Softball Uses Pair Of Late Comebacks To Top Holy Family

Softball player running bases.
Victoria Quercia drove in Game 1's winning run and scored Game 2's winner on Apr. 7, 2018. (Dave Schofield)

LYNDHURST, N.J. – The Felician University softball team rallied for multiple runs during its last at-bat to win each end of its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference doubleheader, 6-5 and 5-4, from visiting Holy Family University on Saturday afternoon at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex. With the victories, combined with other conference results, Felician (12-13, 9-1 CACC) moved into sole possession of first place in the CACC.

Juniors Victoria Quercia (Monroe Township, N.J./Monroe Township) and Mia Montoya (Las Vegas, Nev./John F.  Kennedy [Calif.]) each collected three hits on the day for the Golden Falcons. Quercia ended Game 1 with an RBI single, capping a four-run seventh-inning Felician rally, and scored the go-ahead run in Game 2.

All five runs allowed by Felician pitcher Ashley Owens (Lockport, N.Y./Starpoint) in the day's opening game were unearned. The Golden Falcons scored in the first inning on a bases-loaded walk to Keelee Davis (Chula Vista, Calif./Eastlake) but left three runners on.

In the top of the second, Holy Family sophomore Kelsey Mirigliano (Seaford, N.Y./Plainedge) put her team ahead with a two-out, two run single. During the next at-bat, Mirigliano broke for second base, and stayed in a rundown long enough for Heather Bogardus (Ridley, Pa./Ridley) to score from third for a 3-1 edge.

Montoya, playing on her 21st birthday, drew Felician within 3-2 with a home run leading off the third, but the Golden Falcons otherwise had trouble solving HFU hurler Casey Boltersdorf (Levittown, Pa./Pennsbury). The junior left-hander finished with three earned runs allowed, 12 strikeouts and six walks in a six-hitter.

The Tigers tacked two runs onto their total on a two-out Golden Falcon error in the sixth. Still trailing, 5-2, entering the last of the seventh, Felician loaded the bases when a fielding error was sandwiched by two Boltersdorf (0-8) walks. One out later, a walk to Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y./Tappan Zee) forced in a run, and a Davis infield hit brought home another.

Isabella Bradian (Mount Royal, N.J./Kingsway Regional) hit a slow ground ball to shortstop. Even with the drawn-in infield, Montoya got a good enough break off of third base to force a throw to first. Bradian was the second out, but had driven in the tying run. Ahead 2-and-0 in the count, Quercia pulled a ball that landed on the left field foul line to plate Spiegelberg with the winning run.

Montoya was 3 for 3 and scored twice. Owens (10-6), who has won eight consecutive decisions, struck out six batters and walked one while allowing seven hits. Senior Alyssa Cudeyro (Sicklerville, N.J.) had a pair of doubles for Holy Family (1-22, 0-9).

Felician junior righty Erin Powers (Aberdeen, N.J./Matawan Regional) (2-3) needed only 67 pitches to work a seven-inning complete game in the nightcap. She ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. With the Golden Falcons ahead, 3-1, a runner on second base, and one out, the Tigers lined three consecutive singles. A hit by Tyler Beccari (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) tied the score.

Powers caught a break when her right fielder, Bradian, forced a runner at second base on what looked to be another hit. But Julia Vizza (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Hubert) came through with a go-ahead RBI single before Powers could retire the side on a comeback line drive.

Spiegelberg started the bottom of the sixth with a single and was sacrificed to second base. She was held at third on a hit by Quercia, and was kept there again one out later on Bradian's infield single. But Jeannette Roldan (Hesperia, Calif./Oak Hills) grounded a single through the left side to even the score, and Quercia continued home with the eventual winning run when the throw from the outfield was wild.

Powers answered the bell for the seventh. After a leadoff single and a sacrifice, she induced a flyout with no advance. A pinch-hitter then lined a ball to shortstop that C.J. Apacible (Long Beach, Calif./Lakewood) snatched from above the dirt with a dive to give the Golden Falcons the sweep.

Steph Donah (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) homered for Felician, which received two hits each from Apacible, Quercian and Bradian. Beccari and Marigliano collected two hits apiece for the Tigers.

The victories set Felician up for a showdown with second-place and 2017 league champion Caldwell University on Wednesday at 2:30 in Caldwell, N.J.