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The Benjamin Cardozo girls’ softball team remembers how they felt losing its first game of the season to Bryant and surrendering sole possession of first place in the PSAL Queens A-I Division. They didn’t want that to linger and bounced back quickly.
Cardozo dominated Frank Sinatra from the start and picked up a 12-2 six-inning, run-rule win over the Legends in a Queens A-I game Monday at Queensbridge Park. It allowed them to put a sloppy 9-6 crossover game loss to Bryant three days earlier behind them, where errors led to seven unearned runs.
“The team was able to regroup, to clear their minds and not let their past affect today,” second-year Cardozo Coach Peter Douglas said. “They were able to step it up and attack on defense and on offense.”
Cardozo (8-1) attacked on offense early and often. In the second inning, junior Stephanie Stathopoulos launched her first career PSAL homer to centerfield off Sinatra’s Breanna Taphouse, scoring three. The hard-hit line drive caused the defender to pause before watching the ball sail over her head.
“I honestly thought she was going to catch it,” Stathopoulos said. “I saw it go by her and sprinted out and ended up home.”
Her afternoon didn’t end there. Stathopoulos came to the plate again in the fourth inning and crushed another pitch, this time to left field, for an RBI triple.
“I was just looking to be aggressive and attack any pitch that came my way,” she said.
Krystle Roldan came up two batters later and launched a solo homerun of her own to leftfield. Daysia Wehder added a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning to aide in the decisive win. Cardozo won the first meeting just 7-3, while adding two runs in the sixth.
Pitcher Shelby Yacovone appreciated the run support.
“It gives you some good confidence in knowing you can throw more pitches and not really worry about striking every girl out or even throwing strikes,” she said.
Lost in the offensive explosion was a solid performance by the senior ace. Yacovone allowed just two runs on three hits, while striking out eight Sinatra batters.
“She came back with another great performance,” Douglas said. “I’m not surprised, but very proud of her and always very impressed.”
The win keeps Cardozo tied atop the division standings with rival Bayside, which it beat 6-4 in its first meeting. Barring any setbacks, when they meet to close out the regular season they will decide the division crown.
“We want to win,” Yacovone said. “We want to be division champs.”
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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