South Effingham High School’s softball team had a relaxing day on Tuesday, defeating St. Vincent’s Academy 16-0 in four innings.
Casey Johnson was dominating in the circle, allowing only two hits and striking out nine batters. She picked up her third win of the season.
“She’s been great all year. She has been a pleasant addition to our team,” SEHS head softball coach Donnie Ussery said about Johnson. “She’s not going to overpower but she mixes her pitches well and hits her spots as well as anyone on the team. If we play solid defense behind her, then she is going to keep us in the game and give us a chance to win.”
The win improves South Effingham’s record to 6-8 overall and 2-0 in Region 3-AAA (A). The Lady Mustangs go for their third subregion game tonight against Burke County at 5 p.m.
Johnson pitched a perfect game until the fourth inning when Ashley Ehret led off the inning with an infield hit. Johnson allowed her second hit when Jenna Yarborough reached first base with two outs.
Ussery likes what he sees from Johnson and said he’s not afraid to pitch her against any team in the state.
“I pitched her against Oconee and Harrison so I’m not afraid to put her against anybody,” he said. “She has confidence in herself and she’s a part of my rotation now.”
Leadoff hitter Katie Rietkovich led the Lady Mustang offense, going 3-for-3, scoring three runs and knocking in a run.
The Lady Mustangs pounded 11 hits and took advantage of four Saints errors in the win.
South Effingham got a quick start, scoring eight runs in the first inning.
Rietkovich started the inning with a single and scored on Alexis Mercer’s single. Later, Ciara Knowles scored Mercer and Joni Lynn, who walked, with a single to left-center field. With two outs Lindsey Brichacek smacked a double to center field, scoring Knowles and Sarah Parker, who walked. Next, Laura Bryant singled and Reitkovich reached on an error. All three runners later scored on errors and wild pitches.
Ussery said the win was good for the girls’ confidence and a welcome break from a competitive schedule.
“It’s good for us because we’ve played so serious of ball and so many tight ball games,” he said. “The girls are having fun. They’re loose and relaxed but the biggest thing is team chemistry. This is an opportunity for them to laugh and have a good time.”
After the game was called, Ussery and SVA coach Gary Ogden agreed to continue playing to help improve the Saints.
“They’re trying to build their program and that’s why they wanted to play some extra innings,” Ussery said. “They want to be competitive and they will be. They have a good coaching staff and they’ll get better.”
Ussery said the biggest improvement he’s seen in the Saints is their pitching.
SVA 000 0 — 0 2 4
SEHS 844 x — 16 13 1
W — Casey Johnson (3-0). L — Casey Tuttle.
SVA: Ashley Ehret, 1-3, Jenna Yarborough, 1-3; Katie Rietkovich, 3-3, 2B, 3 R, 2 RBIs; Ciara Knowles, 1-1, 3 R, RBI; Austin Oglesby, 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI; Laura Bryant, 2-3, 2 RBI.