PHOENIXVILLE - Freshman Jess Eldridge pitched a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts as Phoenixville defeated Pottstown, 9-1, in Pioneer Athletic Conference softball action April 16.
Eldridge hurled a full seven innings and allowed just one first-inning run while walking two batters on the day. The Phantoms (2-7, 2-8) committed no errors behind her. Offensively, Phoenixville picked up 13 hits and scored runs in each of the first four innings.
Kelly Knapp, Tiler Rennard and Eldridge each had two-hit ballgames for the Phantoms with Rennard and Eldridge each knocking in two runs. Knapp, Lainey Michaud and Nomi Washington each scored a pair of runs for the Phantoms, who scored two in the first, two in the second, one in the third and four in the fourth. Olivia Teter chipped in with a double to begin the fifth inning.
Miranda Swinehart also pitched a complete game for Pottstown (0-9, 0-9), which committed five errors that led to four unearned runs. Swinehart totaled six strikeouts and two walks.
The Trojans scored their run when Terry Chestnut began the game with a walk, stole second base, took third on Swinehart's groundout to the pitcher and scored on Jade Yingling's groundout to third base.
"It (no-hitter) does feel good when it happens,' said Eldridge, who plays her youth softball at the Kimberton Youth Athletic League (KYAL). "It does not happen often. We just need to get our hits going. Other than than, we're a good defending team.'
Eldridge utilizes a fastball, changeup, drop and rise in her mix of pitches.
The continuous cold and windy weather has made it difficult on all athletes this spring, and Eldridge is no different from the rest of the softball pitchers in that aspect of the game.
"It is tough to get the pitches down, but everyone is in the same position,' said Eldridge.
Phoenixville coach Jennie Moore discussed Eldridge.
"She's young and she has some things to work on,' said Moore. "She has shown us she can throw the ball well. We just have to make the plays behind her. She's shown us a lot. But she's young. She just needs to keep pitching to be good with real growth. Hopefully, she will get better as the season goes on.'
Moore still has more concerns on offense with her Phantoms.
"Our biggest thing is putting the ball in play,' said Moore. "We have to put pressure on them (opponents). We are still striking out too much, but our hitting today was better than in past games.'