FLUSHING, N.Y. (Mar. 11, 2018) - The Queens College softball team dropped two tight contests on Sunday (Mar. 11) as the Knights continued their early-season Florida swing in earnest with games against Barry and Saint Michael's in the Sunshine State.
Game One - Barry 5, Queens (NY) 4
The Knights faced the Buccaneers once again, having played the Florida-based school just one day earlier. Barry went ahead in the second inning on back-to-back run-scoring hits by Sam Buskerus and Taylor Checkley off of QC starter ToniMarie Valeriano. Queens got a run back in the bottom of the fourth inning, with a Valeriano lead-off double serving as the catalyst as Alyssa Neal reached on a throwing error to score pinch-runner Nicole Michaels from second base. The Buccaneers picked up another run in the fifth inning off of a sacrifice fly, but QC responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the score. With runners on the corners and one out, Briana Schippell recorded an RBI groundout to bring home Gabriella Russo; Valeriano then singled in Alyssa Delaney to even the score at 3-all. Queens took its first lead of the contest in the bottom of the sixth inning on a lead-off home run by Lauren Pascual, but the Bucs scored two runs in the top of the seventh on hits by Maddy VonHagel and Lynsey Duncan to usurp the lead and stun the Knights.
Valeriano had two of QC's five hits in the loss and she struck out five batters in the pitcher's circle as well.
Game Two - Saint Michael's 8, Queens (NY) 6
Pascual got the start in the circle for the Knights and she went toe-to-toe with Saint Michael's starter Danielle Brown for the first two innings before the Purple Knights put up five runs on QC in the bottom of the third. Saint Michael's rattled off six straight hits with the big blow coming on a grand slam by Danielle Markowski to put her side ahead by a 5-0 margin. Queens scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning as Valeriano doubled in a pair of runs with the bases loaded, bringing home Jordan Walley and Jessica Hickey to cut the deficit to three. Markowski took Pascual deep for a second time in the bottom of the frame to up the lead to 6-2 but the Knights threatened in the top of the sixth and made Brown pay. After singles by Ann Grimshaw, Danielle D'Angelo and Delaney loaded the bases, Hickey smashed an offering from the Purple Knights starter over the left field wall for a grand slam to even the score at 6-all. Saint Michael's scratched two runs across in the bottom of the sixth inning, however, and Queens was unable to answer the bell in the top of the seventh.
Queens will face West Virginia Tech and Silver Lake College on Wednesday (Mar. 14) to conclude its Florida swing.