BUCKTOWN — Emily Oltman carried a perfect game into the fifth inning while Perkiomen Valley received offensive support from Noelle McCullough's two-RBI double in the first inning as the Vikings topped Owen J. Roberts, 2-0, on Thursday night at Wildcat Field.
"(The win) felt good,' Oltman said. "I didn't expect to come in and strike people out. I thought there was going to be some hits and my teammates were going to back me up.'
The win brought Perkiomen Valley (9-3 PAC-10) within a game of Owen J. Roberts (10-2) for second place in the PAC-10. The Vikings will travel to first-place Spring-Ford on Friday while Owen J. Roberts takes on Phoenixville.
"They say good pitching beats good hitting,' OJR head coach Kevin Kirby said. "That's what happened tonight.'
"This win shows that we can pull ourselves back up,' Oltman said regarding her team's early season struggles. "We were losing to teams that we shouldn't have earlier and now we're coming together.'
The sophomore showed great command in the circle as she frustrated Wildcats hitters all night, racking up 10 strikeouts and working the minimum in four of the seven innings. The righthander didn't surrender her first hit until Alissa Vining laced a single up in the middle with two outs in the fifth inning.
All in all, not a bad performance as the team starts to hit its stride with the end of the PAC-10 season looming.
"I just had confidence,' Oltman said. "I wasn't worried about what their record was; I just treated it as a normal game.
"I thought I had a perfect game going, but I had my team to back me up. I wasn't really worried about whether they got hits or not.'
The Vikings gave her a two-run cushion in the first inning as McCullough — after singles by AnaMarie Bruni and Brenna Sermarini — smacked a two-run double off OJR starting pitcher Kylie Glenn to right field, bouncing off the snow fence allowing Bruni and Sermarini to come racing home.
That two-spot in the first was more than enough for Oltman as she worked 1-2-3 innings through the fourth. After allowing the Vining single in the fifth, Oltman got hot-hitting Sydney Schnarrs swinging to end the inning.
"She (Oltman) did tremendous,' Kirby said. "I said to (Perk Valley head coach) Dan (McLaughlin) that if she pitches like that then no one will beat them. No walks, ten strikeouts. We had 27 strikeouts all year — 13 games.'
"I thought we battled tonight. We got into some deep counts but she just made the pitch when she had to. It helped that her defense played flawless around her, too.'
Glenn, after the two-run first inning, settled down as well as she faced the minimum in four of the next five innings. She escaped a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fourth with the help of catcher Lauren Wensel who caught a PV baserunner napping at first to end the inning. Glenn allowed eight hits while striking out three in the loss.
"I can't say enough about what Kylie did,' Kirby said. "Just because she doesn't strike out as many people doesn't mean she isn't as effective.
"Kylie isn't going to strike out 15 people a game but we have a really good defense behind her. I told my kids that we couldn't have played any better defensively.'
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