WHEATFIELD | Munster welcomed the warmer weather in Friday’s Northwest Crossroads Conference showdown at Kankakee Valley.
The Times No. 6 Mustangs (10-4, 5-2) got a stellar pitching performance from senior Carly Murphy in a 3-0 win over the Kougars (9-4, 4-4). Murphy fanned 10 and yielded six hits but was never really in danger while improving her mark to 8-3.
“That’s the best game she’s pitched all year,” Munster coach Beth Thornburg said. “I told the coaches, ‘she’s got an extra little pop today.’
“You know it’s helpful when it’s a little warmer, and you’re not pitching in 40-degree weather with the wind howling. I’m sure she felt a little better out there.”
K.V. got two base runners for the first time in the fifth inning with two outs. Murphy averted any damage with a strikeout. She did the same in the seventh when K.V. again put two runners on base with two outs on singles.
“I did a lot better job of getting ahead in the counts and limiting my pitches,” said Murphy, who felt she pitched better than when Munster beat K.V. 3-0 early in the season. “I feel like the whole team was a lot more ready to play this game.”
Munster got on board in the second when it loaded the bases with the help of two walks off starter Lauren Cambe. A dropped third strike went to the backstop, allowing Briana Zunica to race home.
“You've got to be able to win games in a lot of different ways,” Thornburg said. “We got lucky to be able to take advantage of a wild pitch on a strikeout. That’s tough for them, but I’m glad we got that run.”
The Mustangs got another run in the third on a two-out single by Katie Gloff and added an insurance run when Taylor Michalski doubled and eventually scored on an error in the seventh.
Morgan Cavinder led K.V. with two hits, but coach Brian Flynn said they have to get start getting them in key situations.
“I saw some improvement from us hitting the ball a little bit today, but still we’ve got to get more hits all the way through our lineup,” he said. “And we’ve got to get them with runners on base. … We‘ll eventually get there.”