Melea Bruns stepped up to the plate in the top of the first inning, hoping to start an early rally in the Royals’ 9-0 win over the Monticello Magic on Thursday afternoon.
Bruns did her job, got on base and scored quickly on a passed ball. Bruns, the second batter of the game for the Royals, and Katelyn Kemmetmueller, the third batter, both scored in the top of the first, giving Kemmetmueller a 2-0 cushion as she took the mound.
“It’s definitely easier playing with a lead, and as a team we are able to play much more relaxed,” Kemmetmueller said.
Kemmetmueller struck out two in the first inning, but her night was just beginning. Her teammates kept putting up runs on offense, and she kept making sure she was doing all she could to make sure no Magic base runners got on base.
She had five strikeouts through two innings and six through three innings. Something special was happening.
On the offensive side, Rogers was able to play many different players after getting out to a 5-0 lead early in the game. Coach Chris Donnay is grateful that so many are getting experience early in the season.
“The older girls are getting it done and executing every sign,” Donnay said. “This helps the younger players and helps them see how it’s done.”
Kemmetmueller, one of the seniors, agreed.
“I think the younger players on the team have really stepped up this year and taken advantage of the learning opportunities they have been given both in games and in practice,” she said. “They are working with a large group of seniors who have a lot of experience and knowledge to share.”
The perfect game ended in the bottom of the third when Kemmetmueller hit a batter but the special night continued to blossom as fans started murmurs about a no-hitter. Eight strikeouts through four innings, the Magic still had no hits and Kemmetmueller didn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. A future Minnesota gopher, Kemmetmueller said that coming into the season with a future plan has really helped her early in the season.
“It has taken some of the pressure off,” Kemmetmueller said. “But as a team I think we still have the same approach. We take it game by game and try not to look too far ahead.”
The no-hitter ended in the bottom of the fifth inning when Magic’s Maddie Klaverkamp doubled off Kemmetmueller. She would strike out the next three batters, bringing her total to 11 through five innings.
Alyssa Schwartz scored an extra insurance run in the top of the sixth inning for Rogers, the ninth of the game for Rogers off 11 hits.
Kemmetmueller’s strikeout total reached 16, ending with fanning five of the last six batters she faced. In total she threw 92 pitches, 71 for strikes, while allowing just one hit. She is now 2-0 on the season, posting a 0.00 earned run average.
Rogers (3-0) takes on Cambridge-Isanti on Tuesday, April 19, at Rogers High School. First pitch is at 4:30 p.m.