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Losito stifles Stanners, 1-0

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On her third straight fastball, Losito...

By Dylan Butler

Nicole Losito says it’s the first inning that gives her the most trouble, and that was certainly the case Monday at Cunningham Park when she faced a bases-loaded no-out jam against the mighty Molloy softball team.

On her third straight fastball, Losito got Molloy cleanup hitter Christina Del Maestro to ground back to the circle and into a 1-2-3 double play and then struck out Michele Viani to end the inning.

In the bottom of the first Losito also drove in the game-winning run for the Mary Louis Hilltoppers with a bloop single into short right field in a 1-0 victory.

“My heart was beating real fast, but I just wanted to go right at her and see what I could get out of it,” Losito said. “I was just lucky to get a pitch that she got on top of, and it just came right back to me and I turned the double play.”

After struggling early, Losito went into cruise control and allowed just four hits, striking out six and walking just one. Only once did Molloy (7-4, 5-1 CHSAA) get a runner to third base when Jaclyn Pizzo reached on an error in the fifth inning and stole second and third.

But Losito struck out Danielle Mascia to end the Stanners’ rally.

“It took the air out of their balloon,” said Mary Louis first-year coach Tom Sarosy. “I’d be crying up a storm if it happened to me.”

Del Maestro was spectacular as well, giving up just one unearned run on one hit, striking out 11 and walking three.

“I think we were too anxious and we were kind of laid back from the beginning,” Del Maestro said. “Our heads weren’t in it from the first pitch and next time it will be. This is a learning experience and now we know what we have to do.”

After getting out of the jam in the top of the first inning, Mary Louis catcher Michelle Walsh led off by reaching on an error and then stealing second base.

After Del Maestro struck out Megan Diffley, Losito knocked the ball just out of the infield and into the grass in short right, driving in Walsh to put Mary Louis (8-3, 4-1) in front, 1-0.

Losito advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Toni Ann Campuzano and attempted to go home on an errant pickoff throw by Mascia. But an alert Lauren McCabe picked up the ball in left field and fired a strike home and Mascia tagged out a sliding Losito to end the inning.

Sarosy protested the call, stating Mascia blocked the plate without the ball, impeding Losito.

But the controversy was mooted because Losito was brilliant and the Hilltoppers were stellar behind her.

After allowing a hit per inning through the first three, Losito gave up just a solid one-out single to center in the seventh inning by McCabe. But then Losito fanned Nicole Siegel and Walsh threw out McCabe at second for a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out game-ending double play.

“Our games with Mary Louis are always close, every year, every game,” said Molloy coach Maureen Rosenbaum. “We feel we have to play a perfect game to beat them, and we made one or two mistakes and we didn’t hit. They got one or two lucky hits and ours didn’t fall.”

St. Francis Prep 4, Stella Maris 0. Nina Cesare allowed one hit and struck out 10 in her second consecutive shutout, and Christina Reilly went 2-for-3 with an RBI for St. Francis Prep (5-4, 4-1 CHSAA).

St. John’s Prep 14, Christ the King 12. Brittany McCauley went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, Alexis Pennella was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Kristen Clark went 2-for-5 with two RBIs for St. John’s Prep (2-4 CHSAA).

St. Francis Prep 3, Christ the King 0. Cesare tossed a no-hitter and struck out eight, and Tiffany Cabon added a pair of hits for the Terriers.

Reach Associate Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.

Posted 7:03 pm, October 10, 2011
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