BELLEROSE, N.Y. – The St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) softball team finished the 2014 season with a bang as they earned an impressive, 7-3, win over USCAA Small College World Series representative Briarcliffe College to salvage a split and finish the campaign with a winning record after dropping a 10-2 decision in the opener on Wednesday afternoon at Padavan-Preller Field.
St. Joseph's (17-16) finishes the season on a high note winning eight of their last nine games and finish with a winning record for the fifth time out of the last six years, while Briarcliffe (15-12) heads into the postseason with a loss.
The Bulldogs built an early 2-0 lead after two innings in the opener, while the Lady Bears bats could not get on track as they were held hitless until the fourth inning when freshman Samantha Rossi (Bayside, N.Y./Mary Louis) singled to right field.
Briarcliffe would do the bulk of its damage in the fourth inning as they plated four runs in the frame, all of them unearned, as St. Joseph's defense committed two errors with two outs in the inning allowing the Bulldogs to take a 6-0 lead after four.
The Lady Bears finally broke through in the fifth inning on a two-RBI single by junior Shannon Rom (Breezy Point, N.Y./Bishop Kearney), but that would not be enough as Briarcliffe added three in the fifth and one in the sixth to end the contest after six innings.
Junior Jackie Perillo (Howard Beach, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) made the start and went the entire way, surrendering ten runs (five earned) on 12 hits with three strikeouts to finish the season at 8-8.
The nightcap saw the Bulldogs score in the first inning once again and it looked like game two may be a repeat of the opener. However, St. Joseph's would have none of it as they came right back in their half of the first and plated two runs on three hits and a pair of Briarcliffe errors to take a 2-0 lead.
Freshman Jamilynn McGowan (Staten Island, N.Y./Michael J. Petrides) took the ball and was solid once again, earning a win in her fifth straight start as she went the full seven innings, allowing only three runs (two earned) on five hits with three punchouts to end her rookie campaign 9-8 in the circle.
Realizing a one-run lead wasn't going to last the entire game, the Lady Bears helped McGowan out by scoring runs in each of the next three innings following their two-run first to build a 7-1 lead after four. St. Joseph's received a clutch RBI double to right from freshman Geena Campisi (Howard Beach, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) with two outs in the third and got a pivotal two-run single off the bat of junior Cassandra Molinari (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) in the fourth to build a 6-1 lead. Sophomore Maria Randazzo (Brooklyn, N.Y./Fontbonne Hall) finished the three-run fourth with a single to center that scored Perillo to give the Lady Bears a comfortable cushion.
The Bulldogs put two runs on the board in the sixth to make it interesting at 7-3, but McGowan put an end to any thought of a comeback with a strong seventh inning against the heart of the Briarcliffe lineup to seal the victory and end the season on a good note.
Molinari completed her outstanding season with a 3-for-7 day at the plate with two RBI and two runs scored, while Randazzo ended her campaign going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. Rossi ends her season on a 13-game hitting streak after going 2-for-6, driving in a run and scoring one. Campisi concluded her rookie season with a 2-for-5 outing with a run and an RBI.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORES
- After managing only five hits in the opener, the Lady Bears bats came to life in the nightcap as they smacked 11 hits.
- Both teams played shaky defense on the day with the Bulldogs making three errors and St. Joseph's committing five errors.
- Of the 22 combined runs scored on the day, eight were unearned as St. Joseph's pitchers had six scored against them.
- Briarcliffe stole six bases on the day including five in the opener and Samantha Simon snagged the Lady Bears lone theft in the second game.
THE LADY BEAR FACTS
- St. Joseph's is now 11-8 all-time against Briarcliffe after losing the season series 3-1.
- The Lady Bears finish their home slate 7-4 and finish May 4-1.
- McGowan had her streak of reaching base safely in 14 consecutive plate appearances snapped in game two with a groundout to second. The freshman had gone a perfect 11-for-11 with three walks during the four plus games.