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Grabher allows one hit in St. Francis Prep’s 9-0 win

The Terriers’...

By Anthony Bosco

The St. Francis Prep Terriers received a near-perfect performance from starting pitcher Karla Grabher Monday afternoon, as the junior windmiller out of Bellerose tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout against the Stella Maris Flippers.

The Terriers’ offense did more than enough to win, chipping away at Maris starter Kelly Fitzgerald en route to a 9-0 victory. The win kept St. Francis alone atop the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan standings heading into Wednesday’s showdown with The Mary Louis Academy.

Still, St. Francis Prep head coach Ann Marie Rich was not completely overjoyed with the win.

“Offensively I think we should have hit a little bit more,” Rich said. “I think we should have hit the ball on the ground a little bit more. We were getting under a lot. And we left a lot of men on base. But we got on base.”

If the Terriers weren’t knocking the cover off the ball, at least they made the most of their opportunities, including a three-run first inning that set the tone for the game.

After Grabher faced the minimum in the top of the inning, Prep started a one-out rally when Marissa Evangelista singled to right-center. Michele Gutierrez followed suit with a single up the middle. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch before Christina Aracena singled off Fitzgerald’s glove, bringing home the first run.

With runners at the corners, sophomore Kristen McEvitt singled to left to bring home Evangelista and make the score 2-0 with runners on first and second. A passed ball on catcher Janine Bordo allowed the runners to advance again and Nicole Malvica’s slow ground out to short was just enough to get Aracena home for the third run.

Dinana Cuppini lined out to third to end the inning.

Being aggressive on the base paths is something Rich said her team does with some consistency — in the right situations.

“Sometimes we take chances,” she said. “It depends on what the score is. Once you see the catcher turn, 99 percent of the time you’re going to get an extra base.”

St. Francis added another run in the bottom of the second inning when, with two outs, Marina Ysaac drew a walk and went to second on Evangelista’s single over third base. Gutierrez singled to bring home Ysaac from second and the runners advanced to second and third on the failed throw to home.

Aracena walked to load the bases, but Fitzgerald pitched out of the jam, getting McEvitt to pop out.

Grabher again faced just three batters in the top of the third and her teammate paid her back in the bottom of the inning, adding two more runs.

Malvica got things going with a single to left and made it all the way to third on a passed ball and wild pitch. Cuppini walked to put runners on the corners and stole second when Eileen Strohm struck out. Theresa O’Doherty grounded out back to Fitzgerald, scoring Malvica and Cuppini came home on Ysaac’s single to left, making the score 6-0.

Grabher struck out Dannamarie DiMarco to start the fourth, but gave up her only hit of the game when diminutive freshman Mary Caitlyn Cunneen smashed a liner up the middle for triple. Grabher, however, got Kiera Duffy to pop out and, after hitting Kim James to put runners at the corners, induced Kate Scotko to ground out to short.

“Karla was on today,” Rich said of her starter. “Her wrist gave her trouble two games ago. It was bothering her last time out, but today she was fine. Her and [catcher] Nicki [Malvica] worked really well today.”

St. Francis added another in the bottom of the inning when Gutierrez led off with a walk and reached third following a single by Aracena and a fielder’s choice off the bat of McEvitt. Malvica drove home Gutierrez on a sacrifice fly to left. Prep then loaded the bases on an infield hit by Cuppini and a walk by Strohm, but could not get another run across.

Prep left the bases loaded in the fifth without a run coming across, but would add two more in the sixth when a one-out walk by Strohm set up Ysaac with two outs. The senior shortstop laced a liner to center field that seemed to roll forever. The Queens Village native galloped around the bases for a two-run home run — the Terriers’ only extra base hit on the day.

In total, St. Francis pounded out 13 hits and collected seven walks, while Maris was held to just one hit, one walk and one batter hit by a pitch. Grabher struck out seven in going the distance, raising her record to 5-2 on the season.

Prep is now 10-2 overall and 6-0 in league play.

The Mary Louis Academy 15, St. John’s Prep 0. Chrissy Locascio smashed a grand slam home run for the Hilltoppers, while pitcher Patricia Glauner shut down the Red Storm, holding them to just two hits and striking out nine. Mary Louis is now 5-1.

The Mary Louis Academy 15, St. Agnes 0. The Hilltoppers got plenty of offensive production Thursday, as Catherine Cazzorla belted a grand slam and Jennifer Campuzano and Jennifer McGroaty also went deep. Mary Louis improved to 3-1 in league play with the win.

St. Francis Prep 18, St. John’s Prep 1. Ysaac was a perfect 5-for-5, including a triple, two doubles and two RBIs, while junior pitcher Noel Rosselli scattered five hits and struck out eight.

The Mary Louis Academy 5, Stella Maris 0. Mary Louis blanked the Flippers last Tuesday behind a two-hitter from pitcher Stefanie Gozdziewski, who fanned 14 in the win.

St. Agnes 12, St. John’s Prep 7. St. Agnes was led by Susan Donnelly, who drove in six, including a grand slam home run, improving the team’s league record to 2-1.

St. Francis Prep 7, Christ the King 1. McEvitt allowed just three hits while fanning 14 as the Terriers topped the Royals last week.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

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