ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (Mar. 29, 2018) - The Queens College softball team was a mere two outs away from a doubleheader sweep on Thursday (Mar. 29) of conference foe Molloy but the Knights fell in the opening game on a walk-off home run by a 3-2 score. Queens won the nightcap by a 3-0 margin to earn a split in the critical series.
Queens sits at 6-6 on the year and 3-1 in ECC play while Molloy is 13-11 overall and 1-1 in conference competition following Thursday's contests at Bob Klein Field.
Game One: Molloy 3, Queens (NY) 2
ToniMarie Valeriano took to the circle for the Knights and fended off two furious innings as Molloy got runners to third base in both frames---and loaded the bases in the second inning---before the senior southpaw was able to steer Queens out of danger. On the other hand, Molloy starter Jenna Turato worked her way through the Knights' batting order like clockwork in retiring the first nine batters in a row to keep the score blank until the top of the fourth inning. Valeriano led off the frame and sent a Turato rise ball screaming over the left-center field fence on a line to put the Knights ahead by a 1-0 score. The game remained a one-run affair as Turato and Valeriano dueled to the seventh inning when Briana Schippell's single to shallow center field scored pinch-runner Maryjane D'Agostino and gave QC an insurance run. Molloy, however, worked Valeriano in the bottom of the frame as back-to-back one-out singles by Kaitlyn Snyder and Olivia Banulski set the stage for Courtney Greene's walk-off home run over the right field wall to give the Lions a stunning first-game victory.
Game Two: Queens (NY) 3, Molloy 0
In the nightcap of the doubleheader, the pitcher's duel continued just with different faces as Vanessa Juengerkes kept Molloy scoreless while Tonianne Larson matched her zeroes for four innings. In the fifth inning, Nicole Michaels reached on a sharply hit ground ball to third base that was ruled an error; regardless, Alyssa Neal brought home the speedy Michaels with an RBI triple to deep right-center field as the Knights struck first. Lauren Pascual singled home Neal later in the inning to put QC ahead by a two-run margin. Juengerkes was effective in the circle, limiting the Lions to seven hits over seven innings while striking out four batters and walking none. Queens added a third run in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring single by Danielle D'Angelo with the bases loaded. Juengerkes retired ten batters in a row at one point during the game to earn the complete-game shutout win, her second straight ECC victory in as many starts.
Valeriano and Pascual both collected three hits for the Knights in the doubleheader while D'Angelo, Neal, Schippell and Ann Grimshaw each collected a base-kock as well.
The Knights are back in action on Saturday (Mar. 31) as Queens hosts conference rival Mercy College at the QC Softball Field at 12 p.m.