FLUSHING, N.Y. – Senior Kayla Morrissey hit a three-run home run to give the Queens College softball team an early lead in game one, but the Knights squandered their lead in an extra-inning setback before falling in game two, as Molloy College took a pair of East Coast Conference (ECC) contests on Tuesday.
Queens (9-13, 6-12 ECC) let a 3-0 lead slip away in a 4-3 setback in eight innings in game one, while Molloy (24-14, 11-6 ECC) struck early in a 4-1 victory in the second game.
Morrissey started things off with a boom for the Knights in the bottom of the first. With two outs, reigning ECC Player of the Week ToniMarie Valeriano doubled to left center, and senior Kristen Boody walked to put runners on first and second with Morrissey stepping to the plate. She then blasted a three-run shot to left to put the Knights ahead 3-0 early.
After that, Molloy pitcher Chelsea Hawks, who pitched a perfect game against Dominican on Monday, shut down the Queens offense. Meanwhile, the Lions slowly chipped away at the lead, scoring runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Tiana DeOliveira led the charge with a solo homer and RBI single, as Molloy tied the game at 3-3 in the top of the sixth.
Queens had opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings, with a runner on second with one out in both instances, but the Knights failed capitalize, and the game went to extra innings. Bernadette Mullane then hit an RBI single in the top of the eighth inning to give the Lions a 4-3 advantage. In the bottom of the eighth, Valeriano kept things alive with a two-out single, but Hawks got Boody to pop out to end the game.
Valeriano remained red-hot, going 3-for-4 with a run and a double, while Morrissey was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Junior Vanessa Juengerkes tossed five innings, giving up three earned runs on six hits, while senior Morgan Starley gave up just three hits and one run over three innings. Hawks struck out 10 batters in a complete game effort for Molloy.
The Knights were hurt by errors in the second game, as three of the Lions' four runs were unearned. Queens committed four errors in the game, including three in the first inning, compared to zero for Molloy.
The Lions scored all four of their runs in the opening inning. Brianna Dalton hit a two-run single down the left field line before two more runs came in on an error, as Molloy batted around the order to take a 4-0 lead.
Queens had a great chance to score in the fourth inning, as Boody and Juengerkes hit singles to left to put two on with one out, but the Knights came up empty. Again, the Knights had a golden opportunity in the fifth, as junior Alyssa Neal and sophomore Nicole Michaels led off with singles. Boody ripped an RBI single to score Neal to cut the deficit to just three, but that was all the Knights could get.
Jenna Turato (12-4) gave up just one run in seven innings with six strikeouts for Molloy, while Starley (1-3) was handed the tough loss, giving up four runs (one earned) with three strikeouts. Boody went 2-for-3 with an RBI, and Michaels went 2-for-4.
Queens will continue its home stand on Thursday, April 20, with a doubleheader against Southern Connecticut State University starting at 2 p.m.