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No problem in hearing this catcher

Washington Twp.'s Mulholland is both a loud and effective leader.

Washington Township softball coach Tracy Burkhart described Kylie Mulholland as one of her team's spark plugs, a motivating presence and vocal leader.

Mulholland agreed with the assessment. Sort of.

"Yup," she said with a smile. "I have a loud mouth."

Brutal honesty, Mulholland said, is yet another tool she uses to lead the Minutemaids.

Lately though, it seems Mulholland's bat has been doing most of the talking.

The junior catcher picked up her 100th hit in Saturday's 10-1 victory over Rancocas Valley in the Hammonton Tournament quarterfinals.

And she has been a key piece to a Minutemaids offense that has been scorching this season. The team had 32 hits the day Mulholland recorded her 100th.

The 15-2 Minutemaids have scored 152 runs this season, including 37 over their last three games.

"We're really coming together as a team," said Mulholland, a Coastal Carolina recruit whose batting average has hovered around .400 all season. "On offense, we're all just feeding off one another. Once one person hits, everybody hits."

Burkhart also praised Mulholland's managing of the team's pitching staff.

Washington Township features two solid pitchers, Abria Tinsley and Taylor Coroneos. The two have different pitches and different styles, but Mulholland has proved adept at handling both.

"You just have to learn each pitcher's strengths and weaknesses," Mulholland said. "A big part is just remembering the signs. Between both of them, they have about 11 different pitches. But they're both great pitchers, which makes it easier."

As eye-popping as the team's offensive numbers have been, Washington Township has been just as solid on defense. The Minutemaids have allowed just nine runs in their last six games.

"We're strong on offense and defense," Burkhart said. "We came into this season with high expectations, and we've looked good."

The Minutemaids lost some key players but brought back the bulk of the team that won last year's South Jersey Group 4 title. They'll have every opportunity to make this season equally memorable, starting with the Hammonton Tournament semifinal matchup this weekend with Shawnee.

After that, the Minutemaids will duke it out with Eastern for the Olympic Conference American Division title and make a run at the team's ultimate goal: a state championship.

"Those are our two main focuses right now," Mulholland said. "We want to beat Eastern so bad. We lost to them earlier in the season. So we know it's just going to come down to us staying focused and making sure that everyone keeps cheering, because that keeps us motivated."

Of course, Mulholland said she has taken it upon herself to make sure that motivation is there - even, apparently, at the expense of being a self-labeled loudmouth.

"She's definitely one of the players that gives our team that energy that we need," Burkhart said. "And she's funny; she can lift the team up.

"She's loud, but that's what we want her to be. She gets people to follow her."