Kinnelon limits mistakes, beats Mountain Lakes

Kinnelon limits mistakes, beats Mountain Lakes

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Kinnelon limits mistakes, beats Mountain Lakes

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KINNELON

As the Kinnelon High School softball team works to replace seven starters from last season’s team they know that some mistakes will come.

On Tuesday afternoon the Colts were able to limit those mistakes to just one inning and take advantage of the opportunities given to them to defeat Mountain Lakes, 10-5, in Kinnelon.

“You want to have no innings where you have any type of mistakes, mental or physical,” Kinnelon head coach Danielle Elia said. “Physical will come and you just deal with it, but keeping that to a minimum is the goal.”

“When you know you have a strong defense behind you, you feel more confident up at the plate and in the field,” senior pitcher Grace Carvalho said. “It is good to know you have good people defending you behind you.”

Kinnelon took advantage of five walks in the bottom of the second to take a 5-0 lead before they let the Lakers score three in the next half inning due partially to a mistake.

Mountain Lakes reached on an error to lead off the inning before Carvalho walked the first of only three batters on the day.

Carvalho, who struck out eight batters on the day, struck out the next batter before giving up a double to deep center field to junior Danielle Donadio that scored both runners.

Donadio then stole third and scored on a sacrifice fly from starting pitcher Chloe Shmanske before Carvalho forced a lineout to second base to end the inning.

After that inning Carvalho would buckle down and allow just two more balls to reach the outfield in the final four innings, an RBI triple in the fifth by Shmanske and a pop out to right field.

“Grace is solid,” Elia said. “She has a great mentality for a pitcher, if something happens she can totally bounce back, she just doesn’t get razzled by anything.”

On the offensive side the Colts were able to stay patient and not chase pitches outside of the zone as they walked 10 times in the contest and got production from everywhere in the lineup.

Freshman Emily Kapr had a single and walked twice from the seventh spot in the order, stealing two bases and scoring three times.

From the ninth spot, fellow freshman Brittney Graper added an RBI walk in the second and an RBI single in the fourth and leadoff hitter junior Brittany Coppla added an RBI walk and RBI single as well.

“We can hit,” Elia said. “Some days we struggle to score, and some days we hit to the other teams position and that is part of the game.”

“But I have definitely seen a trend where we might not hit for three innings and then we rally for a couple and it doesn’t really bother them,” she said.

Carvalho said the important part of her team’s offensive outburst was staying patient.

“We were all saying don’t chase the high ones,” she said. “Make sure you wait for the ball, take all the strikes unless you are 2-0 and do what you can.”

While both pitcher and coach knew the one inning of defensive mistakes could be fixed they said the win was good for their team.

“It makes us happy and it is a win that helps with the state seeding and the county seeding,” Carvalho said. “I think we could have done better and should have done better, but I will take it since we have had a bit of a rough start to the season.”

“Bouncing back from this weekend was big,” Elia said referencing the play of her team in a tournament where they lost to Belvidere in the finals. “We reduced the number of mistakes, mental mistakes, mistakes on the bases. It was a much needed win.”

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