Klemans throws 3-hitter as Boonton defeats Morris Catholic

Klemans throws 3-hitter as Boonton defeats Morris Catholic

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Klemans throws 3-hitter as Boonton defeats Morris Catholic

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BOONTON

All offseason the Boonton High School softball team wondered how exactly they would replace graduated pitcher Kylie Morgan.

On Tuesday afternoon, junior Lauren Klemans, who wasn’t with the program a season ago, stepped up and answered the question, twirling a three-hit gem to secure her first career win as the Bombers defeated Morris Catholic, 10-1, in Boonton.

“The feeling over replacing Kylie, I have been anguishing over for months,” Boonton head coach Jim Drury said. “In fact I wasn’t sure if Lauren was going to come out so we taught another girl to pitch over the winter. The whole thing is we play really good defense and all Lauren has to do is throw strikes and she did that today.”

Klemans was backed by powerful display from her offense which put up seven runs in the first three innings, including four in the first.

Leading that offense was star senior Ann Lee Smith, who went 4-for-4 on the day with two runs scored and three stolen bases from the leadoff spot.

“That is how we do things,” Smith said of the offensive onslaught. “It is either our hitting is on or it is not, but once it is on we start picking each other up and building off each other’s hits and continue it on.”

The Bombers’ offense got going early as Smith led off the bottom of the first with a soft single up the middle which was followed by another single by senior Kim Cacciabeve and an RBI double from sophomore Carly McDaniels to give Boonton an early 1-0 lead.

Senior catcher Kelly Whritenour put the exclamation point on the rally as she took the third pitch she saw and deposited it over the centerfield wall to give Boonton a 4-0 lead.

“When Kelly hit that ball out of the park it was a tremendous relief on my part,” Drury said. “Because I knew Lauren didn’t have to stress. We might give up four, five, six runs in a game but we will score just as much. So Lauren was under no stress, just throw the ball over the plate and let the defense make plays.”

With that pressure off, Klemans preceded to retire nine of the next 10 Morris Catholic batters with the only blemish coming from a one-out double from senior Kendall Gregory in the second inning.

As Klemans kept the Crusaders off the board, the Bombers continued to add to their lead, getting a run in the second, two runs in the third and an RBI blooper from Writenour in the fourth.

Morris Catholic tried to mount a rally in the fifth inning when senior leftfielder Kelly Malkinski led off with an infield single and was moved to second on a fielder’s choice. After moving to third on a wild pitch, Malkinski scored on an error to put the Crusaders on the board.

But Klemans would retire the next two batters via groundout to leave a runner stranded on second and then go on to retire six of the final seven batters to secure the win and give her team a boost of confidence as they move forward.

“It gives me a better feeling about our team because we lost Kylie so I have big shoes to fill,” Klemans said. “But I know we can still do it.”

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