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Mary Louis survives brief scare

Things got a little dicey for the Mary Louis Hilltoppers Monday afternoon in their first-round playoff game against the visiting Bishop Loughlin Lions at Sy Spieler Field in Fresh Meadows. Then they got to bat.

Mary Louis overcame a 2-0 first-inning deficit en route to a 14-2 win, advancing to the semifinals against Brooklyn No. 1 seed Bishop Kearney in a six-inning game shortened by the 12-run mercy rule.

“I reminded the girls that this could be the end of the season if they didn’t play their best,” said Mary Louis coach Colleen Jamison. “Any team can beat anyone.”

The Lions scored twice off starter Patricia Glauner in the first inning. Crystal Smith opened up the game with a bloop single followed by Jazmine Sepuleda’s triple down the left-field line. Sepuleda came around to score on a wild pitch before an out was recorded.

But Glauner, a junior, settled down immediately and got Sheena Reid to pop out to third before striking out Nathaly Martinez and Lynette D’Angelo to end the inning.

“She was a little shaky in the first,” Jamison said of her starter. “But then she settled down and got into a rhythm.”

Mary Louis bounced right back in the bottom of the inning. Samantha Evangelista led off by reaching on an error and moved to second on a wild pitch. Jennifer McGroarty struck out, but was safe at first following a passed ball, allowing Evangelista to score on the throw.

Jennifer Campuzano then walked and McGroarty reached third on yet another passed ball. Elizabeth Strein’s bouncer to third could not be reeled in, allowing McGroarty to come home with the tying run. Cassie Contino walked to load the bases and Catherine Cazzorla was hit by a pitch to bring home Campuzano. Chrissy Locascio bounced out to short to score Strein and make the score 4-2.

The Hilltoppers scored four more in the second as Evangelista, McGroarty, Jennifer Flynn and Campuzano all hit consecutive singles and Strein doubled to center, making the score 7-2. Contino capped the rally with a single to right to score yet another run.

Glauner, in the meantime, was silencing Loughlin’s line-up. Despite allowing the first two runners to reach base in the third, the wind-miller managed to get out of the jam on three hard-hit outs. And when Ashley Bowen stroked a one-out single in the fourth, she was picked off for the second out.

Up six in the fifth, the Hilltoppers tacked on four more runs, all with two outs. Evangelista singled with one out and — after McGroarty popped out to short — Marybeth Agate reached on an error. Campuzano singled to left to bring home Evangelista and Roseann Agate also singled to score two more. Roseann Agate came across moments later on Contino’s double to make the score 12-2.

The Lions failed to score in the top of the sixth, setting the stage for Louis to end the game in the bottom of the inning with two more runs. Elizabeth Berry singled and stole second with one out and Evangelista reached on an error to put runners on the corners. Marybeth Agate ended the game with a long double to center, scoring both base runners.

The mercy-rule win was a relief for Jamison, who admitted to feeling a little anxious after the Lions opened the game with two quick runs.

“I did get nervous,” Jamison said after the top of the first. “The girls were not playing their best.”

Mary Louis improved to 9-2 in league play and 13-5 overall on the season.

St. Francis Prep 22, Bishop Ford 0. The Terriers advanced to the semifinals as well Monday, with a blowout win over Ford at Cunningham Park. Noelle Rosselli allowed just one hit with 12 strikeouts. Michelle Gutierrez had a three-run homer in the win as Prep improved to 15-2 overall and 11-0 in league play.

Fontbonne Hall 5, Christ the King 1. The Royals fell to the defending champs, managing just two hits off starter Kerry Cucci, who struck out five to earn the win. Betsy Graff had a triple and scored three times for the winners.

Mary Louis 18, Townsend Harris 0. The Hilltoppers got a one-hitter from pitcher Stefanie Gozdziewski, who fanned 10. Gozdziewski, Chrissy Locascio and Liz Strein all homered in the non-league win.

St. Francis Prep 12, St. John’s Prep 2. The Terriers were led by Noelle Rosselli, who tossed a three-hitter, striking out seven. Marina Ysaac powered the offense, going 3-for-5 with three RBIs.

Mary Louis 9, St. Agnes 0. Jennifer McGroarty was 3-for-3 for Mary Louis, while Jennifer Flynn allowed just one hit and recorded six Ks to get the win.

Christ the King 10, Stella Maris 6. Jeanine Michelle smacked a home run and drove in four for the Royals in their final league game of the season.

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

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