By Anthony Bosco
Steve Contino’s team was reeling. Coming into Monday’s match-up against the Archbishop Molloy Stanners, the Mary Louis Academy varsity softball team had lost three of its last four games, including two to the very same Molloy squad.
But the Hilltoppers found a way. Behind a standout performance by senior starter Stephanie Gozdziewski, Mary Louis held on to a hard-fought 3-2 win in the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan semifinals. The win moves Mary Louis into the championship game against archrivals St. Francis Prep, 3-0 winners over Bishop Kearney in the other semifinal.
“It felt great to come back from two losses to them,” said Gozdziewski, who scattered three hits and two walks over seven innings. “Everything was working. We came back. We worked as a team.”
Mary Louis, which was coming off a 14-1 win over Bishop Loughlin in the quarters, established command almost immediately, putting runners on first and third in the top of the first inning before Molloy starter Christina Delmaestro managed to get out of the inning by fielding a hot shot off the bat of Godziewski with one out and getting Liz Strein to bounce out to second.
The team broke through an inning later, when Alison Admasky singled with two outs and Carol-Jean Kavanaugh’s bunt turned into a two-error debacle, allowing both runners to score on the play.
Molloy fought back in the bottom of the inning when Delmaestro’s double to left-center scored Nicole Siegel, who had walked, from first.
The Hilltoppers scored again in the third on a single by Nicole Losito, who promptly stole second, and came home on Strein’s single to right two batters later.
The Stanners scored the final run of the game in the bottom of the sixth when Michelle Guerrero singled home Kerri McLean. Guerrero got as far as second base, but Molloy could not push across the tying run.
“I didn’t feel I was that dominant,” Gozdziewski said. “I just relied on my fielders and they were there.
Contino, whose team raised its record to 15-8 overall, praised his pitcher’s performance.
“She’s all heart,” the coach said. “She played her heart out. She knows how to play the big game. She doesn’t get rattled at all. She moved the ball around the plate real good.”
For Molloy, the season comes to what seems like a premature conclusion. The Stanners made a miraculous late-season run to overtake both Mary Louis and St. Francis Prep and earn the Queens division crown and scored a dominant 9-0 win over Fontbonne Hall in the quarterfinals only to fall to Mary Louis.
“It was a tough loss but a great game,” said Molloy coach Maureen Rosenbaum. “They hit more than we did. We beat them twice. It’s hard to come back a third time and beat them. I think they came a little more prepared today.”
Molloy finishes the season with a 13-9 record.
St. Francis Prep 3, Bishop Kearney 0. Kristen McEvitt struck out 11 and allowed just one hit, while Michelle Gutierrez added two hits in this semifinal win Monday.
St. Francis Prep 23, St. Edmund 1. The Terriers cruised into the semifinals behind Christine Hunt’s no-hitter. Gutierrez added four hits, including a home run and triple, while Alicia Syrok chipped in with two RBIs.
John Adams 14, Townsend Harris 13. Daneisha Lloyd drove in the game-winning RBI in the ninth inning for John Adams (5-13, 5-9 Queens A).
Newtown 13, Forest Hills 8. Ally Zarate went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and Annie Wu went 2-for-5 with four stolen bases for Newtown (12-1 Queens II-B).
Jamaica 20, John Bowne 8. Christine Cave went 4-for-4 with two RBIs and six runs scored and Samantha Ramautar went 5-for-6 with four RBIs for Jamaica (14-7-1, 10-4 Queens III-B).
Robert F. Kennedy 20, Flushing 13. Jennifer Giannone went 4-for-4 with a triple, home run and six RBIs and Maritza Hernandez was 2-for-2 with four runs scored and struck out five to get the win for RFK (6-9 Queens III-B).
Bayside 11, Cardozo 0. Kim Hattan went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and allowed one hit in four innings and Sapphire Edwards pitched a scoreless fifth inning for Bayside (20-4, 12-1 Queens A).
Edison 11, Flushing 6. Rama Louis belted a two-run home run and Tanya Meikle picked up the win for Edison (1-11 Queens III-B), which snapped a 26-game losing streak.
Francis Lewis 13, Townsend Harris 0. Tory Meluzin was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and Meghan Wooley allowed five hits in four innings for Francis Lewis (14-7, 9-5 Queens A).
Franklin K. Lane 14, Queens Vocational 2. Patricia Schuett (home run, five runs scored) and Jamie Bellettini (three home runs, seven RBIs) each went 5-for-5 for Lane (16-4, 12-1 Queens II-B).
Jamaica 9, RFK 2. Renita Raghubir went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and Kedesha Farquharson went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and eight strikeouts for the Beavers.
Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 130.