Neal Walks Off a Hero as Softball Earns Important Sweep of ECC Rival Molloy Thursday Evening

Neal Walks Off a Hero as Softball Earns Important Sweep of ECC Rival Molloy Thursday Evening

ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. (Apr. 19, 2018) - Vanessa Juengerkes threw a one-hitter in Game One and Alyssa Neal hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game Two as the Queens College softball team collected a sweep of Molloy on Thursday (Apr. 19) in East Coast Conference play.

Queens (11-17, 8-12 ECC) won the first game over Molloy (25-17, 13-7 ECC) by a 3-0 score before dispatching off the Lions via a 4-3 win in the nightcap of the doubleheader.

Game One: Queens (NY) 3, Molloy 0

Juengerkes allowed a lead-off walk in the top of the first inning and a lead-off single in the top of the second inning before retiring 13 batters in a row in another dominant performance in the pitcher's circle for the Knights through the first five innings of play. Queens scored all of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning against Tonianne Larson to grab the lead. Danielle D'Angelo led off the frame with a double and scored on a one-out single off the bat of Alyssa Delaney. Following a Lauren Pascual single, ToniMarie Valeriano doubled down the right field line to bring home two runs and chase Larson from the circle as the Knights opened up a 3-0 lead. That would be all the offense Juengerkes needed as she struck out four batters to pick up the win. The senior ran into some trouble in the fifth as a walk and an error put two runners aboard with only one out; Valeriano came in and closed out the frame before tossing a 1-2-3 seventh for the win. Delaney, Valeriano and Alyssa Neal each picked up two hits in the win for QC.

Game Two: Queens (NY) 4, Molloy 3 - Final/Nine Innings

In the second game, it was Molloy jumping out in front in the top of the second inning. Brianna Dalton reached on an error to begin the frame and she would score on an RBI groundout off the bat of Tara Byrnes. Dalton factored into the Lions' two other runs as she rocketed a double to right-center field one inning later to score Courtney Greene and Olivia Banulski to give Molloy a three-run cushion against QC starter Valeriano. A run came back in the bottom of the third as Neal played small ball with a safety-squeeze bunt play to bring home Nicole Michaels from third and chop the deficit down to just two runs. The 3-1 score held until the bottom of the sixth inning as Ann Grimshaw led off the Knights' half of the frame with a single. Pinch runner Maryjane D'Agostino scampered home on a one-out triple by Delaney, and she then scored on a subsequent sacrifice fly off the bat of D'Angelo.

The Knights and Lions remained tied at three-all until the bottom of the ninth inning. D'Angelo kicked the rally off with a single before Molloy starter Jenna Turato retired the next two batters. Gabriella Russo came off the bat to pinch hit and drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch to keep the inning alive, which seemed to rattle Turato. A four-pitch walk to Juengerkes was issued to load the bases for Neal; Larson relieved Turato and threw just two pitches before the senior shortstop ripped a single through the right side to walk off a victor.

Delaney was a home run short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 for the Knights in the win with Neal collecting another two hits for QC. Valeriano struck out six batters in her 7.2 innings of work and Juengerkes allowed just one hit in relief to pick up her second win of the evening.

The Knights head up to Pleasantville on Saturday (Apr. 21) to take on Pace University in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 12 p.m.