By Sammy Clough, Columnist and Greg Peterson, Sports Editor
Sophomore pitcher Emily Demonte pitched a great game for the Furman softball team on Wed., April 19. In fact, she pitched a perfect game in the Paladins’ 12-0 trouncing of South Carolina State University.
The Paladins played a doubleheader against South Carolina State and pitched a shutout against the Bulldogs in the early game, prior to the perfect game.
Demonte pitched five innings and retired 15 batters. It all added up to Furman softball’s first perfect game since 2003.
The Paladins jumped to a quick lead, scoring three runs in the first inning. This cushion made Demonte comfortable on the mound and helped her establish confidence in her pitches.
Furman continued to pile on runs, eventually scoring 12, which further bolstered Demonte’s confidence.
The Paladins started an array of young players in this second game of a double header, including freshman catcher Tess Griswold. Demonte relied heavily on Griswold, as she called for each pitch from Demonte.
“Our defense made a lot of great plays,” said Demonte. “I could not have done it without them.”
Demonte’s teammates became aware of the potential perfect game early on, but made an effort not to tell her about it so she could just focus on the game.
She had no idea about her pitching feat until there were only two outs left in the game. “I don’t pay too much attention to stats,” Demonte said.
The final batter of the game bounced out to shortstop, after which a celebration of Demonte’s accomplishment occurred. She received many hugs from her teammates, and got added joy from her mother being in attendance. The scorekeeper gave Demonte’s mom a copy of the game’s scorecard as a memento for this accomplishment.
In the first game of the double header, junior Lindsey Bert only allowed two hits, and the Paladins had a commanding 8-0 victory over SC State.
Bert, the current SoCon Pitcher of the Week, struck out 11 batters and retired 15 out of the last 17 batters she faced for the game. The incredible pitching performance upped Bert’s record to 14-9, and it only took her five innings.
The Paladins’ bats supported the outstanding pitching, with redshirt junior Candace Johnson and senior Courtney Jacobs each having two hits and the team finishing with nine total hits. The Paladins’ offense exploded in the fifth inning, scoring seven runs in the final inning.
The Paladins are first place in the SoCon, with a 7-2 conference record and an overall record of 25-17.
Furman will continue their season, heading to SoCon rival East Tennessee State for a doubleheader on Sat., April 29.