May 18, 2009 / Sports

Kearney tops Fontbonne for CHSAA Brooklyn crown

The Brooklyn Paper
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The ball left Dana Iannicelli’s bat and floated slowly over second base with Fontbonne Hall fielders Corine Fitzgibbons and Katie Losquadro in pursuit and Bishop Kearney’s Kristen O’Neill heading home.

“I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God please drop in, please drop in up the middle. Please,’” Iannicelli said.

Added Tigers coach Gina Trani, “I was praying that it was going through and that Fitzgibbons wouldn’t catch it.”

The ball dropped behind the bag in between the Bonnies shortstop and second baseman to bring home the only run Kearney would need with two outs in the fourth. Tigers junior windmiller Tiffany Irrera and a stellar defense made it hold up by working out jams in the fourth, sixth and seventh innings. The Tigers held on for a 1-0 win over defending Brooklyn division champion Fontbonne in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens softball at Dyker Park Monday. The victory clinches the Brooklyn division title for the Tigers, their first since 2004.

“I was shaking in my cleats,” Iannicelli said. “I knew I had to get this run in. It was very important to me because I am a senior on this team and I wanted this win. All the girls wanted it.”

O’Neill singled to right field off of Fontbonne (9-2) starter Ashley Schirripa. She was moved to second on an Andrea Sideli strikeout that catcher Tommasina Faratro had to throw to first to complete. O’Neill later stole third after Irrera popped out before Iannicelli’s big hit.

“She is a good bat,” Trani said. “I’m glad she is the one that got it.”

Then it was Irrera’s job to make it stand up. No easy task.

Schirripa doubled to left to start to fourth inning and moved to third on a pass ball. Irrera then got Fitzgibbons, the league’s best hitter, swinging on a two-strike pitch down and away and easily retired the next two hitters to end the threat.

“She wants to hit because see is an aggressive hitter,” Irrera said. “I know that she would probably swing at something out of the zone.”

In the sixth, a throwing error by Kearney (11-0) shortstop Millicia Malvasio, who played superb defense otherwise, and two two-out walks, including an intentional one to Fitzgibbons, loaded the bases. Irrera then got Jennifer Kerns to ground one to Iannicelli at second. She tagged out Krissy DeMasi heading in the base path.

In the seventh, Elena DeSantis doubled with one out, but Irrera struck out the next two hitters to end it. In the first, Schirripa was thrown out at home trying to score from second on a ball thrown to first by Irrera after it hit off her foot.

“Those games happen,” Fontbonne coach Frank Marinello said. “Some years you get those dink hits and you win the game and sometimes you don’t get those hits and you don’t win the game. It just happens.”

Irrera, who allowed just one run in a Kearney win in the team’s first meeting, gave up four hits, struck out seven and walked three. Schirripa gave up three hits, struck out nine and walked just two for Fontbonne. It wasn’t enough.

“It means so much to us,” Iannicelli said. “We are excited and hopefully we can keep going with this.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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