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Glen Oaks girls crowned District 26 champions

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Strong Pitching by Nicole Epstein and Alexis Namit, strong hitting throughout the line-up, led by Danielle Santopietro and Londyn McCormick, and aggressive base-running by Diana Contreras, Tara McCullagh and Namit led Glen Oaks Little League’s Girls All-Star team to a two-game sweep of a strong Mid-Queens Fresh Meadows Little League team last week.

The 13- and 14-year-old softball team consists of six girls each from the Queens Surface Rockies and the State Senator Frank Padavan Blue Jays. Glen Oaks advances to the Little league softball sectionals and will play at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20, at Spieler Field in Cunningham Park, located at 210th Street and 73rd Avenue in Bayside.

Both games, played Monday, July 8 and Thursday, July 11, ended short of the regulation seven innings when the Glen Oaks girls scored 10 more runs than the Mid-Queens All-Stars after more than five innings of play. Epstein struck out seven and allowed only three hits in five innings in the series opener at Memorial Field, located at 57th Avenue and 229th Street, leaving Glen Oaks with an nine-run lead. Namit, who started at shortstop, pitched the sixth and final inning and hurled a complete five-inning game in the series clincher, striking out four, walking seven and allowing eight hits.

Namit’s first game outing only occurred when, with a nine-run lead, Santopietro was caught stealing for the final out in the bottom of the fifth inning on a close play at second with clean-up hitter Marisa Bearak, who started behind the plate and finished at second base, at the plate. After Mid-Queens got a run back in the top of the sixth, Bearak led off the bottom half with her third walk and scored on Tara McCullagh’s triple. Catcher-second baseman Alison Meigh’s single scored Bearak to end the game in which Glen Oaks scored in every inning and every player either scored and/or had a hit.

In both games Namit led off the Glen Oaks’ scoring with steals of home. In all, Glen Oaks scored 21 runs, blasted 19 hits, stole 16 bases and batted in 20 runs in the 21-11 opening victory.

The Glen Oaks team scored 10 runs in their last bat of the second game, sending 14 batters to the plate, in the 23-13 victory at Spieler Field. The game featured 19 RBIs, 28 steals, including four steals of home, 17 hits, six doubles and a triple by centerfielder Lorey Giblin, who also plays first base and pitches.

For the two-game series, Santopietro who plays first base, and McCormick, who plays third base, led all Glen Oaks hitters, going 6-for-8. Santopietro, batting in the three-hole, scored six runs, drove in nine and stole six bases. McCormick scored four runs and knocked in seven. Namit added six RBIs and scored five runs on 6-for-9 hitting. Epstein, playing shortstop in game two, scored and drove in five on three hits. Giblin had five hits, including two doubles and a triple. Meigh had three hits and reached base six times. Bearak reached base five times on three walks and two hits, driving in and scoring three. Leftfielder Jessica McMurray scored and reached base twice. Pillar Contreras was perfect, reaching base each time, while sister Diana stole eight bases and scored six runs, batting 3-for-3 with a walk. McCullagh, playing right field, left field and catcher in both games, scored eight runs, stole six bases and hit well, including a triple, and walked five times.

Defensive gems included catches in right by McCullagh in the second inning in game one and first inning of game two. McCullagh’s sixth-inning throw to McCormick nailing a runner at third in game one, Santipietro’s fifth-inning game two throw to McCullagh at the plate, Namit’s handling four hard-hit comebackers throwing for outs at first and Epstein’s stabs of grounders in the hole at short, throwing to Meigh for forces at second in the second and third innings of game two.

Infielder and outfielder Cynthia Johnson, the Rockies’ leading hitter for most of the season, missed the tournament after a leg injury in a pre-series scrimmage game, but led the cheers from the dugout.

Queens Surface Rockies co-manager Corey Bearak managed the team assisted by Rockies co-Manager Ira Epstein, Bluejays Manager Phil Santopietro, Rockies coach Glen Johnson and Rockies coach and scorekeeper Bill Giblin.

Posted 7:08 pm, October 10, 2011
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