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Krystil’s Ks, homer lead Prep softball against Mary Louis

Ann Marie Rich says Krystil Hofmann is one of the most driven, motivated players she's ever had in 21 years coaching softball at St. Francis Prep. But, for Hofmann, with those attributes come a negative: being very, very hard on herself.

The senior was struggling with that again in a game against Mary Louis on Wednesday. Hofmann struck out looking against Hilltoppers starter Lisa Scheer her first two at-bats.

"Sometimes I'll get mad at myself, because I expect so much from myself," Hofmann said. "You gotta realize you can't take that back to the plate with you."

She certainly didn't. In her next at-bat, with Johanna Rice and Michelle Pelan on base in the fifth inning, Hofmann smacked a three-run home run over the head of Mary Louis center fielder Jillian Zic. The drive broke a scoreless tie and St. Francis Prep went on to beat Mary Louis, 3-1, at Cunningham Park.

"She's so centered, so focused," Rich said of Hofmann. "Every pitch, every at-bat, she takes it to heart and I mean that in a good way. She's a very driven girl."

It showed in the circle, too. Hofmann, also the Terriers' ace, gave up one run - a Megan White solo homer - on four hits in seven innings. She struck out 14 and walked only two.

Hofmann needed to wiggle out of trouble only twice. In the fourth inning, White doubled with two outs and Laura Guzman walked, but Hofmann got Scheer to strike out swinging to end the inning. After White's home run in the sixth with two outs, Guzman reached on an error and Scheer singled, advancing Guzman to third. Hofmann bore down and got Gina Loriggio to fly out to Tiffany Beizer in left field.

White, the Hilltoppers' first baseman and one of the best hitters in the city, accounted for two of Mary Louis' four hits. Loriggio and Scheer had the others.

"She's always been very harmful to us with the bat," Rich said of White.

Hofmann's home run came with two outs, as well. Scheer, who gave up three runs (all unearned) on six hits in six innings, cruised through the first four innings. But Pelan singled with two outs in the fifth and Rice reached on an error by White off a bad hop at first. With Rice on second and Pelan on third, Hofmann smoked a line drive into center.

Hofmann was 1-for-3 with the homer and Rice was 2-for-3 with a run scored.

St. Francis Prep (3-0 CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens) hosts Stella Maris on Thursday in a rain makeup game and Mary Louis (2-2), which lost to Molloy, 5-4, on Monday, will host St. John's Prep on Friday.

Prep and Molloy, the lone undefeated teams in the Queens division, will play Tuesday at Cunningham Park in a rematch of last year's Brooklyn/Queens championship series, which Molloy won.

"We're motivated," St. Francis Prep junior catcher Theresa Quinn. "We like to play [Mary Louis and Molloy]. We like to show them what we have."

Reach Associate Sports Editor Marc Raimondi by e-mail at mraimondi@timesledger.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.

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