FLUSHING, N.Y. (Mar. 27, 2018) - Powered by three home runs including two from freshman Jessica Hickey, the Queens College softball team defended home-field with a doubleheader sweep of East Coast Conference foe Bridgeport on Tuesday (Mar. 27) in Flushing.
Queens (5-5, 2-0 ECC) won the first contest by a 6-5 score over Bridgeport (9-9, 0-2 ECC) before mercy-ruling the Purple Knights in the nightcap by an 8-0 score in five innings.
Game One: Queens (NY) 6, Bridgeport 5
The Knights raced out in front thanks to a two-out, two-run double from Alyssa Delaney that scored Ann Grimshaw and Lauren Pasucal to give starter ToniMarie Valeriano an early cushion to work with after one inning of play. Queens added a run in the bottom of the second, manufacturing a run on the basepaths to take a 3-0 lead which stayed until the top of the fourth inning. Bridgeport climbed back into contention with two runs in the top of the frame coming on an error and an infield hit by Yalitza Rodriguez,; the Purple Knights usurped the lead in the fifth inning on similar fortunes but Queens grabbed the lead right back in the bottom of the frame. Following a lead-off walk issued to Pascual, Danielle D'Angelo lifted a two-run home run well over the left-field fence to put QC ahead by a 5-4 margin. Hickey led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run as well, and that run proved to be the difference maker as Bridgeport pushed a run across in the top of the seventh but left runners on second and third as Valeriano slammed the door shut on the Purple Knights' rally.
Valeriano struck out three in picking up the victory with D'Angelo and Delaney each accounting for two hits and two RBIs for Queens at the dish.
Game Two: Queens (NY) 8, Bridgeport 0 - Five Innings
The Knights one-upped themselves by starting the second game with a three-run first inning against UB starter Ashley Eisnor; the runs came via a fielder's choice, a bases-loaded walk and a passed ball in giving Queens the 3-0 lead. Singles by D'Angelo and Delaney brought home two more runs in the second inning to give QC starter Vanessa Juengerkes a five-run lead, and the lefty hurler was strong in keeping Bridgeport off the scoreboard through five innings. With a 5-0 advantage, Hickey led off the bottom of the fifth inning with a round-trip home run to center field. After Eisnor retired the next two batters, Alyssa Neal started a rally with a single up the middle. Neal would swipe second base and both Valeriano and Pascual would be hit by pitches to load the bases. D'Angelo stepped to the plate and raked a single up the middle to score Neal and Valeriano and end the game via the mercy-rule.
Juengerkes scattered seven hits in her five innings of work and struck out one batter. D'Angelo went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the offensive charge for Queens in the win.
The Knights will continue ECC play on Thursday (Mar. 29) with a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m. against Molloy in Rockville Centre.