Manhattan Friday's Class 3A state quarterfinal game between McLouth High and Herington-White City might as well have been renamed The Lezley Lawson Show.
Think of it in "Saturday Night Live" terms. "SNL" is mostly comedy with a dash of music; Lezley's show primarily was pitching with just enough hitting.
The MHS junior struck out 17 of 21 batters she faced on her way to a perfect game at Twin Oaks Sports Complex in Manhattan.
Lawson, who went 2-for-3 from the plate against Railers junior pitcher Crysta Brockmeier, also knocked in what would be the only run of the game in the third.
With senior Abby Annis at second, Lawson drove Annis home with a single to left. Lawson's arm held up the rest of the way as McLouth won, 1-0, for the Bulldogs' first state tournament win in school history.
"To a certain extent, you expect that out of a kid like Lulu," MHS coach Ballard Patterson said, referring to Lawson by her nickname, and discussing her ability to get the perfect game and hit in the clutch.
No. 2-seed and undefeated McLouth, accustomed to shutting out opponents by double-digit margins, was happy to win the tight, first-round game against Herington (14-10).
Lawson said the team had discussed earlier in the week that close games would be the norm at the state level.
"Manufacturing runs," Lawson said. "If we do score just one, we have to keep our defense up."
The Bulldogs (21-0) will face No. 2 Thomas More Prep-Marian (22-1), of Hays, in the semifinals at 10 a.m. today.