Wayne Community’s freshman hurler, Sterling Berndt, took command in the circle early in the game and never looked back as she and her mates sailed to an 8-0 victory over Melcher-Dallas in the 1A Regional final game at Corydon Monday night.
Berndt handcuffed the Saint offense as she allowed only three hits and fanned 11 batters.
While Berndt was dealing goose eggs to the Saints, her mates were putting together an impressive offensive attack that produced 13 hits and eight runs. The power element was there as well. The Falcon attack included four doubles, a triple and a home run by the catcher, Camryn Jacobsen.
The Melcher-Dallas defense was shaky in the first inning and two errors allowed the Falcons an unearned run and a 1-0 lead. From there the Falcons scored in every inning but the third as they peppered the Saint defense with line drive hits.
Berndt was not only a problem for the Saints in the pitcher’s circle, but her bat was a force as well. She ripped a double to drive in two runs in the second inning and her triple sent another run home in the fourth inning.
Opportunities were very few for the Saints, but in the top of the fourth there was a glimmer of hope. Emilie Krpan led off the inning with a line shot down the right field line. With one out, Kynser Reed belted a double to put runners on second and third. But the threat went down the drain as the next two batters struck out.
The only other hit for the Saints was an infield single by DoraMae Bennett in the third. Only two other Saints would reach base in the contest. Kacey Enfield drew the only base on balls allowed by Berndt in the fifth inning and Krpan was hit by a pitch in the sixth inning.
“They are a very good team,” Saint Coach, Jim Crozier said. Their pitcher threw a great game and kept us off balance. Their offense got hits at the right time and they have good team speed. I thought maybe we could get back in the game when we put runners on second and third with one out in the fourth. We were only down 3-0 and those two runs might have put a different look on things. But Berndt got the two strikeouts and I felt that was the turning point in the game
“Emilie pitched well for us. She has been a work horse during her career. There are very few girls since the days of the yellow ball and 43 foot pitching distance that have over 900 strike outs. We will miss her as she is one of the best ever to pitch for Melcher-Dallas.”
The Saints finish the season with a record of 27-6 which is a school record for wins in a season. The Saints also set a school record for home runs in a season during this summer’s campaign with 13.
Melcher Dallas hitting: Krpan 1-for-2, Kynser Reed 1-for-3, Dora Mae Bennett 1-for-3