FLUSHING, N.Y. – The Queens College softball team capped off its home schedule on Friday by splitting an East Coast Conference (ECC) doubleheader with NYIT. Senior Morgan Starley held the Bears in check in a complete game effort to lead Queens to a 2-1 win in game one, while NYIT won a pitchers' duel in the second game, 1-0.
Queens moved to 11-15 overall and 8-14 in the ECC, while NYIT moved to 22-16 overall and 12-10 in conference play.
Queens 2, NYIT 1
Starley (2-4) put forth her best outing of the season in the first game, allowing just one run on four hits, while striking out two without surrendering a single walk. She was in the zone all game, as 66 of her 93 pitches went for strikes.
The Knights' only two hits of the game came in the second inning, but that was all they would need with Starley feeling it in the circle. With two outs in the second, junior Vanessa Juengerkes singled up the middle, and then sophomore Maryjane D'Agostino and junior Alyssa Neal each walked to load the bases. Sophomore Nicole Michaels then stepped to the plate and delivered with a two-run single up the middle, scoring Juengerkes and D'Agostino to give Queens a 2-0 lead.
NYIT finally got on the board in the top of the fifth inning, as Sydney Kratzert and Christine Olivas led off with back-to-back singles. Two batters later, Kratzert scored on an RBI ground out hit by Jessica Daniel to cut the lead to 2-1. That was all the Bears would get, with Starley finalizing the complete game victory.
Michaels went 1-for-2 with two RBI to pace the Queens offense. Juengerkes went 1-for-2 with a run, and D'Agostino scored a run and drew a walk.
NYIT 1, Queens 0
It was a true pitchers' duel in game two between Queens starter ToniMarie Valeriano and NYIT starter Laura McLaughlin. The only run came in the seventh inning, and even that was unearned.
Both pitchers were brilliant in the game. Valeriano gave up just one unearned run and seven hits over the seven innings, while tying her career high with 10 strikeouts and allowing just one walk. Meanwhile, McLaughlin (16-6), who also pitched game one, tossed a complete game shutout, giving up just four hits and striking out seven.
Valeriano got out of a jam in the first inning, as the Bears had runners on the corners with two outs, but the junior escaped the inning unscathed. Again, NYIT put runners on the corners in the top of the sixth, but Valeriano struck out the final butter looking to get out of the jam. It came down to the top of the seventh when Christine Rizzacasa reached on an error with two outs and then scored on a single by Josephine Santagata for the go-ahead score.
The Knights will conclude their ECC schedule on Saturday, April 29, with a doubleheader at St. Thomas Aquinas beginning at noon.