STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Senior Nicole Quintana (Brooklyn, N.Y./St. Edmund Prep) launched a grand slam in the sixth inning to put the exclamation point on a 12-4 come-from-behind victory over the College of Staten Island to extend the St. Joseph's College (Brooklyn) softball team's win streak to five.
The Bears (15-18) were two outs from securing a run-rule sweep of the non-conference twin bill before the Dolphins (13-15) scored nine unanswered in the fifth and sixth to take the lead and SJC responded with three in the seventh to regain the lead before having the game called in the bottom half due to rain and the game reverting back to the end of the sixth, resulting in a disappointing 13-12 loss.
Game 1: St. Joseph's 12, Staten Island 4 (6 inn)
Staten Island scored a solo run in the first and posted three in the second to take a 4-0 lead that also knocked the Bears starter out of the circle with Jessica Mecham (West Jordan, Utah/Copper Hills) entering in relief.
SJC got on the board in the fourth behind RBI base knocks from Quintana and Gabriella Fielding (Melville, N.Y./Half Hollow Hills) with the Dolphins also making two errors in the inning to find their lead trimmed to 4-3.
A Gabriella Salvador (Staten Island, N.Y./New Dorp) sacrifice fly in the fifth knotted the game at 4-all as Mecham continued to keep the Dolphins at bay surrendering just two hits since entering the circle midway through the second.
The Bears erupted for eight runs in the sixth with all eight runs coming home with two outs. With runners at second and third, Alexis Buchanan (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta) delivered the go-ahead two-run single. Two batters later, Salvador knocked a two-run single to push the lead to 8-4 and coming up to the plate for the second time in the inning with the bases loaded, Quintana lifted a shot to left center for her first home run of the season and her first career grand slam that put the Bears at the run rule.
Mecham retired the side in order in the bottom half to close out the victory, surrendering no runs and just two hits over 4.2 innings of work.
Quintana batted 3-for-4 with five RBI, three runs, a home run and a double. Fielding also had a 3-for-4 game with a RBI. Salvador drove in three runs with a 1-for-3 effort, scoring twice. Buchanan drove in a pair and scored twice, also finishing 1-for-3.
Game 2: Staten Island 13, St. Joseph's 12 (6 inn)
Birthday girl Jessica Vento (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) belted a double in the first to open the scoring after Victoria Mahoney (Allenwood N.J./Saint John Vianney) led the game off with a triple. SJC tacked on three more runs in the second highlighted by an Ashleigh Hartwig (Santee, Calif./West Hills) RBI double to jump ahead 4-0, but the hosts matched the Bears in the bottom half with three to remain within one.
The Bears posted a crooked number with six runs on 10 hits in the third. Buchanan, Hartwig, and Brianna Baglino (Howard Beach, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) all delivered timely hits with two-out RBI singles.
SJC scored a pair in the fourth and carried a 12-4 lead into the bottom of the fifth but the Dolphins averted the run rule with a three-run home run by Claudia Porcaro. CSI used a big six-run sixth to take a 13-12 lead to shock the Bears. All six runs came across with two outs and all but one scored unearned.
The seventh saw the Bears stage another comeback to jump on top. A Vanessa Quigley (Staten Island, N.Y./New Dorp) triple knotted the game at 13-all and Mecham brought her home with back-to-back triples and pushed the lead to two scoring herself on a passed ball.
With the Bears leading 15-13 in the bottom of the seventh with no one out and two runners on, the game was called due to rain. By rule, since the Dolphins had not completed their half of the inning, the game reverted to the completion of the sixth inning and the Bears comeback in the seventh being erased in a heartbreaking fashion.
Mecham finished 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles at the plate and was stuck with the loss in relief in the circle just one of the six runs to her name scoring earned. Baglino and Mahoney both knocked three hits in defeat, Mahoney also driving in a pair and scoring three times. Buchanan and Hartwig both drove in a pair of runs.
For the Bears
- Victoria Mahoney extended her hitting streak to eight games, while Ashleigh Hartwig and Gabriella Salvador both extended their hitting streaks to seven games.
- Nicole Quintana's blast in the opener was her third career home run and sixth grand slam in team history.
- All nine starters knocked a hit in the nightcap with the squad rapping 20 hits in defeat.
Next Up for the Bears
The Bears will wrap up the regular season with a crucial Skyline Conference series with Mount Saint Vincent on Saturday (Apr. 27) in a scheduled road test at Gil Hodges Field starting at 11:30 a.m.
With a sweep, the Bears will vault the Dolphins for fourth place in the final standings. Both teams will likely meet in again in the first round of the Skyline Championship on Wednesday.