FLUSHING, N.Y. – Three members of the Queens College softball team homered in game one, as the Knights split with the St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Lady Spartans in an East Coast Conference (ECC) doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. Queens used the long ball to capture a 6-1 win in the first game before falling just short in extra innings in the second game, 7-5.
The Knights improved to 5-7 overall and 2-6 in the ECC, while the Lady Spartans moved to 12-12 overall and 4-4 in conference play.
Queens 6, St. Thomas Aquinas 1
The Knights scored five of their six runs in the sixth inning to take the opening game. Sophomore Lauren Pascual, senior Kayla Morrissey and sophomore Maryjane D'Agostino all went deep for the Knights.
Pascual started the scoring with her second home run in two games, a solo shot to left center, giving the Knights an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Knights until the fifth inning when Danielle DiModugno hit an RBI double for STAC to even the score at one.
The Knights were feeling it in bottom of the fifth, tallying five runs on five hits in the inning. Morrissey led off the inning with a solo home run to left center, her third homer of the season, to put Queens back on top by one. Two batters later, Pascual singled to right, setting up D'Agostino for a two-run homer, the first of her career. Junior ToniMarie Valeriano then got in on the action with a two-run double to left, giving Queens a 6-1 lead it would not relinquish.
Junior Vanessa Juengerkes had a strong outing on the mound for Queens, going the full seven innings and giving up just one run on four hits with five strikeouts. Valeriano went 3-for-4 with two RBI, while Pascual was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs.
St. Thomas Aquinas 7, Queens 5 (F/9)
For the second game in a row, Queens scored five runs in the sixth inning, this time forcing extra innings after erasing the five-run deficit. However, the Knights missed out on their opportunities to win down the stretch, as STAC came away victorious in the ninth inning.
The Lady Spartans tallied two runs in the top of the third to open the game with a 2-0 lead. STAC added to its lead in the top of the sixth with three more runs, capped off by a solo home run by Ashley Landolina.
Queens finally got the offense going in the sixth, as the Knights scored all five of their runs in the inning. Juengerkes started it off with an RBI single to left before junior Alyssa Neal added an RBI single of her own in the next at-bat. Two batters later, Queens cut the lead to just two on an RBI single to left by sophomore Nicole Michaels, bringing the score to 5-3. After senior Stevianne Ognibene singled to load the bases, Pascual reached on an error, as D'Agostino and Michaels came around to score to tie the game at 5-5.
The Knights had opportunities in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings with runners in scoring position in both innings, but Queens could not capitalize. In the top of the ninth, STAC scored on a wild pitch and again on a sacrifice fly, taking a 7-5 lead and shutting down the Knights in the bottom of the ninth.
Ognibene and Pascual each went 3-for-5 in the game for Queens. Boody, Juengerkes and Neal all posted multi-hit games as well for the Knights. Juengerkes (3-4) was handed the loss despite striking out four over 3.2 innings in relief of starter Morgan Starley.
Queens travels to Bridgeport next for an ECC doubleheader on Monday, April 10, starting at 2:30 p.m.