LAFAYETTE — It might have been the most unusual performance of its kind, but no matter how it’s sliced, 20 strikeouts is pretty impressive.
Ridiculously impressive, actually.
Peak to Peak’s Jo Bolyard achieved the feat Friday in the Pumas’ season-opener, a 14-7 win against visiting Centaurus.
“I had no idea,” Bolyard said.
Typically, a 20-K performance means utter dominance, very few baserunners and oftentimes a shutout. In short, the opposing team seldom scores seven runs.
But a look between the lines reveals Bolyard was as proficient as the lofty totals suggest. None of the seven runs were earned, as the Pumas committed five errors and accounted for only one out in the field — a groundout to second to end the fourth.
“The thing I like about that kid is she keeps her head together when she’s got young kids playing behind her,” Pumas coach Mike Dedmon said. “I’ve seen pitchers just lose it when there’s an error.”
Bolyard, who also ripped a double, a triple, drove in three runs and stole three bases in the one-girl-demolition-crew of a performance, indeed exhibited remarkable poise no matter what the situation.
“We had a few errors, but it’s only our fifth day all together,” Bolyard said. “I think we did great. We still have a lot to work on, but I think we’re coming together.”
The Pumas complemented their 12 hits with 12 walks against a young Centaurus pitching staff, with shortstop Rachel Reese (2 for 3, RBI) and first baseman Kyla Hilty (2 for 3, two RBIs) also starring in the lineup.
In fairness, Centaurus was shorthanded with starting catcher Danelle Dondelinger attending her brother’s graduation at the University of Denver, starting center fielder Sara Neitenbach suspended for the first four games and infielders Elizabeth Acosta and Jordan Keller available but not at full strength.
That did nothing to diminish Bolyard’s performance, however.
“When we did put it in play, we had some success because it’s everyone’s first game so the defense isn’t sharp,” Warriors coach Mike Lujan said. “But when you don’t put it in play, you don’t challenge Jo that way.”
Acosta, who played second base instead of her customary shortstop position, went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and an RBI for the Warriors. Four-sport athlete Shanlie Anderson made her softball debut and reached on an error, stole, and scored on a wild pitch in her one at-bat. She was lifted from her left-field position when Lujan made a double-switch for a pitching change.
Centaurus is trying to mix and match with youthful arms such as Nikki Blunn, Aynesley Jessip and Melissa Kaiser while waiting for Erie-transfer Jonelle McClure to become eligible after sitting out the first half of the season.
Bolyard delivered the key hit in the second, a two-run double that one-hopped the left-field wall. It pushed the Pumas’ early lead to 5-2 and kick-started a five-run inning.
And with the way she was dealing in the pitching circle, it was plenty for the Pumas.
“It was a great first game,” she said. “The thing I like about this year is everyone is willing to try and everyone wants to play.”
Follow Paul on Twitter: @PaulWillis21
Peak to Peak 14, Centaurus 7
At Peak to Peak HS
Score by innings:
Centaurus (0-1) 203 000 2 — 7 5 4
Peak to Peak (1-0) 350 024 X — 14 12 5
Centaurus hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — DiLullo 4-0-0-0, Anderson 1-1-0-0, Jessip 2-2-1-0, Acosta 3-3-2-1, Love 4-1-0-0, Leonard 4-0-1-0, Kaiser 3-0-0-0, Blunn 3-0-1-0, Shawghnessy 2-0-0-0, Sluman 1-0-0-0, Johnson 2-0-0-0, Keller 2-0-0-0. Totals 30-7-5-1. 2B — Blunn. SB — Anderson, Acosta.
Peak to Peak hitting — S. Martinez 5-1-2-0, Reese 3-1-2-1, Tea. Anderson 2-2-0-0, Bolyard 3-2-2-3, Kracha 3-1-1-1, Tes. Anderson 3-2-1-1, Hilty 3-2-2-2, K. Martinez 2-1-1-2, Lee 4-2-1-0. Totals 28-14-12-10. 2B — S. Martinez, Bolyard, Hilty. 3B — Bolyard. SB — Bolyard 3, Tea. Anderson 2, Reese, Tes. Anderson, K. Martinez, Lee.
Centaurus pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-k) — Blunn 0.2-1-3-3-4-0, Jessip 1.1-4-5-5-4-1, Kaiser 4 6-6-4-4-3.
Peak to Peak pitching — Bolyard 7-5-7-0-4-20.