KINGSTON, Mass. – Emily Kurkul’s been on a tear.
Actually, that doesn’t even do it justice. What Bridgewater-Raynham’s junior catcher has accomplished at the plate this season is downright Ruthian. Entering Wednesday’s rematch against state No. 1 Silver Lake, Kurkul had clubbed 10 home runs through 17 games. She did it again against the Lakers, delivering the only run of the game while swatting her 11th of the season, leading off the fourth inning of the Trojans’ 1-0 win.
The loss is the Lakers’ first of the season and avenged B-R’s earlier 3-2 loss – their lone loss of the season.
“I’ve just been seeing the ball really well lately,” Kurkul said. “I’m just trying my best to hit singles and then the home runs come. I’m not aiming to hit home runs at all.”
It’s been quite a week for Kurkul, who announced her college commitment to Merrimack on Monday. Yet, despite wielding a white-hot bat, her approach at the plate has remained consistent. That plate discipline was also evident throughout B-R’s lineup as the Trojans collected nine hits against Lakers sophomore ace Madi Barone.
“You try to stay off her high fastball, that’s her out pitch,” B-R coach Mike Carrozza said of attacking Barone. “You have to stay a little more relaxed in the box. I think the first time we were a little too hyper with our swings. The mindset today was just to get the ball in play and try to advance runners.”
Meanwhile, Trojans pitcher Sarah Dawson was out to prove the early season loss to Silver Lake was an aberration. While throwing a complete-game, two-hit shutout, the Pitt commit had her full arsenal of pitches working.
“I thought she was a different pitcher today,” Silver Lake coach Tony Pina said of Dawson. “I thought she was determined to kind of prove that B-R is deserving of everything good that’s said about them and she did not disappoint. From the first inning, she was throwing smoke today.”
With a little extra mustard on the fastball, Dawson kept the Lakers off balance with a mix of changeups, screwballs and curves.
“I just wanted to be better,” Dawson said. “I didn’t want to let my team down. I wanted to do what I do well and throw the ball like I know that I can. I felt like I didn’t do that as well as I could the last game.”
While dealing with its first setback of the season, Silver Lake has two games remaining on the regular season, participating in the Peter Looney Grand Slam Tournament, hosted by Apponequet.
After splitting the season series with the state’s top two teams, there’s also a strong potential for a rubber match in a Division 1 South tournament duel. And, just like Wednesday, there’s not a whole lot that has divided the teams.
“We lost to a home run,” Pina said. “But I thought our defense played well today. They had baserunners everywhere and they were a hit or two, or an error or two away from breaking this open, so that’s what we can take from this game.”