PRINCETON — Mollie Bates is known as “Mighty Mite” by some of her friends. On Friday, she came up awful mighty for the Princeton Tigresses.
The little sophomore second baseman was moved up to the No. 2 hole and came through time after time, going 3-for-3 and driving in five runs to lead PHS to a 14-3 win over rival Spring Valley Hall at the Little Siberia Field. Bates slapped a two-run single to cap a five-run second inning, she added a RBI single in the third and helped to put the 10-run rule into affect with another two-run knock in the bottom of the fourth inning.
“It doesn’t matter. I just happened to have a good day while I was there,” Bates said of the No. 2 hole. “(I’m) just trying to focus on the ball and see it. Just driving the ball and watching it to the bat.”
PHS coach Bob James said Bates proved to be just the ticket to bat second.
“A lot of times people think the 2 hitter is a sacrificial lamb,” he said. “Mollie’s a tough target to pitch to, I thought if I got her up there, because she’s putting the bat on the ball and getting a lot of walks, and then I can slide Heidi (James) down and get a little punch. Mollie had a great game.”
Between Bates and leadoff hitter Brooke Kamphuis (2-for-2), the top two hitters in the PHS lineup got on base seven of eight times, collecting five hits, scoring five runs and driving in seven runs. The only time they didn’t reach safely was when Bates bunted Kamphuis to third in the first inning, leading to PHS’ first run on a groundout by Jess Martell.
The Tigresses rapped out 11 hits overall putting two big innings together. They scored five times in the second to take a 7-0 lead and put up a five spot in the fourth to go up 14-3.
Freshman Danielle Hughes came off the bench with a sharp hit to drive in two runs in the fourth. Martell (1-4) and Makenzey Wilson (1-2) also knocked in two runs.
Junior Heidi James notched the win in the circle, scattering eight Hall hits over five innings in a game decided by the 10-run rule.
Coach James said it was crucial for the Tigresses to put Thursday’s 18-0 loss to Fieldcrest behind them.
“Yesterday’s left a real bad taste in the mouth,” he said. “When we were in left field after the game, we throw (that game) away and said tomorrow’s a new day. Come back and get back to where we were. Nothing was brought up about yesterday at all. So, it’s gone.”
“It was fun to come back and get into the groove,” Bates said.
Hall coach Pete Kasperski was pleased how the Lady Devils cut down the strikeouts (5) and hit the ball. Johnna Schultz and Becca Herrmann had two hits each, Becca Dagraedt had a double and Gabby Iossi and Stocking each had RBI hits.
“We keep doing that we’ll be in good shape,” Kasperski said.
With ace Schultz pitching seven innings Thursday in a 3-1win over Newark, Kasperski opted to go with junior Stephanie Stocking for her first varsity start. He said she got hurt when she walked three batters in the second inning, but “she’s gonna get nothing but better.”
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