Just when it seemed things couldn’t get any more perfect for Carle Place, Ashley Cole goes and does something like this.
Cole, no stranger to throwing no-hitters, tossed the first perfect game of the softball season and the first in school history, leading Carle Place to a 4-0 win over Glen Cove on Thursday in Conference ABC-II.
“She did what she normally does,” Carle Place coach Chris Ceruti said. “She was working the corners very well and changing up the pitches. She was her usual self. She is so deserving of this because she has gotten close so many times.”
Cole’s curveball and fastball were working as she struck out 15 batters and recorded her 11th shutout of the season. She improved to 15-2, the most wins in Nassau County, with a 0.38 ERA and has struck out 280 batters while walking just seven.
“She gets better every year,” Ceruti said. “The more you do something that you’re really good at, the better you get. I think she has really perfected her game.”
Cole got some help, both offensively and defensively, from her shortstop Tori Hytell. With the bases loaded in the top of the fourth inning, Hytell hit a bases clearing triple to give Carle Place a 3-0 lead. She then stole home to tack on another run and provide the final margin. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Hytell cut off a ball hit up the middle and just got the runner at first base to keep the perfect game alive.
It was the fourth straight shutout for Cole, who over her last four games has allowed four hits, one walk, and struck out 46 batters. The perfect game was the latest accomplishment for the batterymate of Cole and Leanne Iannucci, long time teammates who have been calling their own game for three years.
Cole, a first-team All-Long Island selection last season, also tossed a no-hitter against Glen Cove (3-7) earlier in the season. She struck out 17 batters in a 5-0 win on April 17, in which the only baserunner she allowed reached on an error.
Carle Place improved to 10-1 and currently sit atop, not only the conference, but the Class B state rankings. The defending Long Island champions are preparing for a state title run and, with her perfect day, Cole showed why they have chance to capture it.
“Even coming from a smaller school,” Ceruti said, “I truly believe that Ashley is one of the top three or four pitchers in all of Long Island.“