BY ED WRIGHT
April 13, 2010, 1:50 a.m.
Plymouth High School freshman Elaine Gerou lives to be 100 years old,
she probably won't forget her high school pitching debut, which
unfolded Monday afternoon surrounded by a series of the most
tension-packed scenarios imaginable.
It's a given that South Lyon's softball team won't soon forget Gerou either.
With Plymouth clinging to a 2-1 lead in its season opener at South Lyon, a Lion runner perched on third base and one out, Wildcats head coach Val Canfield summoned Gerou from her spot in left field to relieve starting pitcher Lauren Smith, who was pure dynamite for six-and-a-third innings.
"As Elaine ran in from left field, she was probably thinking, 'What is coach doing putting me in in this situation?" Canfield said, smiling. "Lauren had pitched the game of her life against a very good team, but South Lyon had just hit a double and a triple, so I had to make the move.
"I brought in Elaine because I have so much confidence in her."
Canfield's confidence was rewarded as Gerou struck out the first batter she ever faced as a high school pitcher and got the next batter to hit a medium-depth fly ball that center fielder Jessica Bondy easily grabbed to end the game.
"It was a great game," Canfield said. "All the parents from both teams gave the kids a standing ovation after it was over."
Smith was remarkable on the mound for the Wildcats, striking out 13 Lions while yielding just three hits -- two in the seventh inning -- and one walk.
"Lauren pitched a phenomenal game," said Canfield. "I couldn't have asked for anything more from her."
Plymouth's only runs came in the fifth when Brea Giordano walked, Marissa Blassic singled and senior Tessa Heldmeyer delivered a two-run single.
"What a clutch hit from our senior," said Canfield, referring to Heldmeyer's hit.
South Lyon pitcher Danielle Boore was almost as dominating as Smith, blanking the 'Cats in all but the fifth inning. She finished with four strikeouts and two walks, and she yielded just four hits -- one each from Blassic, Heldmeyer, Amanda Burnard and Gerou.
The defensive play of the game was turned in by Plymouth senior shortstop Stacey Klonowski, who made an over-the-shoulder, running-away-from the infield catch in the sixth inning with runners on first and second. She then zipped a throw to second to double off the runner and end the Lions' threat.
Ed Wright can be
reached at (734) 453-1980 or email@example.com.