April 3, 2011

Kakavas Powers Lady Bears to Split with Briarcliffe

BELLEROSE, NY – The Lady Bears lost their lead late in game one, as Briarcliffe tied the game the 6th inning on a two out single, but Caitlyn Kakavas (Bayside, NY/St. Agnes) saved it for St. Joseph's with a walk-off home run in the 7th to put St. Joseph's on top, 7-5. The blast to left center was her second home run of the season and the first to clear the fences at Padavan-Preller Field by any Lady Bear. It is also Kakavas' second career walk-off game-winning RBI, and the first game-winning homer.

St. Joseph's couldn't carry that momentum into game two and split the doubleheader with the Bulldogs. The loss snapped a seven game winning streak for the Lady Bears who are now 10-4 on the young season.  April 3rd is the earliest St. Joseph's has reached ten wins since 2004.

Since returning from Florida, Kakavas has at least one hit in all eight games and is batting .545 (12-for-22) over that span. She led the Lady Bears with four hits in the twinbill and her three RBI give her ten for the season.

Sophomore Danielle Marino (Maspeth, NY/Mary Louis) had three hits to go along with two RBI and her team-leading 14th run scored.

The Lady Bears wrapped up their home stand going 8-1. St. Joseph's will hit the road for the first time up north as they travel to the Bronx on Tuesday, April 5th, for a doubleheader with Lehman. First pitch is scheduled for 5:00 pm.

Game One – St. Joseph's 7, Briarcliffe 5 – Box Score

Game one was a rematch of last year's USCAA third place game, which the Lady Bears also won on a walk off. Briarcliffe's Ivette Yi Santiago and Alyson Chiaramonte (Staten Island, NY/Moore Catholic) were mired in a pitching duel before St. Joseph's plated the winning run then and the rematch between the two aces started off the same way.

Both pitchers breezed through the first two innings, allowing only one base runner between the two.

In the third, Briarcliffe touched up Chiaramonte for four runs and four hits. The big blow, a bases loaded triple to right center by Erin Breslin. Breslin was stranded at third however, as Chiaramonte retired the next two hitters.

St. Joseph's answered the bell right away in the bottom half the frame. With the bases loaded and one out, Marino singled through the right side to drive home the first two runs for the Lady Bears. After Millicia Malvasio (Brooklyn, NY/Bishop Kearney) scored on an error, Chiaramonte tied the game with a single to center and Kakavas gave the Lady Bears their first lead of the game, 5-4.

That was all the scoring there was until the sixth. The Bulldogs got the leadoff hitter with an infield single by Jillian McGovern. She moved to second on a ground out and a two-out single down the right field line by Shannon Dougherty scored McGovern to tie the game.

The Lady Bears went down quietly in the bottom half of the sixth and Briarcliffe threatened to take the lead in the seventh. For the second straight inning, the Bulldogs got a leadoff single, but aggressive St. Joseph's defense helped squash the threat. Ariel Marchany bunted Victoria Boshert over to second following the single, but Boshert took too wide of a turn around second base and Marino gunned her down to complete the double-play. Chiaramonte then got Breslin to pop-up to end the inning.

With the game still tied in the bottom of the seventh, Yi Santiago struck out Lisa Scheer leading off the inning. Chiaramonte got on base with her second hit of the day, a line drive single to center. Kakavas, who last year extended the Lady Bears' season with a walk-off single in an elimination game at the USCAA tournament, drove an 0-2 fastball over the left center field fence for the win in walk-off fashion.

The win keeps Chiaramonte's perfect record intact, she is now 8-0 in circle after her complete game, nine strikeout performance.

Game Two – St. Joseph's 2, Briarcliffe 9 – Box Score

Briarcliffe killed off the momentum St. Joseph's had gained from the walk-off home run in game one by scoring two runs in the first off of Lady Bears starter Lisa Scheer (Bayside, NY/Mary Louis). Anna LaBochetta singled in both runs with two outs, spoiling Scheer's bid to get out of the inning unharmed.

The Lady Bears cut the lead to 2-1 in the 2nd innning on a Kakavas run aided by two Bulldog errors.  But St. Joseph's couldn't get the bats going, and was held to two hits over the first five innings by Bulldog starter Jillian McGovern.

Briarcliffe pulled away scoring in each of the last four innings to take game two 9-2 and earn a split for the doubleheader.

Briarcliffe did most of its damage with two outs. The Bulldogs knocked half of their hits with two outs and went 7-for-13 with five RBI in those situations.