Tuesday , May 15, 2018 - 3:01 PM
Syracuse's Ashtyn Bauerle pitches the ball during a 6A first round softball playoff game against Westlake on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at Syracuse High School.
SYRACUSE — The weather is heating up and, apparently, so is Ashtyn Bauerle’s pitching.
What better way to christen the first round of the 6A state softball playoffs by throwing your first perfect game?
The Syracuse senior pitcher retired every Westlake batter that came to the plate as Bauerle tossed a five-inning perfect game in the Titans’ 10-0, run-rule win over the Thunder on Tuesday.
Apparently, she was so focused that she didn’t know about the perfect game until afterward.
“I’ve thrown no-hitters, I’ve thrown a couple of those — but I’ve never thrown a perfect game, so that was pretty cool,” she said.
She struck out nine of the 15 batters she faced Tuesday, including all three Thunder batters in the first and third innings.
The only ball to leave the infield was a fly ball to left field.
The only inning where Bauerle didn’t record a strikeout was the fourth, when first baseman Kylie Derrick made a nice defensive play on a short-hopped throw to preserve the perfect game.
“The big thing with her is we gotta get ahead (in the count) so we can start nibbling on the corners a little bit,” head coach Kelly Anderson said. “As it’s gotten warmer, she’s gotten better.”
“The last few games have been her best games coming down the stretch.”
Syracuse gave Bauerle a big lead to work with early, plating six runs in the first inning.
Kylie Derrick ‘s two-run single started the rout and the other four runs that frame came across from wild pitches and passed balls. Westlake didn’t record an out until it was 4-0.
Aubri Huffaker and Fallyn Marshall each drove in a run after a fielding error scored the first Syracuse run of the second inning.
That made it 9-0. Meanwhile, Bauerle continued to sit batters down left and right.
“One of our mottos this year is ‘It’s just a game,’ because early in the year we kind of got really tense in those big games,” Bauerle said. “I think that’s helped us a lot.”
Kemri Curtis guided an RBI single through the left side for the walkoff win in the fifth inning while Bauerle was standing in the on-deck circle.
Syracuse High and Westlake High share the common theme by being relatively new high schools. Syracuse opened in 2007, Westlake opened in 2009.
The teams had played once, an 8-4 win for the Thunder back in 2012, but that’s about where the similarities between the teams end now.
The Titans didn’t celebrate after the win. Anderson added that his the team is trying not to get too high or too low emotionally — so it’s on to the next round, another home game against Kearns at 4 p.m. Thursday.