By Joseph Staszewski
Nicole Lomangino talked in the preseason about waiting for the opportunity to be the St. Francis Prep ace and contribute in a big way. The Terriers senior was behind Katie Derby last season and missed much of the year with a severely sprained ankle.
Her time arrived in a big way against Fontbonne Hall.
“All of her stuff was working,” St. Francis Prep Coach Ann Marie Rich said.
Lomangino allowed one run on five hits and struck out 14, including whiffing the side in the seventh. She also delivered the first runs of the game with a two-run home run in the fifth in an eventual 4-1 win over the visiting Bonnies in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens AA softball April 9. The victory thrusts the Terriers back into sole possession of second place in the crowded top of the division.
“I felt like I needed to come back and be like, ‘So I got hurt. I got to bounce back. I got to go back in that circle and just do what I’ve been doing since I was little,’” Lomangino said.
She worked in and out of trouble over the first four innings, stranding four runners at second or third. Her pitches moved well and her teammates played errorless defense behind her as new second baseman Theresa Armano was in on five putouts. Over the final three frames, Lomangino gave up a run, but struck out seven of the last 11 batters she faced.
“Today was a pitching game on both sides,” freshman cleanup hitter Kelly Licul said. “By her doing so well she made everyone else feel obligated to be as good as she was doing.”
Lomangino was locked in a pitchers duel with Bonnies ace Nicolette Trapani, who collected all seven of her strikeouts and didn’t allow a hit over the first four innings. The Terriers (3-1), ranked No. 9 in the city by The Post, finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Eishara Campbell singled to right center and Lomangino hit a ball deep down the right field line that kept rolling. Terriers Coach Ann Marie Rich held her up initially at third before sending her home.
“All I knew was I had to run,” Lomangino said. “When she said stop and I stopped and she said go, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, what does she want me to do?’”
No. 7 Fontbonne (2-2) got a run back in the top of the sixth when Maria Randazzo singled home Maria Serrantino, who tripled to lead off the frame. The Terriers got two more runs in the bottom of the sixth when Licul tripled in Briana Emanuele and later scored on a Jessica Menna ground out. All four of SFP’s hits came in the final two innings
“We just adjusted to what she was doing,” Licul said.
Bonnies Coach Frank Marinello felt his team was asleep on both sides of the ball. He felt Trapani threw well, but SFP was able to put the ball in play more than they did.
“If I knew the answer, I would have (given) them the answer,” Marinello said.
The answer for St. Francis Prep on this day was Lomangino in the circle and at the plate.
“It felt great to have defense,” Lomangino said. “It felt great for me to go out there and hit that shot and pitch a great game.”