Now Blake is gone, having graduated last May, and Queens has to look elsewhere for leadership."It's going to be hard to fill Blake's shoes," Queens coach Brian DeMasters said. "She had a significant impact on the team."DeMasters, who is in his 17th season at the helm, has led Queens to the NYCAC tournament postseason in each of the last eight years, including NYCAC titles in 1999 and 2001. DeMasters knows what its like to lose someone as valuable as Blake, but a majority of the team is coming back to try and knock off Adelphi who eliminated Queens College from last year's playoffs.The Lady Knights will be sporting an outfield made up primarily of freshmen, but Demasters expects the infield defense to be stronger than ever. "Our solid infield will cut down on errors," DeMasters said. "Not giving up easy runs will simply make us that much better." Queens returns its top two pitchers from last year's team as Victoria Forsythe and Jessica Papaerella each had earned run averages below 2.00 and combined for more than 20 victories last year. Papaerella has already been named NYCAC Pitcher of the Week after posting a 1-1 record with a 0.47 ERA last week.Papaerella is not only one of the team's top pitchers, she is also the No. 3 hitter. With All-conference player Crystal Wilson hitting in the cleanup spot, followed by Jessica Henck, there should expect a lot of pop from the lineup. Queens started the season in the Catawba Tournament in North Carolina, going 2-3. After splitting with Felician College and then sweeping Hunter College, Queens was swept by Philadelphia University in its NYCAC opening series and has a record of 5-6, 0-2 in the conference. Last year's battle for first place in the NYCAC was between C.W Post, Adelphi, New Haven and Queens. DeMasters foresees the same for this year."This year's going to be a dogfight with four teams who virtually can win it all," he said.Reach intern Evan Enden by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.
©2005 Community News Group
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