By Joseph Staszewski
Early runs haven’t come with regularity for St. Francis Prep against quality teams. They were the difference, however, against Fontbonne Hall.
“We don’t get runs on the board early and here we are jumping all over her,” Terriers Coach Ann Marie Rich said of Bonnies ace Nicolette Trapani.
Eishara Campbell and Jessica Menna both worked walks to open the second inning and St. Francis Prep would turn that into seven runs in an eventual 10-4 win against host Fontbonne in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I softball April 23 at Dyker Beach Park. SFP also won the first meeting 4-1.
“Once you start getting people on base, the energy is just so much higher,” center fielder Tara O’Rourke said.
The junior, who collected two hits and two RBIs from the No. 9 spot, got the scoring started with an RBI single to right. Briana Emanuele drove in two with a single and Kelly Licul delivered a well-struck two-run homer to left. She was initially stopped by the umpire and told the ground rules made it a double. He was corrected and Licul, who had two hits, was allowed to cross home.
“I’m glad it was a home run, but that was really weird,” said Licul, who also homered against Burnt Hills at the Mudville tournament this weekend.
Added Rich, “Tara is productive in that nine hole.”
SFP (7-2), ranked No. 8 in the city by the New York Post, also added runs on a hit batter and walk to grab a 7-0 lead. The Terriers collected eight hits off Trapani, who walked six and struck out five.
Terriers ace Nicole Lomangino was superb for most of her start, allowing just six hits and striking out eight. She got out of a jam in the bottom of the first with two on and no outs. Lomangino, however, made mistakes to Bonnies stars Maria Serrantino and Trapani.
Each hit no-doubt, two-run homers in the third and sixth to pull the ninth-ranked Bonnies (4-4) within 7-4. Danielle Cervasio, the shortstop, and Licul turned a beautiful 6-6-3 double play to erase a runner in the sixth. SFP tacked on three runs in the top of the seventh thanks to an error and RBI singles from Cervasio and O’Rourke to make it 10-4. Campbell and Theresa Armano both scored twice.
“You can’t have a bad inning against good teams,” Fontbonne Coach Frank Marinello said. “If you’re a good team you’re going to take advantage of it and that’s what they did.”
The victory keeps St .Francis Prep in sole possession of second place in the division and within striking distance of rival Archbishop Molloy. Licul, who is swinging a hot bat, called it a safety win.
“We needed it for our placement,” Licul said. “We are trying to beat Molloy.”