Bittner, Mater Dei's defense stop PC

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By Larry Goffinet

BRETZVILLE - Stephanie Bittner threw a two-hitter as Mater Dei beat Perry Central 11-0 in the Class 2A girls softball sectional semifinals Tuesday.

The Commodores hit only one ball out of the infield in the five-inning game. They had nine ground outs, five strikeouts, and one runner caught stealing.

"We didn't put the ball in play very much," said Perry Central Coach Greg Gibson.

He called Bittner's pitches "sneaky fast. She had good movement on them and she ran them in on us a little bit. And she hit her spots very well."

The Commodores' first hit was a high chopper at the plate by Haley Lewis with two out in the third inning.

Mater Dei's catcher fielded it cleanly but hesitated before throwing to first, apparently thinking it was foul. By the time she made the throw, Lewis beat it out.

The Commodores' other hit was a clean single up the middle by Emily Tempel with two out in the fourth inning. But a ground out to the pitcher then ended that inning.

Bittner fielded her position well, smothering five ground balls - some of them hit hard.

Perry Central got Mater Dei out 1-2-3 in the first inning. But the Wildcats scored in every inning after that.

They had 13 hits, including six for extra bases.

Krystal Schmitt went 3 for 3 and Lauren Martin hit a two-run homer over the center-field fence and an RBI double.

Abby Preher pitched a complete game for Perry Central, walking none and striking out none.

Perry Central played decent defense, committing only two errors.

"We made some good defensive plays," said Gibson . "We've come a long way since March."

Perry Central finished the season 3-17. Mater Dei advanced to the finals with a 16-14 record.