Niagara Gazette — It’s a good thing Lina Mirabella remembered to bring her catching gear.
Mirabella, a junior, went 2-for-3 and scored twice to help Kenmore West score a 5-0 win over North Tonawanda in NFL softball action that was played at T.K. Murphy Field on Saturday afternoon.
Mirabella, the Blue Devils’ primary right fielder, got the nod behind the plate after starting catcher Bri Christopher was unable to play due to a family emergency.
“I was a little nervous because it was my first time catching,” said Mirabella, who was informed she be catching minutes before the team bus left Ken West.
Mirabella said it took a couple innings to settle in but, once she did, she felt as if it was just her and starter Charlotte Miller playing catch.
Mirabella helped the Blue Devils (5-0 NFL, 5-1 overall) draw first blood when she stroked a two-out double in the third inning. Mirabella advanced to third and eventually beat out a rundown between third and home after Adriana King (run) stroked a hard grounder that stayed in the infield.
“I didn’t want to strike out,” Mirabella said with a smile. “I wanted to get on as much as I could.”
Ashlynn Kaczmarek (double) and Hailey Battaglia (single/stolen base) also stepped up when they were thrown into unexpected starts. Kaczmarek played first base while Battaglia started in right field.
Charlotte Miller (1-for-2, two walks) spun a two-hitter and struck out nine in another complete game win. Miller’s change-up was on and her drop ball was absolutely filthy and presented the most difficulty for the NT batters.
“The seniors stepped up big,” said West pitching coach Joe Catalano. “Hannah Post (RBI), Charlotte and Adriana all stepped big today. They had big plays in the field and big plays at the plate.”