HomeExaminerExaminer SportsRedbirds defeat Indians, 6-1; AHS rolling as softball action heats up

Redbirds defeat Indians, 6-1; AHS rolling as softball action heats up

The Allentown High School softball team has been putting its “one-game at a time” mentality to good measure during the past few weeks. After winning on April 30, the Redbirds are 10-2 and riding a seven-game win streak.

“It’s about taking it one game at a time,” Coach Richard Dawson said. “You can’t look beyond that. Before you knew it, we are now 10-2.”

The Redbirds ended April at Middletown North High School in Middletown in the inaugural Jimmy Griffin Classic on April 30. The event honored Griffin, a former umpire in the Shore Conference who passed away in 2020.

Allentown played Toms River South High School and used solid pitching and “small ball” to defeat the Indians, who entered with 12 wins. The Redbirds won 6-1 to notch their seventh straight victory.

“We worked our small ball game and it worked to our benefit,” Dawson said. “Sometimes you have to play small ball to manufacture runs.”

Allentown rolled behind senior Kaylee Mushinski, who was making her first career start in the pitching circle.

Mushinski, who is known for her powerful bat and her skill at first base, showed she is also capable of delivering as a pitcher.

Mushinski did not allow a hit through four innings. She pitched until there were two out in the fifth, allowing one run and one hit, with three walks and three strikeouts.

“It felt amazing,” Mushinski said of her performance. “It was my first time pitching in a while and all I wanted to do was throw strikes and let my fielders make the plays behind me. They did a good job of that to help me have a no-hitter going for a while.”

Dawson was impressed by Mushinski’s performance and said he can see her making contributions as a pitcher during the Mercer County Tournament and the state sectional tournament.

“She pitched lights out (today),” the coach said.

At the plate, Mushinski had two hits and a run scored. She leads the Redbirds with 26 hits.

In the top of the second inning, the Redbirds took advantage of two throwing errors by the Indians to take a 2-0 lead.

The Redbirds extended their lead in the third inning when freshman Kayla Foy stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and one out. Foy singled down the left field line to score two runs for a 4-0 lead.

“It was honestly better than a home run,” Foy said of her two-run single. “I just wanted to make contact with the pitch and get at least one run in. It felt great.”

Foy, who was the designated hitter, reached base three times and scored two runs.

Dawson said Foy and fellow freshman Maddie Kish have provided a spark to the lineup.

“The freshmen are growing up,” the coach said. “They started off slow, but their confidence is starting to build after every hit they get. They are getting a little bit of a swagger and I’m happy to see that.”

Freshman Braylie LaFisca relieved Mushinski with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth and Allentown leading 4-1. She got the Redbirds out of the jam on a groundout.

LaFisca then held the Indians scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings while allowing one hit.

In the top of the sixth, Foy scored on a wild pitch and Kish scored on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Sofia Belardino to push the lead to 6-1

Senior Emily Lohkamp (two hits, run scored), sophomore Holly Muni (two hits, run scored) and sophomore Stella Logan (two hits) also contributed to the win.

Allentown has earned the No. 4 seed in the Mercer County Tournament and will play No. 13 seed Trenton in the first round May 4.

The Redbirds believe they have a good shot at making a deep run in the tournament and will continue to focus on what has been a successful formula: taking each game as it comes.

“We are a good team,” Dawson said. “I don’t want to underplay anything from the girls and what they have done. I just want to keep them level-headed. We are going to play Trenton and if we win we will face the next opponent in the quarterfinals.”

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