WEST HAVEN, Conn. (Mar. 6, 2018) - Putting an early stamp on dominance in the pitcher's circle, Vanessa Juenguerkes twirled a complete-game four-hitter to lead the Queens College softball team to a 9-0 win over New Haven in the first game of a doubleheader with the Chargers on Tuesday (Mar. 6).
In the second game, darkness prematurely put a stop to the Knights' last-gasp rally and Queens lost a 4-1 decision to New Haven despite being up 5-4 in the top of the seventh inning. NCAA rules dictate that if the umpires declare a game to be halted by darkness, the score shall reflect that of the last completed half-inning; therefore, the Knights' four-run half-inning was wiped away from the scorebooks.
Alyssa Neal was the catalyst to the Knights taking an early lead in the first game of the doubleheader. Following a bunt single, Neal swiped second and third base before being brought home on an RBI ground-out by Lauren Pascual. Queens extended their lead in the third inning with Neal and Pascual again doing much of the damage at the plate and on the bases. Following a single by ToniMarie Valeriano, Neal drew a walk; the Knights executed a perfect double-steal before Pascual cracked an opposite-field double to bring home both runs. In the fifth inning, Danielle D'Angelo reached on a fielding error at second base that scored Neal with the game's fifth run. Ann Grimshaw later brought D'Angelo home on an RBI single---the first hit and run batted in of the freshman's career. Queens put the finishing touches on the win at the plate in the seventh with two-run singles by both Brianna Schippell and Valeriano.
Juenguerkes was superb in the circle for the Knights, yielding just four hits and striking out four New Haven batters in picking up the win. Neal and Valeriano each had three hits for the Knights in the first-game victory while Grimshaw and Schippell each had a pair of base-hits for Queens.
New Haven jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the opening two innings of the nightcap. Kristine Liptack had an RBI double in the first inning and Jovana Hillman belted a second-inning solo home run off of QC starter Valeriano to give the Chargers the advantage. The lead was extended to a 3-0 margin after a fourth-inning RBI single from Cassidy Kirby; the Knights' lone run came in the fifth inning as Grimshaw reached on an error with Neal crossing home plate. The Knights were held to just two hits over the six innings against New Haven pitcher Kylie Stonebraker. Juenguerkes and D'Angelo each singled off of the Chargers' starter in the loss.
Queens heads to Florida now for the PFX Spring Games with the Knights' first contest coming against Barry University on Saturday (Mar. 10).