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May 21, 2009 / Sports

Schirripa settles down, leads Fontbonne past Eagles

The Brooklyn Paper
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It took some time for Ashley Schirripa to find her control on the mound thanks to heavy winds and a turf field. The Fontbonne Hall ace walked two of the first three batters she faced as her rise ball was going well high of the strike zone.

“I had to get adjusted to the wind,” the senior said. “With the wind going up I had to adjust and start lower because if I start it high it’s going to keep going.”

Schirripa, who would ultimately allow a run in the bottom of first, found the proper release point two batters later. Outside of a hiccup in the sixth, she dominated, striking out 13 of the final 15 St. Edmund Prep batters she faced seven of 10 at one point. She allowed three hits and walked five.

Her performance, some timely hits, a few Eagles miscue and a diving catch by Jennifer Kearns gave Fontbonne a 5-3 win over St. Edmund in a CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens tie breaker game at Brownsville Playground Thursday. The win clinches second play for the Bonnies, who will meet Mary Louis in the diocesan quarterfinals at Dyker Park Thursday.

“When she is in the zone, it’s very tough,” Fontbonne coach Frank Marinello said. … “She throws the ball by batters.”

The Bonnies (10-3) opened scoring in the top of the first when Corine Fitzgibbons, who was 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored, connected on a deep sac fly to left field to bring home Michelle Powers, who reached on an error leading off. Schirripa came home on an errant pick-off throw to third to make it 2-1 against starter Casey Sclafani. Eagles ace Emma Ferrington, who pitched her team to a victory Wednesday, was home sick. St. Edmund (9-4) got on the board in the bottom of the inning on an RBI ground out by Janelle Garvey to score Meagan Cranston, who walked, stole second and went to third on a pass ball.

“My teammates always tell me not to put too much pressure on myself,” Fitzgibbons said. “Today they really came through for me. They only thing I can do it come up with some big hits for them.”

Schirripa, who was 2-for-4, singled, was moved to second by a Fitzgibbons double and scored on a wild pitch. In the fifth, Fitzgibbons doubled with one out and came around to score on an RBI ground out by Kearns to make it 4-1.

“We tried to tack on runs,” Marinello said. “You know Ashley is going to throw the ball well historically. You just want to make sure that you tack a run on.”

They needed them.

St. Edmund rallied in the bottom of the fifth. After a two-out walk to Cassandra Molinari and an intentional one to Sclafani, Bianca Inserillo dunked a two-run single over second base to make it 4-3. The damage could have been much worse had Kearns not come up with a spectacular diving catch on a ball Cranston, the leadoff hitter, drilled to right center.

“She saved me big time,” Schirripa said. “She wasn’t going to let it drop. She said, ‘I saw the angle of the ball and I knew it was mine, even if I had to dive for it.’”

St. Edmund, which will visit St. Francis Prep in the quarterfinals Thursday, left a runner at third with two outs in the sixth and Fontbonne tacked on a run in the top of the seventh when Inserillo, the shortstop, threw the ball into centerfield trying to get a force at second to make it 5-3.

“I couple of mental mistakes here and there end up adding up runs,” St. Edmund’s coach Rowena Motylewski said. “We definitely saw that first hand.”

After losing back-to-back games to Kearney and St. Edmund, Fontbonne believes it is ready to start the playoffs following a good performance.

“Now we are on the right track – the past games don’t matter anymore,” Fitzgibbons said. “They are behind us.”

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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