WHEATFIELD — After a delay of a year, the Kankakee Valley Lady Kougars’ softball team finally played its first game in the new Brian Flynn Field, located at the high school.
The Lady Kougars easily won the game against Kouts, 10-1 in seven innings, on Tuesday, March 30.
Overall, it was a night of firsts: It was the first time in the 26-year history of the program that Brian Flynn wasn’t at the helm of the team and the first night that new varsity coach and former JV coach Amanda Suarez was.
It was also her first win as KV’s varsity coach.
Also following the theme, is was the first hit, the first runs scored ,and more importantly, the first win for the 2021 Lady Kougars after what amounted to basically a year off due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Winning pitcher Mary Kate Shultz got the scoring rolling in the opening inning with a double on the first pitch she saw which drove in the Kats first run. In the fourth inning, KV added five more runs with Jo Jo Short, Carmen Rosado, Hayley Alexander and Lexi Broyles each batting in runs.
The Lady Kougars had 16 hits on the day. Broyles, Mady Peterson, Alexander, Shultz, and Short each banged out multiple hits for Kankakee Valley. Broyles went a team-best 4 for 4 at the plate.
Shultz was also peerless in the circle, pitching six-and-two-thirds innings. She struck out 16, while allowing just one run and walking just one batter.
For Shultz, the game was also a personal victory after coming back from nagging back injuries that have plagued her career.
In previous years, the Lady Kougars have played all of their home games at fields located at the Intermediate School or Wheatfield Elementary.