OLD WESTBURY, N.Y. – Senior Stevianne Ognibene hit two late home runs to lead the Queens College softball team to victory in game two over NYIT, as the Knights and Bears split an East Coast Conference (ECC) doubleheader on Tuesday. Queens dropped a 3-0 decision in game one before taking the second game, 4-3.
Playing in their fourth doubleheader in four days, Queens moved to 6-10 overall and 3-9 in the ECC, while NYIT went to 12-12 overall and 6-6 in conference play.
NYIT 3, Queens 0
The Knights dropped the opening game despite outhitting the Bears, 6-5. NYIT starter Laura McLaughlin (9-3) shut out Queens over the full seven innings in the circle, while stiking out seven.
NYIT scored first in the bottom of the third inning, as Jessica Daniel came in on a double steal. Queens had opportunities to score in the fourth after junior Vanessa Juengerkes hit a double to left, advancing senior Kayla Morrissey to third, but both runners were left stranded.
Again in the fifth, the Knights had a chance to do major damage with the bases loaded and two outs, but McLaughlin got senior Kristen Boody to fly out for the third out. The Bears added two more runs in the sixth, as Christine Olivas was hit by a pitch, and Sydney Kratzert drew a walk, both with the bases loaded.
Morrissey went 2-for-3 to lead Queens, while junior ToniMarie Valeriano (2-4) drew the loss despite giving up only one earned run on five hits with five strikeouts.
Queens 4, NYIT 3
The Knights' bats came alive in the second game, racking up 11 hits, including three home runs. Meanwhile, Juengerkes (4-5) kept the Bears quiet, giving up just three hits and three runs with four strikeouts.
Morrissey got Queens going in the second inning with a solo shot to left, her fourth homer of the season, already matching her total from last year. The following inning, Boody gave Queens a 2-0 lead by driving in Ognibene on a single.
However, the Bears took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning on an RBI single by Kaitlyn Lanksbury and a two-run homer by Brooke Scherer. Ognibene quickly had an answer for the Knights, smacking a solo home run to left to tie the game at 3-3 in the fifth.
Ognibene wasn't finished just yet, as she struck again in the top of the seventh inning with a two-out solo homer to left center, giving Queens a 4-3 lead. Juengerkes sat the Bears down by retiring the side in order in the bottom of the seventh to seal the win.
Ognibene went 3-for-4 with the two long balls, while scoring three runs. Valeriano also went 3-for-4, while freshman Briana Schippell was 2-for-3.
The Knights will have a day off before beginning a 14-game home stretch. Next up will be a home ECC doubleheader with Mercy College on Thursday, April 13, starting at 2 p.m.