CARMICHAELS – It is typically baseball and softball etiquette to avoid the pitcher at all costs when a perfect game or no-hitter has the potential of happening, especially late in the game.
That’s just not how the Renner sisters operate.
Entering the bottom of the fifth inning with a 10-run lead Wednesday afternoon, West Greene High School starting pitcher Jade Renner had yet to allow any runs or hits to Carmichaels. She was three outs away from perfection.
“I came over and told her, ‘Jade, not to jinx you or anything, but you have a perfect game going on here,’” Pioneers shortstop Madison Renner joked. “I told her to calm down and do her thing. We have the girls behind her who will make the plays.”
Following the advice of her older sister, Renner stepped back into the circle to get the final three outs and completed the perfect game as West Greene defeated Carmichaels 10-0 in a Section 2-A game.
Renner induced 11 groundouts, struck out two batters and didn’t allow a ball to exit the infield wheile leading the Pioneers to their 25th consecutive victory in section play.
“I have to give all the credit to the defense,” Jade Renner said. “I was able to hit the corners, but am thankful to have a good defense behind me. It gives me so much confidence.”
Her life in the circle is made much easier by the success West Greene (3-0, 6-1) has at the plate. All but two players in the Pioneers’ starting lineup scored a run, seven recorded at least one hit and eight reached base safely.
“If you can get our top two (batters) on base 75 to 80 percent of the time, then we are able to score some runs,” West Greene coach Bill Simms said about McKenna and Madison Lampe.
“They do a great job at setting the table. The other girls do a great job at filling in right behind them.”
The Lampe sisters combined for three hits, had two RBI and scored four runs, including the first two runs of the game in the first inning to give West Greene a 2-0 lead.
“The first three batters,” said Carmichaels coach Dave Briggs, “you have to get through them somehow by making plays. If you don’t get the leadoff batter out, then you don’t have a chance.”
Leading 4-0 after three innings, the dam finally burst in the fourth inning as West Greene scored six runs to reach the 10-run mercy rule. The Pioneers used five hits, including a two-run, line-drive single from Kaitlyn Rizor to right field. Mackenzie Carpenter drove in the final run on a double under the glove of diving Carmichaels center fielder Emily Menhart.
Working with a lead the entire game, Jade Renner spent little time pitching, needing only 51 pitches. The most pitches Renner through in a single inning was 14. She helped her own cause by going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
“She has kind of morphed into (pitching to contact),” Simms said. “Coming up through the ranks, she would just mow people down. We were actually worried sometimes that the other girls wouldn’t know how to play defense behind her. But that’s one thing that gets lost in the shuffle over the past couple of years. We showed that we could make plays with the glove a little bit today.”