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Fresh force: Stanners’ pitcher dominates in circle

Archbishop Molloy pitcher Kelsey Carr racked up 16 strikeouts as the Stanners grabbed a 1-0 victory over Fontbonne Hall.
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Kelsey Carr’s plan was simple – throw strikes.

She did.

The Archbishop Molloy freshman pitcher notched a dominant performance April 10, racking up the strikes and the strikeouts to lift the Stanners to a 1-0 victory over Fontbonne Hall in a BQCHSAA matchup.

“I’m just trying to throw strikes,” said Carr, who recorded 16 strikeouts. “That’s pretty much it. I’m just trying to get into a rhythm. Everything was just working today.”

Carr was nothing short of dominant in the circle, but her teammates have stopped being surprised by her performance. The first-year varsity player has been consistent since the start of the season, settling into her role with ease.

She’s been throwing strikes for weeks now and the Stanners (5-0, 6-1) have all rallied to meet Carr’s performance. It’s a determination that has the squad rolling early this spring, settling into a rhythm on both sides of the game and most importantly, undefeated in league play.

“She’s been great. She’s very confident and she doesn’t get rattled,” Molloy coach Marueen Rosenbaum said of Carr. “We’re getting to learn her as well and she’s playing very well. She brings the level of the game up around her. That’s really nice to see.”

Carr set the tone from the get-go against the Bonnies, putting Fontbonne down in order in the first two innings. She gave up a pair of walks in the fourth and put two runners on in the top of the of the sixth, but Carr never wavered.

She simply took a deep breath, refocused on the strike zone and started pitching again.

“I just relaxed. I told myself to stop throwing balls,” Carr said. “I have a whole team behind me and I know that. That helps.”

She got that help in the bottom of the fourth inning as senior catcher Jessica Hickey connected on a leadoff double into left field and notched the game’s only run on a single from Taylor Torres. Hickey just barely slid under the tag on the game-changing play, helped a bit as Fontbonne couldn’t control the throw home.

It was as much as the Stanners would get, but it was all the squad would need to pick up the victory.

“I just wanted to make contact with the ball,” Hickey said. “We just knew we only had to get a hit. [Kelsey is] pitching great and no one was hitting off her, so we had to capitalize off that.”

It’s the second time this season Molloy has defeated Fontbonne and the Stanners are riding a wave of early-season confidence they hope will push them towards the playoffs next month.

The squad’s success might be most surprising to Molloy, particularly after the team graduated 11 seniors from last year’s roster. Still, the Stanners aren’t willing to linger on that feeling for too long.

They’re enjoying winning and watching Carr dominate every time she steps into the circle. As far as the Stanners are concerned, this is just the beginning.

“We’re coming out strong and I thought we’d get a slow start, then push at the end,” Rosenbaum said. “That’s usually, traditionally, what we’ve done. It’s been a surprise, but it’s been a nice surprise.”

Posted 12:00 am, April 14, 2017
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