Briana Keaveney’s outstanding pitching helped St. Thomas Aquinas College score an important 5-1 win over host Queens College in East Coast Conference women’s softball action today to keep the Lady Spartans’ hopes alive for their first post-season NCAA bid. Queens won the first game, 1-0, in 11 innings.
Keaveney’s heroics gave the Lady Spartans their seventh ECC win, which matches the most regular-season conference wins in the program since 2011. The Lady Spartans have four ECC games remaining and can secure the final playoff berth with the right combinations of wins and losses by other teams. STAC joined the NCAA in 2000.
“Despite our inconsistent play especially in the early season, the girls have fought back to still be in contention for a playoff bid moving into the final week of the season,” said Kristen Sullivan, STAC’s head coach. “Our pitching today was exceptional. Colleen and Briana allowed only two runs in 18 innings of play. I thought our defense was strong and we got timing hitting in the second game.”
Keaveney finished with a four hitter and was in complete command with a blend of change-ups, good location and first-pitch strikes. Keaveney helped our own cause by making the game’s biggest defensive play in the fifth inning. With runners on first and second with one out, Keaveney made a terrific diving grab of a bunt attempt and then threw to second base to complete an inning-ending double play. Teammate Missy Sadler also sparkled in center field. With two runners on in the sixth inning, Sadler made a sliding catch of a sinking line drive to end a major scoring threat.
Amanda Leone homered in the seventh inning for the third time in two days. She finished with three hits while Sadler contributed two hits.
In the opener, Borum starred for the Lady Spartans by throwing 10 scoreless innings before surrendering the winning run in the 11th inning. She was out-dueled by ToniMarie Valeriano, who allowed only four hits and fanned eight. STAC’s Ashley Landolina (shortstop) and Amanda Schweitzer (third base) played well defensively. STAC won the season ECC series over Queens, 3-1.
The Lady Spartans next play Tuesday against local rival Dominican College in a non-conference doubleheader that begins at 3 p.m.