Juengerkes' complete game lifts Islip
The Islip softball team was able to overcome the rain Thursday and earn a 5-3 road win over Miller Place in a League V/VI crossover game.
Sophomore lefthander Vanessa Juengerkes pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts to earn the win. Kayla Kurka went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI and Savanna Juengerkes was 1-for-4 with an RBI.
"It's a big win for us,'' Islip coach Dennis McSweeney said. "That's a very good team with a lot of good players, so we're very excited to get a win over them.''
After Tess Sala scored on a fielding error to make the score 5-1 in the top of the sixth, Miller Place fought its way back into the game. With runners on second and third and one out, Dominique Soto hit a two-run single and advanced to second base. But Juengerkes got back-to-back strikeouts to get out of the inning.
"She's a warrior,'' McSweeney said of Juengerkes. "As nervous as she makes me, I love having the ball in her hands. She puts herself in these jams, but she gets herself out of them.''
Clinging to a 5-3 lead with one out in the seventh, Juengerkes again found herself in a jam after Victoria Gallagher and Lauren Dubois hit back-to-back singles. Sara Battey drove the ball to deep centerfield, but Madison Grando ran it down and made an over-the-shoulder catch. Juengerkes got a groundout to end the game.
"It's really nice to know that when I'm not having my best day, my team will be there to back me up,'' Juengerkes said. "They really had my back today.''
McSweeney hopes this hard-fought win helps his team prepare for the postseason. "These types of games get you battle-ready when going into the playoffs,'' he said.
Islip improved to 9-2 in League V and Miller Place fell to 6-3 in League VI. Soto led the Panthers, going 2-for-3 and driving in all three runs.