Bishop Carroll showcased plenty of power in its lineup during Tuesday’s softball doubleheader against Heights at Two Rivers Youth Club.
There was Mary Jo Peter’s first-pitch, solo homer in the second inning of Game 1, a 13-4 win, and Shelby Craig’s three-run homer over the center field wall. In Game 2, a 4-1 Carroll win, freshman Lauren Buchanan hit a first-inning, two-run homer to center.
“They’ve done a good job of picking their pitches,” said Carroll coach Angie Dal Pozzo, whose team is 3-1. “We talk a lot about hitting the pitch that is right for you. On that first pitch, if it’s a strike and you don’t want it, don’t hit it. They do a good job with pitch selection and shortening up and making contact.
“A lot of girls on our team like to hit the ball hard and they like to swing really hard. We talk about cutting down the swing and making it more quick instead of hard and they’ve been making more contact.”
Carroll pitcher Jessi Haffner, who got the win in Game 1, striking out 12 and allowing six hits, is especially complimentary of the Eagles’ hitters.
“I know LB (Buchanan), she’s a great hitter,” Haffner said. “And Taylor (Schawe) and Mary Jo, that middle of the lineup is just stacked.”
Carroll had 16 hits in the first game, including three in the fifth inning when the Eagles broke a 3-1 game open with five runs, including Craig’s homer. They had five sixth-inning hits and scored three more runs, including two off RBI singles by Peter and Jordyn Miller.
“I thought we did a good job in the first game,” Heights coach Kip Pulliam said. “But we had some bad innings and that turned into runs and we got too far back to dig our way out.”
Heights had seven errors in the first game; Carroll had five.
In the second game, Buchanan’s homer gave Carroll an early 2-0 lead, but Heights’ Bree Drury answered right back with a solo homer in the bottom of the first. But that was all Heights was able to get off Carroll pitcher Katelynn Smith, who gave up three hits and struck out six.
“She pitched a great game and kept them off balance, and there weren’t as many hits in that game,” Dal Pozzo said.
Carroll added a run in the fourth off Hunter Hogan’s RBI single, and then got another run on Buchanan’s single in the seventh.
Heights only had two base runners in the final six innings and neither got past second.
“We’re really solid defensively,” Buchanan said, “and we have girls who will dive for balls, which is good. It helps our pitchers. But we do really have good pitchers.”
WP – Haffner. LP – Farkas. HR – Peter, Carroll; Craig, Carroll.
WP – Smith. LP – Farkas. HR – Drury, Heights; Buchanan, Carroll.