Cardozo tops Lewis, 6-4, to take first place

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Brigette Burke could hardly contain her emotions following Cardozo’s 6-4 win at Francis Lewis Friday. The Judges’ third baseman had just alertly tagged out Betty Pinedo, who briefly stepped off third following a triple, to end the game and put Cardozo in the driver’s seat to clinch the Queens III crown.

Burke, who also went 3-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Cardozo hitting attack that scored all six of its runs with two outs, was mobbed by her teammates.

“I just reacted and tagged her. I think she went to go to get her helmet and I tagged her,” she said. “And then they all attacked me.”

Burke, who batted out of the seven spot, reached safely in all four of her at-bats. After advancing on a walk in the second inning, the Cardozo senior laced a triple to right-center field, scoring Sara Colisi to tie the game at 1 in the top of the third.

Francis Lewis (14-6, 10-2) regained the lead in the bottom of the third on Alyssa Schneebaum’s RBI-single to left but Cardozo (15-2, 11-2) responded with three runs in the fourth as Jessica Schropfer drove in two with a double to left center and Jasmine Ocasio followed with a run-scoring single to right to give the Judges a commanding 4-2 lead.

“With two outs we just go for everything,” Burke said. “We like the pressure, we play better with the pressure.”

The Patriots got a run closer in the bottom of the fourth when Pinedo scored on a Burke’s throwing error. But Burke made up for her mistake in the sixth with a bases-loaded single to right that brought in two runs — the second scored on a Lewis throwing error — as Cardozo led 6-3 heading into the seventh inning.

Patriots catcher Lucia Oswald led off the bottom of the seventh with a mammoth home run to dead center field to cut the Judges’ lead to 6-4. Senior pitcher Josephine Georgio, who had only let up five hits to that point, retired the next two Lewis batters before Pinedo sent a bomb to left-center.

She cruised into third, but briefly over-ran the bag. That was enough time for Burke, who lunged up to grab the high relay throw, to tag out Pinedo to end the game.

“Maybe she thought it was an overthrow,” said Lewis coach Judi McCleary. “But one play doesn’t lose the game.”

While Schneebaum had 11 strikeouts, it was her seven walks — five in the first two innings — as well as her team’s inability to close the door with two outs that had McCleary shaking her head. But she is still confident heading into the stretch.

“With the way the seeding goes, the team that comes in second may have a better seeding,” said McCleary, whose Patriots would be the seventh seeded team in the playoffs should Cardozo clinch the crown with a win over Bayside in a game played Tuesday. “But it would have been great to be the No. 3 seed. We wanted to win the division.”

The Judges, meanwhile, are ecstatic they have a chance to clinch the Queens III title and the No. 3 citywide seed that goes with it, after limping out of the gate early in the season. The lineup read like the patient list at Flushing Memorial Hospital: Burke had a lung infection, Georgio and first baseman Jackie Daidone had pneumonia and second baseman Priscilla Juarez had a broken finger.

“We came out dying but we played our hearts out,” Burke said. “If we keep it up, we can go far in the playoffs.”

Van Buren 15, Newtown 0. Jasmine Edwards and Maria Scalisi combined for a two-hit shutout. Edwards also belted a grand slam for the VeeBees (13-10) in a non-league game.

Townsend Harris 10, Lehman 8. Freshman catcher Patty Pabon went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs for Harris (14-9, 12-2 Queens I).

John Adams 17, Richmond Hill 1. Michelle Tusa fanned eight and gave up one unearned run in five innings and also went 3-for-3 with three RBIs for Adams (14-2, 13-0 Queens II).

Queens Vocational 16, Renaissance 4. Anna Aumueller and Jeanette Tavarez combined for the win for Queens Voc (5-7 Queens III).

Bryant 11, Cleveland 1. Stephanie Cutignola had two hits and two RBIs and Annette Cabrera scored four runs and stole three bases as the Owls clinched the Queens I crown with the nightcap win in Friday’s doubleheader. Allison Stupakevich had two hits and four RBIs in Bryant’s 18-8 win in the opener. The Owls (27-3, 13-1 Queens I) will be seeded fifth in the PSAL playoffs which start May 22.

Forest Hills 20, Queens Vocational 17. Marianna Niyazov went 4-for-4 with three runs scored, three RBIs and three steals as the Rangers (14-6, 9-4 Queens I) clinched their first playoff berth in four years.

John Adams 9, Beach Channel 0. Michelle Tusa struck out 14 and went 2-for-3 at the plate and Rita Limitone went 3-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Spartans.

Richmond Hill 16, RFK 6. Cynthia Rivera went 4-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs and Estephany Ortiz went 3-for-3 with three RBIs for the Lions (9-12, 7-6 Queens II).

Flushing 30, LIC 9. Rosandy Morel went 4-for-4 with three home runs, including a grand slam, nine RBIs, six runs scored and five stolen bases for the Red Devils (11-7, 7-6 Queens I).

Townsend Harris 11, Queens Vocational 0. Freshman catcher Patty Pabon hit a home run and had two RBIs and Debbie Gopstein gave up three hits in five innings for the Hawks.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at or call 229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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