Softball: Kendra Carroll, Prairie Ridge offense roll in FVC win over McHenry

Wolves score 5 first-inning runs, collect 17 hits in runaway victory

Kendra Carroll, Prairie Ridge

CRYSTAL LAKE – Prairie Ridge junior right fielder Kendra Carroll doesn’t take any at-bat lightly.

“She’s one of the more intense kids on the team,” Wolves coach Scott Busam said. “She treats all of her at-bats as business. This is a business transaction. There’s no joking around.”

Carroll and Prairie Ridge were all about their business Thursday against McHenry.

Carroll came a few feet from hitting her third home run of the season in the bottom of the first inning, as the Wolves sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times en route to an 11-1 win in six innings in their Fox Valley Conference game.

With the win, Prairie Ridge (11-1, 7-1 FVC) moved 1/2 game ahead of Huntley (14-4, 6-1) in the conference standings. McHenry suffered its second FVC loss, falling to 8-5, 5-2.

Carroll, who can play all three outfield positions, as well as first base and catcher, was the Wolves’ standout hitter against the Warriors, going 3 for 4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs.

All three of her hits came to different parts of the field. She turned on a pitch to left-center field that hit near the bottom of the fence in the first inning to score the game’s first two runs, posted a double that split the right-center gap in the fourth and had a single that went off the glove of McHenry second baseman Chloe Clark in the sixth.

Her other at-bat resulted in an RBI fielder’s choice in the second.

“She’s one of the more intense kids on the team. She treats all of her at-bats as business. This is a business transaction. There’s no joking around.”

—  Scott Busam, Prairie Ridge coach, on junior right fielder Kendra Carroll

The Wolves finished with 17 hits against McHenry pitchers Natalie Bender and Vanessa Buske. Prairie Ridge scored three runs in the sixth, and Emma Dallas ended the game with a pinch-hit double to score Rory Bounds.

Carroll was happy to get the game in with a steady rain falling from start to finish.

“Busam was telling us before the game how we need to be selective but aggressive on pitches we know we can get,” Carroll said. “It just puts a smile on your face, especially with the bottom of our order,. When everybody is hitting, it’s just always so fun. I think we’ve all been super excited to get these games in.”

Busam said Carroll has grown up a lot. Recently, her offense has started to take off.

“She’s matured so much as a softball player,” Busam said. “And she’s a big, strong kid. She’s had a hot hand lately. It seems whenever she’s hitting well the rest of the team just kind of follows right in step with her. I’m so proud of how far she’s come.”

Prairie Ridge sophomore Reese Mosolino, who has thrown two no-hitters this year, including in a 1-0 win against Huntley, was solid again in the circle. She allowed a run on three hits, all singles, a walk and struck out two.

Mosolino needed only 74 pitches in the six-inning victory, with the majority of the Wolves’ outs recorded on the ground. Prairie Ridge’s defense, on a soaked field, committed only one error.

Junior shortstop Ady Kiddy, an Illinois commit, was 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored batting leadoff. She wasted no time and drilled the first pitch from Bender back up the middle to get the Wolves going in the first.

“Our teammates are really supportive of one another,” Kiddy said. “I feel like once we get going, we just feed off each other’s energy. When our momentum gets going, it’s just, like, unstoppable.”

Six Wolves collected multiple hits. Kylie Carroll was 3 for 3 with two RBIs; Parker Frey and Bounds both had two hits, two runs scored and an RBI; and Emily Harlow finished 2 for 3. Mary Myers almost hit a homer to straight-away center field in the first inning but had to settle for a long single and an RBI.

For McHenry, No. 9 hitter Maddie Gillund had an RBI single in the second. Charlotte Alexander and Bender had the other two hits.

Despite only two losses in FVC play, coach Mikaela Mitsch said the Warriors still are trying to find their way.

“I think teams get consistency when they have a leader and a clear vision and they all agree to that vision,” Mitsch said. “We don’t have all three. In terms of performance, no, it’s not been a great season. I think in the past we’ve had the pitching to help support us and we had defense that’s made some really incredible plays.

“In the past couple of years, our hitting has not been consistent. We fluctuate a lot, and that’s what we’re seeing again.”