When it was over, the Fontbonne Hall softball team huddled just in front of the pitching circle. Star senior Corine Fitzgibbons, already hoarse, took the time to yell out each teammate’s name, followed by them yelling out hers.
“Our team has never really been this tight before,” Fitzgibbons said. “There are 11 seniors. The juniors, they’re crying their eyes out. I just felt it was necessary to give everybody their due.”
The Bonnies had just pushed Archbishop Molloy for four innings, before letting the game get out of hand late and losing, 14−3, in the CHSAA Brooklyn⁄Queens softball semifinals at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn Saturday morning.
Fontbonne, which left the bases loaded with one out in the first, was within 4−3 after a three−run third inning that Katie Losquadro led off with as good an at bat as you can ask. The No. 9 hitter made Molloy starter Janelle Boyd work, fouling off three pitches and ultimately working out a walk.
“Phenomenal,” Fontbonne coach Frank Marinello said. “She is just a tough kid. I am so proud of that kid.”
Losquadro was called safe at second when Molloy shortstop Anniela Vaccaro didn’t step on second on a throw from Boyd trying to turn a double play. Fitzgibbons delivered a one−out single to load the bases. Losquadro scored on a pass ball, then Rebecca Murrigrosso hit a ground ball to first that Maria Palmeri came home with, but Michelle Powers beat the tag. Fitzgibbons then hustled home on a Krissy DeMasi ground out. It was the first runs scored by a Brooklyn⁄Queens team off Boyd in eight games this season.
“Katie did a wonderful job,” Fitzgibbons said. “Sometimes she takes the team and puts it on her back and keeps everybody positive and she did that today. We just couldn’t pull through for her.”
That’s because her team had gained the momentum, but handed it back to the Stanners (14−0) in the bottom of the inning. Fontbonne (11−4), which was sloppy in the field during the game, saw Molloy score twice on a ball hit to right field by Julianne Keyes that got under the glove of a charging Jennifer Kearns. The Stanners scored six more times in the fifth off reliever Michelle Fioto to make it 14−3.
“I definitely think if they didn’t get those runs that next inning we could have taken it over,” Fitzgibbons said. “We were on a roll. The momentum swung into our favor. We’d like to take advantage of that. Then they got those runs and then we kind of got down on ourselves a little bit.”
Senior starter Ashley Schirripa, pitching for the third straight day and the fourth time in the last five games, lost some of her usually excellent control, after a getting the Stanners in order in the first. She walked three and struck out two in four innings of work. Molloy scored two of its four runs in the second on a wild pitch and pass ball respectively.
“It did affect me,” Schirripa said of the extra workload this week.
Still Marinello praised her for pitching them this far, something Fitzgibbons echoed.
“We really tried to give it our all,” she said. “I guess she just ran out of gas. She is probably the best pitcher I’ve ever seen.”