Clennon shuts down Panthers

Published 8:42 pm Monday, May 14, 2012

Austin pitcher Marie Clennon goes through her wind-up in a 4-0 win over Rochester Century in Todd Park Monday. Clennon allowed just three hits as she picked up a shutout. -- Rocky Hulne/

Austin senior Marie Clennon was pretty happy to pick up her first shutout of the season when the Packers beat Rochester Century 4-0 in both team’s regular season finales at Todd Park Monday.

But she was even happier that she found her comfort zone.

Clennon recently made her return to the circle after being hit by a line drive and knocked out of a game in the Elks Tournament April 27. While she now where’s a protective mask, Clennon was still a little shaky around line drives heading into the contest.

Austin's Danielle Tschann lifts a fly ball against Rochester Century in Todd Park Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

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So when a Century hitter drilled a line drive right at Clennon in the fourth inning, she may have surprised herself a little when she calmly reached down and caught it.

“That one came back at me and I flinched, but I caught it so that’s a big step,” Clennon said. “It was tough to sit out a week, and the first few times a ball was hit back at me, I was flinchy. But I think I’m over that and I’m glad I’m not still gun shy.”

Clennon dominated the Panthers (2-15 overall, 2-12 Big Nine) much of the day as she allowed just three hits and struck out four. She also added a pair of RBIs to help her cause.

“Most of my pitches were working today and I definitely had backup (on defense). Everyone was working together,” Clennon said.

Austin head coach Tina Strauss said she was glad to see Clennon back in full form in the pitching circle.

“She did a really good job,” Strauss said. “She has so many pitches that can just mess with a batter. She can throw high, low, in and out. There’s so many locations that she can go at.”

Austin (7-12 overall, 6-8 Big Nine) took the lead in the third inning when Katelyn Joseph hit an infield single and Sydney Murphy bunted for a base hit. Both players advanced on a double steal and they scored on RBI-groundouts by Clennon and Abbey Ball.

“We like to run, so we can get in scoring position,” Murphy said. “Then someone can knock us in.”

Austin's Sheby Oldenkamp pulls in a pop fly against Rochester Century in Todd Park Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

The Packers added a couple of more runs in the fifth inning when Clennon singled in a run and Danielle Tschann doubled in a run.

Murphy, a freshman, went 2-for-2 with two steals and two runs and she also played solid shortstop for the Packers as she made plenty of plays on grounders.

“I’m just working on taking my time, fielding the ball cleanly and making good throws,” Murphy said. “The seniors have been really helpful (for me) and they’ve shown me what to do.”

Austin will host the Big Nine tournament Friday, where they’ll play one game at 4:30 p.m. Then they’ll prepare for the Section 1AAA tournament, which begins May 23.

“If we play (in the playoffs) like we did tonight, we’ll do great,” Clennon said.

Century 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 — 0 3 1

Austin 0 0 2 0 2 0 X — 4 7 1

Austin pitching: Marie Clennon (W), 7 IP, 3 H, 3 BB, 0 R, 4 K

Austin hitting: Katelyn Joseph, 1-for-3, R, SB, BB; Sydney Murphy, 2-for-2, 2 R, 2 SB, BB; Abbey Ball, 1-for-3, RBI; Clennon, 1-for-3, 2 RBI; Danielle Tschann, 1-for-3, double, RBI; Kallie Hart, 0-for-1, SB, 2 HBP; Liz Gerhart, 1-for-3, SB; Shelby Oldenkamp, 0-for-3; Taylor Hackensmith, 0-for-2, R, BB