April 2, 2008
QUEENS, N.Y. - The St. John's softball team (15-19, 2-4) took on the Black Knights of Army (4-24, 0-4) at Red Storm Field in the team's first home contest in a week. The Red Storm offense was clicking on Wednesday in Queens as the team took both games of the doubleheader in run-rule fashion, 9-1 and 8-0.
"We made adjustments after starting flat to do what we needed to," said head coach Amy Kvilhaug. "We came out in game two the way we should have and got a great effort from [Chelsea] Plimpton. This was a good tune-up for our weekend opponents."
In game one, St. John's got down early in the top of the second when Army was able to get runners on the corners then pull off the double steal to take an early 1-0 lead.
The Red Storm answered in the bottom half of the inning when senior co-captain Lisa Geer advanced the runner from third base on an error to tie the game at one. The Red Storm was able to take the lead when senior co-captain Bionka King broke out of her slump in a big way, with a single to left to give St. John's its first lead of the game. An error on the throw allowed one more to score, giving St. John's the 3-1 lead.
With runners on the corners and two outs, graduate student Alyson Funn came up to bat. Funn hit a shot to the right side that ricocheted off the second baseman and allowed Danielle Estrada to score from third.
Sophomore Shauntaine Harris, the next batter, kept her hot streak going by doubling over the head of the center fielder scoring two. It was the second inning in a row that St. John's put three runs on the board as the Red Storm took a 6-1 lead.
The St. John's offense kept the wheels turning and the bats swinging in the bottom of the fourth. Estrada was able to advance King on an infield groundout to give the Red Storm a 7-1 lead. Freshman Kacee Cox put an exclamation point on the inning hitting an opposite field shot to right for her sixth home run of the year. After four complete at Red Storm field, St. John's led 8-1.
With an opportunity to run-rule the Knights in the fifth inning, Harris chipped in with her second double of the day. Geer followed suit with a single to center, advancing Harris to third. With runners on the corners and one out King singled to score Harris and give St. John's the win 9-1. Geer entered in relief of freshman Linzee Sumrall in the third inning and went three innings without giving up a hit and striking out two.
In game two, the Red Storm continued its hot swinging, jumping out to a three run lead in the bottom of the first. After back-to-back singles by Cox and junior Roxy Struble, Funn was hit by a pitch to load the bases with two outs. Harris then came up and took the fourth pitch she saw and blasted it off the center field fence. The speed of the sophomore showed as she tripled, plating all three base runners.
In the bottom of the second, St. John's added to its lead on an RBI single by Estrada. Cox came up next and also added an RBI single, giving the Red Storm a 5-0 lead. Struble then took advantage of having Estrada on third, hitting a sacrifice fly to center, allowing the senior co-captain to score from third.
Freshman Chelsea Durning led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a double to left center. Two batters later, Cox was able to drive her in with a single down the left field line and give St. John's a 7-0 lead. The Red Storm closed the door in the bottom of the sixth inning when sophomore Ona Halladay came up with bases loaded and two outs. Halladay dropped a single into left field to score the runner from third and give St. John's the 8-0 victory in the sixth inning.
Freshman starter Chelsea Plimpton had one of her best games for St. John's recording a complete game shutout. Plimpton only allowed three hits and struck out seven.
On the day, Cox went 4-for-6 with three runs, a home run and three RBI. Harris had her best doubleheader of the season going 4-for-6 with a run, two doubles, a triple and five RBI. King also broke out of a two week slump going 4-for-5 on the day with two runs, two RBI and three stolen bases.
St. John's faces two tough conference doubleheaders this weekend at Red Storm Field. Notre Dame comes to Queens on Saturday at Noon in St. John's fourth BIG EAST match-up of the year. On Sunday, the Red Storm will take on No. 18/25 DePaul in the team's third doubleheader of the week.