The Lady Mustangs only needed one hit to extend their unbeaten streak to 16 games with a 4-1 win over third-ranked Mill Creek at home Tuesday.
Despite being held to just the one hit — Chandler Stooksbury’s bases-loaded single in the third inning, which scored Becky Grannemann — Kennesaw Mountain (15-1-1) was able to take advantage of four Mill Creek errors, two wild pitches, three walks and a catcher’s interference penalty en route to the victory.
Stooksbury finished the game with two RBIs and a walk to pace the Lady Mustangs. Malea Bell was hitless, but she scored twice with a walk and a stolen base.
“Chandler was big for us this game getting that big hit with the bases loaded,” Kennesaw Mountain coach Lisa Chapman said. “She did a good job of extending her at-bats. If we can get everybody handling the bats the way her and Malea are right now, then I feel like we’re going to do pretty well down the road.
“The key is taking advantage of what we’re given, and that’s what we’re doing a good job of right now. We hit the ball hard in certain situations. (Mill Creek is) a very good team defensively, and they had a good pitcher making us do some things that we don’t want to do. But I think (we) did a good job with the bats and taking advantage of what they gave us.”
Kennesaw Mountain took advantage right from the start. Bell reached first on the catcher’s interference call, moved to second on an error, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on Stooksbury’s sacrifice fly.
Mill Creek tied the game in the third. Lady Mustangs pitcher Bekah Farris allowed back-to-back two-out singles, and an error in left field on Morgan Bell’s at-bat brought in Taylor Rogers for the Lady Hawks’ lone run.
Kennesaw Mountain retook the lead in the bottom half of the frame. Grannemann reached on a one-out error, and back-to-back walks to Bell and Kimmie Strebe loaded the bases.
Stooksbury lined a single to center to plate Grannemann. The throw home got away from catcher Shelby Griffin, allowing Bell to score for a 3-1 advantage.
Stooksbury walked to lead off the sixth and was replaced by pinch-runner Lillian Wright. Wright moved to second on Amanda Hallman’s sacrifice bunt, reached third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error at the plate for Kennesaw Mountain’s final run of the game.
Farris was solid in the circle. She allowed only two more hits after the third inning and left the bases loaded in the seventh to fend off the Lady Hawks’ rally. Farris finished the complete game allowing one unearned run on four hits while striking out eight.
Rogers was 2-for-3 with a run scored for Mill Creek. Heather Felt gave up four unearned runs on one hit and struck out three in six innings.
Kennesaw Mountain has succeeded against all comers following a season-opening 2-1 loss against Allatoona, having taken down a growing list of state-ranked opponents.
The lone tie was against a then-unranked Lassiter squad, which is now 14-0-1 and ranked fifth in the state.
Kennesaw Mountain, which will play that same Lassiter team Monday, hasn’t given up more than two runs in any game this season. The Lady Mustangs have nine shutouts and are averaging 8.2 runs per game, compared to 0.7 for their opponents.
“We’ve solidified our defense, and in the first game we hadn’t done that,” Chapman said. “I think they’re gaining confidence at the plate, and they’re doing what we’re asking them to do with extending their at-bats and playing good defense.
“Bekah’s giving us a chance every game, and that’s our game plan.”