MARENGO – Sterling senior Jayme Eilers knew of her school’s rivalry with Marengo before she stepped foot in a high school
“Before I was even in high school, we’d always go head to head, and it was always a really good game,” Eilers said. “When I was a freshman, it was kind of instilled in me that Marengo’s our enemy, and we want to beat them all the time.
“We always want to play our best when we play Marengo.”
For the second year in a row, the Golden Warriors were at their very best against the Indians. Eilers, a Western Carolina commit, tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing four hits and striking out eight batters with no walks in a 6-0 victory at Marengo’s Round Robin Tournament on Saturday.
Warren Township defeated Sterling 17-11 earlier in the day.
Marengo (3-2) entered Saturday’s games with 40 runs in their first three games, including games of 13, 19 and 17.
“We’ve never really been able to hit her all that hard,” Indians coach Dwain Nance said of Eilers. “She moves the ball inside and out really well, she has really good command of her pitches, and she’s right there in the strike zone.
“The ball moves, and she throws fairly hard. That’s tough to hit.”
All four of Marengo’s hits against Eilers were singles. The Indians’ best scoring chance came in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Grace Houghton and Annabel Vega-Perez had back-to-back base hits up the middle with two outs. But after giving up her first two hits, Eilers struck out Isabella Durham on three pitches.
“Jayme looked sharp,” Golden Warriors coach Becki Edmondson said. “We weren’t going to use her [against Warren]. With Marengo being in our sectional, we felt like we needed to put our best out there. Dwain is a smart coach, and obviously he studies and he knows how she pitches. We tried a couple of new things, and she pitched really well.”
For Marengo, sophomore Kiley Christopher made her first varsity start, giving up six runs (four earned) and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. She struck out two and walked two.
“I haven’t had many varsity [appearances] before, so today was a little bit different for me,” Christopher said. “I definitely feel like this is good learning experience for not only me, but the team, and how far we still have to come.”
Sterling scored two runs in the second, one in the fifth, and three in the sixth. Gretchen Gould was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Genea Garza scored twice and drove in a run, and Jordan Thormeyer was 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.
Lauren Aubry and Brooke O’Rourke had the other two hits for the Indians.