Softball: Mount St. Dominic defeats IHA in the North Jersey Non-Public A Final
Sophia Kiseloski was in the same situation last year.
Up 3-2, she took the mound in the top of the seventh inning against Immaculate Heart just three outs away from punching a ticket to the state final.
Last year ended in heartbreak, as the Blue Eagles scored twice to turn the tables and defeat the Lions, 4-3.
As hard as it was at the time, she focused on the bigger picture.
That’s just who she is.
“It hurt for a couple of days but it’s a game,” she said. “You have to learn from it. These things happen and people go through losses. You have to move on from it and look at it as a good learning experience.”
She backed up her words on Tuesday.
This time, Kiseloski stepped in the circle in the seventh inning and made quick work of the final three batters, striking out two of them, to seal a 3-2 victory for top-seeded Mount St. Dominic, No. 7 in the NJ.com Top 20, against second-seeded and No. 4 Immaculate Heart in Caldwell.
The senior picked up eight strikeouts and allowed just two runs on six hits in the win.
“At this level, seniors play in a different zone,” said Mount St. Dominic coach Rob Stern. “She’s a Division I pitcher and she pitched today like a senior who didn’t want to lose. She pitched like a kid who last year lost in this situation late in the game and didn’t want to let that happen again. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Despite giving up the first run of the game on a solo home run from Jocelyn Moody, who allowed just four hits for the Blue Eagles, Kiseloski kept her composure.
It’s been a point of emphasis all season for the senior and it’s one of the areas of her game she’s improved the most since throwing the first pitch in early April.
“I’m not going right into it, rushing into it, because I know when I rush I get a little erratic,” she said. “When I calm myself after every pitch, I’m able to settle myself in there and settle the team down.”
While she was holding the fort defensively, Sydney Rosenkranz broke through at the plate in the third to put Mount St. Dominic ahead for good.
With the bases loaded, she ripped a grounder to left field to drive in Anna Caccicarne and Jamie Dolegowski.
The junior is shining at the most opportune time and now has a hit in four consecutive games and nine of her last 11 overall.
She had a similarly strong tournament a season ago but she’s relishing the opportunity much more this spring.
“I think last year I was just a little too excited being a sophomore but with COVID it was my first year,” Rosenkranz said. “So this year I just had to take a deep breath and relax a little bit and enjoy the moment.”
Now Mount St. Dominic has to get right back to work in preparation for a date with two-time reigning Tournament of Champions victors in No. 1 Donovan Catholic.
The two are set to square off in the Non-Public A final on Friday at 7 p.m.
- In the News