MAPLE PARK – The Kaneland softball team was humming along at the start of its 7-2 victory over Morris on Tuesday afternoon.
The Knights scored all seven runs in the first two innings of the contest and Paige Kuefler hit a two-run home run to left center in the second,
However, Kaneland coach Brian Willis said his team may have eased up on the gas pedal after a nice start.
“I thought we came out and played well at the beginning,” Willis said. “I thought we got into coast mode a little bit. It seems like we were content with seven runs.
“We hit into some bad luck as well. We played well enough to win, but we didn’t play as well as we could all seven innings.”
Kuefler was responsible for four of Kaneland’s runs.
The sophomore’s single to center scored Lexi Roach for the team’s first run of the game in the opening frame. Kuefler scored two batters later when she stole third base and went home when the ball went into the outfield.
“I wasn’t expecting any particular pitch,” Kuefler said about her home run. “In my head I was just asking for a good pitch.”
Kaneland (15-3, 7-1 Northern Illinois Big 12 East) sent nine batters to the plate in the second.
Allie Miller started the rally by reaching on an error and Meg Cohrs followed with a single to right. Two batters later, Allyson O’Herron rapped out the third single of the inning that scored Miller. Cohrs crossed the plate on a passed ball during Kuefler’s at bat.
A Sarah Grams single plated Lanie Callaghan with the final run.
Ellissa Eckert went the distance for the win, scattering eight hits and issuing no walks to Morris (5-15, 3-6) batters.
Starting pitcher Erica Gualandi’s double in the sixth was the only extra base hit Eckert allowed.
“Overall all she threw well today,” Willis said. “They didn’t hit her very hard today, but they hit some balls that seemed to have eyes and got through our infield.”