Johnnies host, win tournament

The St. John’s softball team was not about to be upstaged on their home field and in a tournament with their namesake.

The Red Storm (11-13) dominated La Salle and Quinnipiac, capturing first place in the SJU Tournament with 9-2 and 3-0 victories respectively.

“It was great to be able to pick up back-to-back victories on our home field as we prepare for conference play,” St. John’s Head Coach Melody Cope said.

All season long the Red Storm has been plagued by the inability to pick up the big hit when a scoring opportunity presents itself.

However, that was not the case in the first game of the afternoon as St. John’s used timely hitting in addition to a solid pitching performance by Meghan Allman to beat La Salle.

“I was really impressed with how well we hit the ball in the first game,” Cope said. “Our biggest problem all season thus far has been producing that key hit that drives someone in from scoring position, but we were able to do that today.”

The Red Storm was led by senior second baseman Alesha Argeras, who went 3 for 4 in the game, including two home runs and three RBI.

Argeras continued her torrid hitting in the second game as well, blasting another home run to register one of the best individual performances in St. John’s softball history.

“I just felt really relaxed at the plate this afternoon,” Argeras said. “I was not trying to swing for the fences but I felt like I was making good contact all day.”

“This was definitely a break-out day for Alesha,” Cope said.

Allman, who is coming off shoulder surgery, is slowly returning to last year’s form when she was one of the top pitchers in the Big East Conference.

In addition to the solid pitching and hitting, the Storm was aided by a porous La Salle defense that committed five errors.

In the second game, St. John’s managed to pull out a hard fought battle with Quinnipiac behind a stellar pitching performance by Courtney Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald pitched a complete game shutout scattering four hits, walking only one and recording eight strikeouts to improve her record to 10-7 on the year.

“I thought Courtney did not come out particularly strong early on,” Cope said. “But after a couple of innings she settled in and pitched great.

“She is a true leader on this team and it seems the team plays better behind her.”

St. John’s was able to muster enough offense behind the power of Argeras and some timely hitting in their half of the fifth with sophomores Allina Sainz and Jillian Sandoval picking up run-scoring singles.

The Red Storm begin conference play this weekend when they travel to Rutgers and Villanova.