GLOUCESTER-- Hitting is contagious.
It seems like a simple concept, but it took Kingsway a few innings to put it into effect in its 8-5 Tri-County Conference win over Gloucester on Wednesday.
The Dragons used a four-run fifth inning powered by Rachel Robichaud and Taylor Campagna to knock off a fellow division leader in the conference.
“I know Taylor keeps saying that hits are contagious and I just felt like after one person got a hit, it motivated me to get a hit too,” Robichaud said.
Robichaud’s RBI single to center came after Sammi Meoli and Sarah Cancila got on base through singles.
“Everything is your mentality going up to bat,” Robichaud said. “I didn’t have the best at-bats beforehand, but I was just trying to do whatever I could to keep my team pushing forward.”
Campagna benefited from the same mentality two batters later, when she knocked in Cancila and Robichaud on a two-run, two-out double.
“I see myself in the position walking up to the plate,” Campagna said. “Everyone’s hit had a meaning and I knew my job was to get an RBI and hit my runners in. They got on base for me and I would do the same for my teammates.”
Campagna was one of a few Kingsway batters who benefited from a shift in mentality at the plate in their third time around in the order.
“We talk about this every day in practice and every thing that we do,” Kingsway’s Dave Dominik said. “Any time we do hitting out in the field, we talk about when you’re hitting, don’t hit for the sake of hitting, hit with something in your mind.
“It kinda took a little while for them to get an understanding that she’s pitching outside and you have to drive it that way. Once they get that in their head and they accept where it’s going, it starts to flow. It started to flow in the fifth inning.”
Dominik also saw fight out of his team after it went down 5-3 following a pair of third-inning home runs from the home side.
Taking on a playoff team from out of the division helps as preparations for the playoffs begin in earnest.
“Obviously the Tri-County Royal is tough, but we haven’t seen Hammonton or GCIT in a few weeks,” Dominik said. “But playing a team like this, it makes it nice to see what we need to work on and what we need to make adjustments with. Seeing a playoff-caliber team gives them a little bit of a wake-up call for what we need to do.”
For the players, it was all about staying within themselves and getting the job done at the plate, which is exactly what they got out of the fifth.
“You have to give credit to them, they did a wonderful job hitting the ball,” Robichaud said. “But we just have to stay to our own game. We might not all be home run hitters, but all know how to work together and put runs on the board.”
Kingsway 210 041 0-8
Gloucester 104 000 0-5
WP: Marina Costello LP: Vanesa Pino
2B: K: Taylor Campagna
HR: K: Siyanna Begey, G: Meghan Ferry, Vanesa Pino