CHATHAM, NJ - Anna Lengner doesn't want to be in a position where she's viewed as a better pitcher than a hitter, or vice versa.
"I work on both, so I like to think I can do both," Lengner said. "I work on them both equally."
No one can say the Chatham sophomore wasn't hitting and pitching equally well on Monday when she led the Lady Cougars to their fifth straight softball victory, 4-0 over Parsippany Hills at the Chatham Middle School.
Lengner pitched a four-hitter, striking out seven to gain the shutout and drove in three of the four runs with a single and a double.
"I was able to spot my fastball really well today, which helped because I was putting my fastball right where I wanted to and the changeup threw them off balance," Lengner said. "I worked (in the offseason) on my speed and my spins so the ball would move more."
Chatham (5-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Morgan Pellegrin drew a two-out walk and scored on Lengner's booming double to right center.
Lengner made the one run stand up until the fifth when the Lady Cougars pushed across three runs. Morgan Tobin led off the inning with an infield hit and Bonnie Kennedy beat out a bunt single. Camryn Davies then dropped a single into center for an RBI to make it 2-0.
Morgan Pellegrin then put down a sacrifice bunt that moved Kennedy and Davies to third and second, respectively. Both scored on Lengner's single to center.
"I just try and focus and make contact," Lengner said. "If I get too much into my head, I mess up. So I just try to keep to the basics."
Anna Lengner talks about her pitching and hitting for Chatham after her shutout and three RBI
Parsippany HIlls (1-5) didn't get its first runner on base until the third inning, but she was erased trying to steal on catcher Kaitlin Pinaire's throw to shortstop Davies. Pinaire nailed a second runner trying to steal in the fourth.
"That was fun," Pinaire said. "I hadn't thrown anybody out yet, so that was really good for me."
Lengner faced the minimum 12 batters through the first four innings and the right-hander stayed strong throughout, striking out two in the fifth and two more in the sixth.
"All her pitches were working and they could barely hit the ball," :Pinaire said. "Her pitches were exactly where they were supposed to be."
Anna Lengner notches one of her seven strikeouts vs. Parsippany HIlls