Rattay. “If we had put some better swings together it might have been a better outcome, but to come from an 18-4 loss to 5-0 shows how hard these girls worked. I’m really proud of the effort by the girls today.”
Contact James Brady at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.