ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. – Senior first baseman Nicole Spiegelberg (Blauvelt, N.Y.) homered twice, including a go-ahead grand slam in the top of sixth inning, to lead Felician University to an 8-6 Game 2 victory and a split of its non-conference softball doubleheader against host Molloy College on Monday at the Rockville Centre Sports Complex. Molloy recovered from an early 3-0 deficit to take Game 1, 8-3.
Freshman center fielder Vienna Chierchia (Manalapan, N.J.) collected two hits in each game for Felician (5-11). Freshman left fielder Steph Conrade (Franklin Square, N.Y.) and junior first baseman Mikaela Tribby (Boca Raton, Fla.) did the same for Molloy.
The Golden Falcons had taken a 2-0 lead in the nightcap on a solo home by Spiegelberg in the first inning and a run-scoring groundout from Krystina Lorch (Hemet, Calif.) in the third. Felician sophomore right-hander Trinity Garcia (West Covina, Calif.), making her first start of the season, carried a one-hit shutout into the fifth frame.
Molloy, however, reached Garcia for a five-spot and the lead in the fifth. Only one of the runs was earned, coming on Conrade's RBI triple. An outfield error extended the inning and tied the score, and the Lions followed with a run-producing single by Tribby and a two-run homer by Megan McCormick (Franklin Square, N.Y.).
However, Felician loaded the bases to begin the sixth. One out later, Lorch scored on a wild pitch, and a walk to Isabel Davis (Chula Vista, Calif.) refilled the bags. Molloy pitcher Amanda King (Guilford, Conn.) came up with a strikeout and induced a ground ball, but the latter was mishandled to make the score 5-4 and set the stage for Spiegelberg. The left-handed swinger drove a ball over the left field fence for her first collegiate grand slam.
The Lions (1-6) received a two-out RBI double from Karsyn Eaton (Chino Hills, Calif.) in the bottom of the sixth but left the tying run at the plate. The Golden Falcons survived the seventh, however by cutting down two Lion baserunners at home plate. After putting runners at the corners on a hit batsman and throwing error, Molloy attempted a double-steal, but Felician ran an successful cutoff player and nailed the runner from third.
The Lions kept coming, loading the bases on a single and a walk. Garcia then got the next to batters to ground to the right side. Spiegelberg came home for the forceout on the first one, then ended the game by feeding second baseman C.J. Apacible (Long Beach, Calif.) covering first. The contest lasted two hours, 20 minutes.
Garcia (1-0) gave up two earned runs on nine hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Apacible was 2 for 3 with a walk and freshman Johanna Rivera (Cliffside Park, N.J.) went 2 for 4 for the Golden Falcons.
Sophomore third baseman Jackie Ribaudo (Staten Island, N.Y.) gave Felician the edge in Game 1 with a third-inning three-run double. But Molloy answered with three runs in the bottom of the third, capped by King's two-run homer, and the Golden Falcons never found the scoreboard again.
The Lions went ahead to stay with two unearned tallies in the fourth, then tacked on two runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth off the Golden Falcon bullpen. Molloy junior lefty Courtney Greene (East Islip, N.Y.) (1-3) pitched all seven frames, allowing three earned runs on six hits with three strikeouts and three walks. Eaton was 2 for 3 with a double and scored twice. Felician's Ribaudo finished 2 for 3 as well.
Felician is scheduled to begin Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play for 2020 on Saturday, when it will host Goldey-Beacom College for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at the Lyndhurst Recreation Complex.