Molloy tames Tigers for Preston tourney title

Dana Moss has not been particularly pleased with her performance at the plate of late. The Archbishop Molloy sophomore was striking out looking too much to her liking and felt there was something wrong with her swing during the three-day Preston softball tournament.

That changed in the title game — she collected two hits and two RBIs.

“I saw it go through the hole and I was pretty happy,” Moss said of an RBI single in the Stanners’ three-run second inning.

She was one of many Stanners bats that were alive during a 10-0, five-inning run-rule win over Bishop Kearney at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park in The Bronx on April 7.

Molloy — the defending Brooklyn/Queens champions — collected eight hits against Tigers ace Tiffany Irrera, who was not helped by her defense. The Queens school also beat host Preston, 10-0, in the semifinals behind a five-inning perfect game from Victoria Goldbach. The Stanners lost just once in the tournament, 5-4, to James Madison, which had to pull out because public school classes resumed that day.

“I think this tournament was great for us,” Molloy coach Maureen Rosenbaum said. “We have come such a long way. … Each day they have grown more confident in each other.”

Confidence is something she said is so important to Moss because it allows her to relax. She hit a slow grounder to shortstop in the first inning that she beat out. It drove in Jackie Perillo, who was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Maria Palmeri caught Kearney napping to score and give Molloy a 4-0 lead.

“I talked to her before the game and I wanted to remind her that you’re here to have fun,” Rosenbaum said of Moss. “Just see the ball and hit it and don’t think so much.”

Two Kearney errors opened the door for three more runs in the second. Melissa Kump, who had two hits and scored four runs, doubled, stole a base and scored on an error by Irrera. Palmeri and Moss added an RBI singles to make it 7-0. The Tigers beat Maria Regina, who upset Mary Louis, 3-2, in the semifinals.

“We shouldn’t be giving them this many outs and they took advantage of it,” said Irerra, who pitched both games.

Her team did get a chance to get back into the game in the fourth inning when it had the bases loaded and no outs after singles by Briana Robles and Amanda Sinodinos. Palmeri, who said she felt nauseous in the heat for most of the game, got the next three outs. Moss charged a slow roller from Irerra and got the out at home before two strikeouts. Palmeri allowed two hits and struck out 10.

“[Rosenbaum] is like, ‘get into that focus,’” Palmeri said. “She notices late in a game I get into that focus more.”

The Stanners would have liked another shot at Madison, which did not lose a game in the tournament. Still, the three days of softball was a great benefit as they begin their defense this week.

“We all learned how to play together and trust each other,” Moss said.