There’s that distinctive sound which even an untrained ear can quickly interpret as a softball traveling at a frantic pace.
Such was the case on April 19 at Panther Park in Cedar Grove, and that sound was evident during Jess Peslak’s warm up session in the visitor’s bullpen.
It sounds something like this.
And then THWACK into the glove of catcher Marina Lombardi.
Having battled a series of injuries, which included sore hamstrings in both legs, along with a hip flexor, Peslak had struggled (at least for her) in some of her earlier games. For a pitcher who relies on her legs for power, some felt her velocity wasn’t at its usual clip, especially in the colder-weather games that have permeated most of April.
Not tonight, where the weather was warm and it was evident when the first batter struck out that this would be one THOSE nights. She struck out the side in the second, third and sixth innings, along with fanning the first two batters in the seventh before snaring a line drive to end the game.
Peslak struck out a season high 15, yielded three hits and walked one.
“We wanted this one,” Peslak said afterward. “They beat us (3-0, on April 3), but that wasn’t us that day. We’re coming around now.”
Offensively, Livingston (9-3) was paced by junior leadoff batter Kylie McLaughlin, who had three hits and was a menace on the base paths.
“We’re hitting a lot better now,” Peslak said as the team headed out of Panther Park. “This was a nice win.”