SEMINOLE — In big games, Seminole’s Jennie Sittloh tends to reach back and ramp up the velocity with every pitch.
This one was certainly big. The Warhawks were hosting Countryside in a matchup of unbeatens with first place on the line in Class 7A, District 10.
But Sittloh did not need to blow by hitters with speed.
Instead, she became the consummate groundball pitcher and steered away from trouble by keeping the ball low in a 2-0 victory.
It was an effective performance as she pitched a three-hit shutout against a lineup that had been averaging 10 runs a game.
“We just needed to have Jennie stay low and let the defense take care of the rest,” Seminole coach Mark DeRuzzo said. “She can try to put something behind her pitches in big games and the ball starts to rise. That didn’t happen.”
Sittloh recorded four strikeouts and allowed three singles, two by catcher Hailee Keisling. The glove work of her teammates consistently worked. And even if it was shaky, the Warhawks (6-0) managed to pull through.
Two errors to start the fourth inning gave the Cougars (5-1) runners at first and second. Both moved over after a groundout. But Sittloh struck out the next batter and got the next one to fly out.
“We have a really good defense this year, and I have a lot of trust in them,” Sittloh said. “It was a big win for us. We just have to keep it going.”
Seminole got the run it needed in the first inning when Brooke Ours walked and moved to third on a passed ball. She scored on a sacrifice fly by Sittloh.
In the fourth inning, the Warhawks added a run when Katy Shankle walked, advanced to second on a groundout and scored on a single by Katlyn Vega.