CONWAY — Coach Chris Kroski can see progress each day the Kennett High softball team takes to the diamond. Saturday marked the first time this season that the full cast of Eagles were in the lineup for a ball game. Kennett fell 5-4 on the road to Carroll County rival Kingswood in Wolfeboro.
The win gave the Knights a sweep of the home-and-home series after winning 15-1 in Conway to open the week on May 3.
“We’re getting there,” Kroski said by phone Monday prior to the team heading to Berlin for a game. Results were not known as of press time. “It’s been a tough start due to COVID-19 quarantines and the weather. Saturday was the first time all season we had the nine people we envisioned in the lineup, and that includes for practices, too.”
Kennett was able to build a 4-1 lead through the opening four innings on Saturday, but the hosts rallied to squeak out the win.
“The big thing is we need to continue cutting down on the errors,” he said. “When you don’t have an overpowering pitcher, you have to play to contact and that means making the plays behind your pitcher.”
Catcher Allie Hussey made her debut and hit the ball hard three times, including driving in a run with a single.
“The Kingswood second baseman made a great play to rob Allie of ball that would have went for a double,” said Kroski.
Junior pitcher Izzy Higgins had a pair of base hits and was sharp on the mound, striking out nine Knights in the game.
Ashley Glaze and Marissa Caputo also had base knocks with Caputo beating out a perfect bunt.
“We made a couple of errors which led to a few runs,” Kroski said. “We made five errors on the day, which is a little too much. It’s better than nine (from the May 3 game). We can make an error, but after that, the mentality needs to be, 'Let’s make a play to get out of the inning.'”
With an open tournament this season due to the pandemic, Kroski has a goal.
“We want to get ready for the tournament,” he said. “We need to figure out the nine girls to start in the tournament. I’ve told the girls, I don’t make the lineup out, you do, by how you play. We need to get all of the kinks out now and be playing our best ball a few weeks from now.”
He added: “I think it was good for the girls to see (on Saturday) that they can stay in every game and compete. They saw it and I’d already seen it. We’re improving every day.”
Kennett is scheduled to host Berlin on Wednesday at 4 p.m. to wrap up the home-and-home series.