12U Lady Knights Maroon Take Top Spot Win 4 of 5 & Finish 12-2

On Wednesday 8/2, the Lady Knights – Maroon (LKM) took on the Smithtown Bulls at their home field of Veterans Memorial Park. The LKM had beat the Bulls in their opening game of the season 10-0. Not much changed as the LKM jumped out with 4 in the 1st, 3 in the 2nd and 5 in the 4th, rolling to a 12-2 victory. Marissa Passantino was in control all game, going the distance (4 innings), giving up 1 hit and striking out 5. She also went 3-3 at the plate with a double 2 runs and 2 RBI’s. Sofia Stampfli put her “stamp” on the game, going 3-3 with 3 RBI and 3 runs scored. Jess Sticco went 3-3 with 2 doubles, 3 runs and 2 RBI’s. Gabby Amicizia, Sarah Gunn, Michelle Defina & Grace Heim each doubled as well. LKM upped their record to 9-1 while Marissa, Sofia & Michelle shared in Player of the Game honors.

On Thursday, the LKM played the Long Island Outlaws who they beat 15-3 in their 1st matchup. After taking a 6-3 lead through the 1st 3 innings, the LKM were outscored 12-2 down the stretch, dropping their 2nd game of the season 15-8. The LKM gave up 15 runs on 3 hits and 20 walks over 6 innings. The Outlaws starting pitcher twirled a gem, striking out 13 batters. The LKM offense was lead by Marissa Passantino, who went 2 for 3 with 4 RBI. Natalia D’Onofrio went 2 for 3 with and RBI and her 3rd bunt single in 2 games. Natalia also came in to pitch in the 6th with the bases loaded and promptly got a double play ball and a ground out to third to end the threat. LKM fell to 9-2 with the loss.

On Friday, the LKM took on the Outlaws on their home field of Memorial Park looking to answer back after falling to the Outlaws one night earlier. The LKM wasted no time exacting revenge as they scored 15 runs in the 1st inning! The LKM had 19 batters come to the plate with Marissa Passantino driving in 4 runs in the inning, highlighted by a 3 RBI double to right field off the pitcher who shut down the LKM the previous night. Gianna Pizzulli was 2-2 with a 2b, 3b and 3 RBI. Daniella Popko was her steady self on the mound as she went the distance (4 innings) giving up only 2 hits, 1 run, 1 strikeout and most importantly, only 1 walk. The defense was stellar as Sofia Stampfli made a beautiful running catch to end a rally, then later snared a line drive at 2b. Gianna also made multiple plays on hot shots to 3rd base. The LKM moved to 10-2 with the 15-1 victory.

On Sunday, the LKM were at Central Islip High School to face the Brentwood Panthers for their last 2 games of the season. The LKM already clinched the 1st seed in the playoffs and the Panthers were fighting for the last playoff spot. The LKM jumped out quickly in game one with 6 runs in the top of the 1st. After a leadoff walk by Sofia Stampfli to get things going, Jessie Forneiro rifled a line drive single to left field followed by an RBI single to right by Gianna Pizzulli. Marissa Passantino then drove in 2 with a well placed single over the first baseman’s head. After an infield single by Chloe Montanino, Daniella Popko rocketed a ball in the 5 hole to score the 6th run of the inning. The Panthers answered back with 3 runs of their own in the 1st, but their rally was snuffed out when Jessie snared a low line drive at shortstop, spun and made a perfect throw to Grace Heim at third base for a double play to end the inning. After batting around in the 1st, the LKM scored 2 more in the 2nd with Sofia and Jessie leading off the inning with base hits and 3 in the 3rd highlighted by a 2 run home run to left field by starting pitcher Gabby Amicizia, her 1st as a Lady Knight. LKM put the game out of reach in the 4th with 4 runs on consecutive hits by Grace Heim (double), Chloe and Daniella. On the mound, Gabby won her 5th straight decision (5-0), going the distance (4 innings) with 8 hits, 3 runs, no walks and 6 strikeouts, earning her Player of the Game honors. Lady Knights – Maroon 15, Brentwood Panthers 5.

In game 2, after scratching across a run without a hit (Sofia & Jessie leadoff walks), the LKM exploded for 7 runs in the 2nd highlighted by an RBI single by Gabby, RBI walks by Sarah Gunn and Michelle Defina an RBI single by Sofia and a booming 2 RBI double by Jessie that split the left and center fielders. Chloe Montanino was dominant on the hill as she cruised through 4 innings, giving up no hits, 4 walks and 7 strikeouts. The Panthers only rally came in the 3rd when Chloe walked a batter then nicked a batter with a changeup to put 2 on. Gabby Amicizia ended the frame with a 2 out running catch in right field. Chloe earned Player of the Game honors and moved to 3-0 with the LKM’s 2nd no hitter of the season (Gabby on opening day vs Smithtown). LKM finished the regular season 12-2 with the 10-0 victory, #1 seed in the NJBL American division heading into playoff week.