In a repeat of last season’s JV championship game, number one seeded (11-1) Fontbonne hosted number three seeded (10-2) Molloy at Preller Park in Floral Park.
After losing the 2018 championship to Molloy in a highly contested game by the narrow score of 6-5, the Bonnies were anxious for a rematch. However, this season’s rematch would be played with a strange twist, as the championship was stretched out over a two-day span as a suspended game.
In a game in which Fontbonne led 2-0, Molloy came back in the seventh inning to tie the game at 2-2, sending the contest into extra innings. In the eighth inning, both teams scored a run for a 3-3 tie, just as the scheduled field time ran out for the game to be completed. With the score tied, the umpires sent both teams off the field with instructions to finish the game the following day.
Fontbonne 4 Molloy 3
The next day, the suspended game resumed in the top of the ninth inning with Molloy placing a runner on second base as per “International Tie Breaker” rules. With Molloy’s first batter at the plate, catcher Belle Wren dropped Brianna Alicandro’s first pitch which rolled in front of home plate.
Alertly seeing Molloy’s Emily Velez breaking from second in an attempt to steal third, Wren fired down to third baseman Alia Mansour who applied the tag on Velez for a crucial first out.
With Molloy’s potential scoring threat eliminated, Fontbonne’s Alicandro settled into her dominant pitching stride to strike out the two remaining Stanner batters to end the top half of the ninth inning.
Commenting on Alicandro’s performance on the mound, Assistant Coach Mark Surduya stated, “I had every confidence in Brianna to pitch to Molloy; once she starts throwing, no one can catch up to her.”
To start the bottom of the ninth inning, Fontbonne placed Mari Alonge on second base as Val Campanella came to the plate. “Showing bunt” all the way, Campanella pushed the ball down to first base for the sacrifice out, allowing Alonge to reach third.
With a runner only 60 feet away from scoring, the hot hitting Julia DeLuca came to the plate and smacked the ball up the middle to score Alonge for the JV championship.
“We practiced long and hard to finally win this game,” said the excited freshman catcher Wren. “We took advantage of the time between games last night to eat pizza and relax, and went over our strategy to win this game. We even practiced our bunting on the bus ride over to the field!”