FLUSHING, N.Y. – Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Kristen Boody shined when it mattered the most, delivering with a walk-off grand slam to win game two, 7-3, as the Queens College softball team split a pair of East Coast Conference (ECC) games against LIU Post on Senior Day.
The Knights suffered a closely-contested game-one loss, 2-1, but earned even honors on the day by taking game two Saturday afternoon in rainy, overcast conditions. Queens improves to 10-14 overall (7-13 ECC), while the Pioneers moved to 23-19 (9-9 ECC).
The Pioneers took the early lead, as Abbey Fortin doubled to left field with two outs in the top of the first inning. Ashley Melendez delivered the opening run of the game with a single to right field to score Fortin for a 1-0 lead before senior Morgan Starley got the next batter, Gianna Gatto, to line out to first base to end the inning. Sophomore Nicole Michaels (1-for-4) started the Knights at-bat with a single to left field before advancing to second on a wild pitch. But Pioneers starter Hannah Olshevski escaped with no damage, as she retired next three batters.
After the first inning, Starley settled down, keeping the Pioneers in check to keep the Knights within distance. Queens threatened in the bottom of the fifth inning, as sophomore Lauren Pascual reached first on a fielder's choice. Junior Vanessa Juengerkes earned a walk before classmate Alyssa Neal got hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Olshevski cramped up Michaels to get her to ground out to third base to end the inning with no further inroads, keeping the Knights off the board. The Pioneers added an insurance run in the top of the sixth, as Gatto singled to center field to score Fortin to take a 2-0 lead.
Trailing 2-0, Queens answered right back in the bottom of the sixth, as senior Stevianne Ognibene (1-for-4) answered back with her fourth home run of the season to right field to bring the Knights within one at 2-1. With one out, Boody (1-for-3) singled to left field to keep the inning going before a walk to classmate Kayla Morrissey (1-for-2) put runners on first and second. But Olshevski refused to surrender the lead, as she escaped trouble once again by retiring the next two batters.
With two outs, a runner on third and Ognibene at the plate following a home run in her previous at-bat, the Knights looked for another big at-bat from their senior leader. However, Olshevski (13-6) won the battle when it mattered most, as she got Ognibene swiping the air to earn the complete game win in the circle on four hits with one earned run and three strike outs. Starley (1-4) took the tough loss in the circle, pitching a complete game, allowing two earned runs on six hits, while punching out two.
After the Pioneers jumped out to another 1-0 lead in the top of the second, the Knights answered right back in the bottom half to knot the game at 1-1, as Pioneers starter Katie Humhej struggled to find her rhythm early on. Megan Sneeden answered right back for LIU Post with a single down the left field line to score Julia Seader to retake the lead, 2-1. In the top of the sixth, Samantha Marrone doubled the Pioneer advantage with a double to left field to score Kayla McCoy for a 3-1 lead.
With the rain playing spoils on Senior Day, the Knights answered back in the bottom half of the inning, as Boody (2-for-4, 4 RBI, 2 R) singled up the middle to start the at-bat. Next batter, Morrisey (1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2R) evened up the game with her seventh home run of the season with a two-run blast to left field to knot the game at 3-3.
As the rain refused to go away, so did the Knights' winning spirit in another back-and-forth game. In the bottom of the seventh, Neal got hit by a pitch to put a runner on first, and Humhej got Michaels to strike out before Ognibene (1-for-4, R) delivered with a double to right field to put runners on the corners. With one out, Humhej loaded the bases by hitting junior ToniMarie Valeriano. With the bases juiced and one out in the bottom of the seventh, Boody answered the call with her a second home run of the season, clearing the bases with a grand slam to left, as the Knights completed the comeback win, 7-3.
Juengerkes (6-5) got the complete game win for the Knights, allowing three earned runs on nine hits, while punching out two. Humhej (7-8) took the loss for the Pioneers on five hits with six earned runs, while striking out six.
Wrapping up their 10-game home-stand, the Knights will welcome the Bears of NYIT on Thursday, April 27, in ECC action with first pitch slated for 2 p.m.