CLAY CITY -- If the South Putnam Eagles continue playing the way they have of late, they might just earn the label as sectional favorites in late May.
Call the Clay City Eels believers after South Putnam's Samantha Tomasino shut them down, allowing six hits and striking out four in a 5-0 shutout victory against the Class A No. 8 ranked Eels.
Coach Evonne Canary was quick to compliment her team's play on defense for the recent success.
"We went errorless tonight," said Canary. "We've struggled with that phase of the game. It's big for us defensively."
Tomasino's performance on the mound was especially telling against Clay City after struggling against the Eels last year.
Tomasino lasted just two innings last year, giving up five early runs, but on Tuesday, she was in control from the beginning.
She struck out our four over the first two innings and didn't allow her first base runner until the fourth inning.
Clay City's defensive miscues led to the second run for South Putnam.
Canary reached again, this time via walk, and Boetjer's grounder to Clay City pitcher Shelby Targett was thrown away.
Canary scored on an errant pickoff throw to second sailed into centerfield for one of four Clay City errors.
Leading 2-0, the Eagles had all the runs they would need with Tomasino not allowing her first baserunner until Tasha Collenbaugh reached on a single to right field.
South Putnam's defense came through when Canary picked off Collenbaugh at first base, which roved key when Kayla Baumgartner followed with a sharp single to leftfield.
She would be stranded as Tomasino pitched her way out of danger to maintain the shutout.
"(Tomasino) did an outstanding job," said Canary of her pitcher. "She kept her composure when they got on base. She takes it one game at a time. She's very competitive. The whole team is."
That trait was especially evident as South Putnam continued to focus on putting the game away late in the contest.
The Eagles scored two more runs in the fifth inning when Samantha Stanifer walked and Canary reached via an infield single. Boetjer lined a two-run double that effectively ended the Eels hopes for comeback.
The Eels fourth error of the game led to the Eagles' fifth run when Targett walked Krystal Welch and Stanifer reached on an error. Welch scored on a wildpitch for a 5-0 lead.
Clay City got a single from Kayla Withrow and a double from Tasha Collenbaugh in the seventh inning, but Tomasino got the final two outs for the victory that pushes the Eagles' season mark to 10-2.
"These girls set some goals this season and they are determined to achieve them and I think that showed in the quality of their play," commented coach Canary.
South Putnam travels to West Vigo at 5 p.m. Thursday.
At Clay City
S.Putnam 101 021 0 -- 5 4 0
Clay City 000 000 0 -- 0 6 4
2B -- SP (Canary, Boetjer).