Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Iona Sweeps Manhattan

Senior Eileen McCann had a big day for the Gaels
Iona 7
Manhattan 5

Iona 5
Manhattan 2

The Iona Gaels took a midweek MAAC doubleheader over the Manhattan Lady Jaspers Wednesday in Riverdale, NY.

At 9-5, suddenly the Iona Gaels are resembling their recent championship teams. The one player who was on all three Iona teams that took the MAAC, redshirt senior Eileen McCann, played a big role in this sweep. It was Manhattan who took the early lead in game one, thanks to Amy Bright's solo home run in the bottom of the second inning as she continued her hot offensive play. But Iona went in front in the top of the third inning when after Kelsey Long singled, Eileen McCann clubbed a pitch over the left field fence.  The Gaels, number one in most MAAC offensive categories, played long ball again in the top of the fourth inning with homers off the bats of Katie Jansson and Allie Hand, good for a 5-1 lead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Manhattan's super freshman Jenn Vazquez launched a pitch over the left field fence to pull her team to within 5-4. Jenn would then tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a ground out RBI. In the top of the seventh inning, Iona loaded the bases with three walks, setting the table for Sarah Schutz who doubled home two runs to give the Gaels the 7-5 win. Carly Argyle got the win for Iona, striking out seven; Danielle Gabriel suffered the loss in relief.

Iona jumped in front 1-0 in game two after Katie Jansson singled home a run in the top of the first inning. The bottom of the same inning inning saw Manhattan's Katie Bowen lead off with a single, setting up the Lady Jaspers' power hitter Elena Bowman. Elena then launched a rocket that seemed destined to give her team the lead; but right fielder Eileen McCann made a spectacular catch, robbing Elena of a home run. Eileen would then come up in the top of the third inning with two runners on and hit a bomb over the center field fence to give the Gaels a 4-0 lead. Manhattan responded in the bottom of the same inning when Jenn Vazquez halved the Gael lead with a two run single, giving her six RBIs for the day, but that was as close as the Lady Jaspers would get. Eileen McCann tripled home a run in the top of the sixth inning to give Iona a 5-2 win. Jordan Courage picked up the win for the Gaels, pitching her second straight strong conference game; Amy Bright suffered the loss. Eileen McCann on the day hit two homers, two triples, and drove home six runs. And suddenly, the Gaels are a serious threat to win another MAAC title.

Iona improved to 9-5; Manhattan dropped to 7-7.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Monmouth And Quinnipiac Split

Paige Giunta drove home the winner in game two
Monmouth 14
Quinnipiac 4 (5)

Quinnipiac 6
Monmouth 5

The Monmouth Hawks and Quinnipiac Bobcats split a MAAC doubleheader Easter Sunday in Hamden, CT.

Monmouth and Quinnipiac had met many times over the years, including a few times in the postseason, but this was their first matchup as MAAC schools. Game one was essentially over before the hometown Bobcats even came up to bat, with Monmouth putting up ten runs in a first inning onslaught. A bases loaded walk started the parade of runs, but it was Kayleena Flores' bases loaded triple that was the big hit of the inning. Rachel Shotzbarger drove home three runs in two different at bats for the Hawks; Vanessa Cardoza also drove home a pair of runs and suddenly Monmouth was up 10-0. They would go up 14-0 before Quinnipiac added four cosmetic runs in the fifth inning. Sydney Underhill earned the win for Monmouth, while Sydney Robey suffered the loss, although only four of Monmouth's 14 runs were earned.

Game two began with Monmouth again jumping to a quick lead, scoring twice in the top of the first inning, with RBIs coming from Justene Reyes and Kayleena Flores. But this time, Quinnipiac slowed the Hawk attack a bit, and responded, scoring in the bottom of the same inning thanks to Jordan Paolucci's RBI single. Nikki Barba's RBI single in the bottom of the second inning then pulled Quinnipiac into a 2-2 tie. Monmouth however would carry a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning after Alicia DeSanto doubled home two runs in the fourth inning, and Justene Reyes added another RBI to her stats in the sixth inning. But after never holding a lead all day long, Quinnipiac then set off on a seventh inning rally that would keep them in contention in the MAAC. Nikki Barba led off with a home run over the left field fence to cut the Monmouth lead to 5-3. After a walk to Abby Johnson, and a wild pitch which allowed her to take second base, Jordan Paolucci singled to right to cut the lead to 5-4. Jordan's pinch runner Brittney Cyr was then moved to second base with a ground out, allowing Hannah Lindsley to tie the game when she singled to center. Hannah then scored when Paige Giunta hit a long double, giving Quinnipiac the 6-5 win. Katie Alfiere picked up the win in relief; Sydney Underhill suffered the loss. Nikki Barba was 3 for 4 with that homer for the Bobcats.

Monmouth is now 6-6 in the MAAC, and sits in 6th place, which is the final qualifying spot. Quinnipiac is now 5-9.

Siena And Canisius Split MAAC DH

Canisius senior Jen Consaul broke a long standing school record
Canisius 6
Siena 0

Siena 8
Canisius 7

The Siena Saints and Canisius Golden Griffins split a MAAC doubleheader Saturday evening in Buffalo, NY.

Canisius stormed to an early 6-0 lead in game one, breezing through an easy win. Their five run second inning was highlighted by Michelle DelPrince's bases loaded triple, good for three RBIs. Tori and Val Nappo, and Robin Kennery also drove home runs for the Griffs. Jen Consaul earned the complete game shutout, and in doing so, broke a 20 year Canisius record. It was her 75th career complete game, surpassing the old mark set by the great Golden Griffin pitcher Michelle Corrigan.

Jen started and completed game two to extend her new record, and allowed only two earned runs. Unfortunately for her, her team committed six errors which helped Siena put up eight runs in the third inning. Stephanie Viggiano, Mel Kalesse and Abby Carpenter all drove home a pair of runs for the Saints, with Alyssa Lancaster also credited with an RBI. Canisius attempted a comeback, helped by Lindsey Silfer's two run homer. But with Siena holding an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning, and with Canisius runners on second and third bases, Jessika-Jo Sandrini retired the final two batters for the win.

Siena won their first game at Canisius since 2004, and is now 8-2 in the MAAC; Canisius stands at 3-7.

Manhattan Sweeps Rider

Amy Bright had an all around great day for the LJs
Manhattan 4
Rider 3 (8)

Manhattan 6
Rider 2

The Manhattan Lady Jaspers swept a MAAC doubleheader Saturday over the Rider Broncs in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Senior day at Rider saw the Broncs get off to a good start, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning of game one to take the lead over Manhattan, with Delany DeMello and Gina McCool getting RBIs. However, all three runs were unearned, and the Broncs would be shutdown the rest of the way by Katie Bowen. Meanwhile, the Lady Jaspers worked their way back into the game, led by Amy Bright, who would drive home three runs in the game, including the winner in the top of the eighth inning, a single to center field which scored pinch runner Lauren Visconti. Manhattan won 4-3.

The same Amy Bright pitched the second game for Manhattan, a 6-2 Lady Jasper win in which she also allowed no earned runs. Amy had another RBI in this game, her fourth of the day. Elena Bowman hit a two run homer for the LJs, and Anna Crowley and Kelsey Brennan also drove home runs in the win.

Manhattan improved to 7-5; Rider fell to 2-8.

Fairfield Sweeps Iona In Two Pitchers' Duels

Senior Lauren Liseth has turned her season around, and by no coincidence the Stags are back on top
Fairfield 2
Iona 0

Fairfield 1
Iona 0

The Fairfield Stags swept the Iona Gaels in a pair of very close MAAC games Saturday in Fairfield, CT.

I mentioned to a former Iona star pitcher Saturday morning that the upcoming Iona at Fairfield doubleheader was unlikely to produce the low scoring battles of yesteryear - but I couldn't have been more wrong! This conference series was all about the pitching, and both teams got great circle performances. Fairfield's Rae Ball, who after a slow start has been stupefying the MAAC, did it again in game one, tossing her fourth conference shutout, a 2-0 win. Her counterpart, Iona's Carly Argyle, also pitched a great game, holding the Stags to just three hits. Unfortunately for her , one of them a was a two run homer to 2013 Player Of The Year Lauren Liseth. This occurred in the bottom of the fifth inning after a walk to Gianna Kinhofer. Lauren also had a slow start this season, but came around just in time for MAAC play, and has led her team to a 12-2 record.

In game two, it was Becca Trott who tossed a shutout for the Stags, beating Iona 1-0. She held the Gaels to just four hits, three of them in separate innings after 2 outs. Iona's Jordan Courage undoubtedly pitched the best game of her young career, holding Fairfield to just three hits. She allowed a run in the bottom of the first inning Lauren Filicia drove home a run with a sacrifice fly, but shut the door the rest of the way.

Fairfield is now in first place at 12-2; Iona dropped to 7-5, but is still in good shape as far as the tournament is concerned.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Red Foxes Stage Dramatic Comeback In Sweep

Kyrsten Van Natta continued her fine season Saturday
Marist 7
Niagara 6

Marist 4
Niagara 2

The Marist Red Foxes swept the Niagara Purple Eagles in a MAAC doubleheader Saturday in Poughkeepsie, NY.

In the first game of this conference series, Niagara's pitcher Jen Sansano, the MAAC's best in 2013 and on top of the stat sheet this season, had Marist completely stymied for five innings while her team built a seemingly comfortable 6-0 lead. Spearheading the Purple Eagle attack was freshman Bridget Hogan, who had a terrific game batting 4 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs. The Marist bats finally woke up in the bottom of the sixth inning, shocking Niagara by crossing seven runners across home plate, highlighted by Kyrsten Van Natta's dramatic two out, three run home run blast that provided the winning margin in a 7-6 win. Paige Lewis earned the circle win, with Melanie White picking up a save in relief. Maureen Duddy had a great game for Marist, hitting 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a run scored.

Niagara was naturally demoralized for game two, and Marist jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead and never looked back. Maureen Duddy continued her strong performance in the bottom of the first inning with a bunt single and two stolen bases, including a theft of home. Kyrsten Van Natta knocked her second homer of the day, and Alyssa Zahka added a round tripper as well. For Niagara, Desarae Maldonado hit a two run homer, but it was too little, too late. Janine Lalli earned the complete game win for the Red Foxes; Kim Bryson took the loss.

Marist improved to 7-3 with the wins; Niagara fell to 2-8.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Saints Sweep Manhattan, Take Over First

Big day for J-J
Siena 8
Manhattan 2

Siena 6
Manhattan 5

The Siena Saints swept the Manhattan Lady Jaspers Friday in Loudonville, NY, and took possession of first place in the MAAC.

Siena jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in game one of this MAAC doubleheader, with first inning RBIs from Chelsey Drew, who drove home a pair of runs with a single, and Meg Volz. An unearned run gave the Saints a 4-0 in the bottom of the second inning. Manhattan scored two unearned runs themselves to close the gap in the top of the third, with Stephanie Reinhardt getting credit for an RBI. Siena would keep scoring though, adding a run in the bottom of the third thanks to Paige Lloyd's RBI double, then scoring once more in the bottom of the fourth inning via Meg Volz's RBI single. Chelsey Drew singled home two more n the fifth, giving her four RBIs for the game, and Siena cruised to an 8-2 win. Jessika-Jo Sandrini, who has become one the top pitchers in the conference this season, picked up the win while allowing no earned runs. Jessika-Jo, Chelsey Drew, Meg Volz and Stephanie Viggiano each had two hits for the Saints. Katie Bowen took the loss for Manhattan.

Game two started off much better for the Lady Jaspers, as they held a 4-2 lead after three innings of play. Two RBIs by Katie Bowen, one by Emily Cutler and an unearned run highlighted a four run second inning by Manhattan. Siena kept it close with RBIs by Chelsey Drew and Paige Lloyd. The Lady Jaspers increased their lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth inning when Jenn Vazquez singled home a run, but from that point Siena would mount a comeback. The Saints went to work in the bottom of the fourth inning with two outs, loading the bases when Paige Lloyd doubled, Mel Kalesse walked and Stephanie Viggiano singled. Up to the plate stepped Siena's All-MAACer Jessika-Jo Sandrini who singled to cut the Manhattan lead to 5-4. In the meantime, the Saints were getting solid relief pitching from Toni Edwards and Danielle Cacciola to keep the game close. After another Paige Lloyd single in the bottom of the sixth inning, it was once again Jessika-Jo who delivered the big hit, another single that scored Paige to tie up the game. Siena went on to win in the bottom of the seventh inning when pinch runner Bridget Connors scored on a wild pitch. It was an unfortunate way for Manhattan to lose, but at 5-5 they are still solidly in contention.

Siena now stands at 7-1, and their second game comeback is something that champions do; they just find a way to win. Even more impressive about the sweep was that the Saints did it without the services of All-MAAC designated player Alyssa Lancaster, who apparently had taken ill. She did try to play, but could only go an inning. The Saints will play Saturday at Canisius; Manhattan will be at Rider.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Niagara Sweeps Iona In The Rain

Jen Sansano earned two wins on Monday
Niagara 2
Iona 1

Niagara 9
Iona 8 (8)

The Niagara Purple Eagles recovered from being swept in their MAAC opener by sweeping the Iona Gaels Monday in Lewiston, NY.

After suffering a blowout loss to Fairfield Sunday, Niagara opened their MAAC series with Iona with a very strong performance by 2013 MAAC Pitcher Of The Year Jen Sansano. It didn't begin great though, as Iona's Allie Hand opened the game with a home run blast over the left field fence. But that was all the Gaels would get in this game. The Purple Eagles took the lead in the second inning, scoring twice on a passed ball. After that, Jen Sansano took over the game, scattering two more hits to take the win. Carly Argyle suffered the loss for Iona, but pitched a fine game, also allowing only three hits.

Game two would end in rain and controversy, but before that it was an entertaining back and forth battle. Jen Sansano also started this game for Niagara, but was not as effective. Niagara opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with Desarae Maldonado's two RBI double. Sarah Schutz's home run and Kelsey Long's RBI single tied the game for Iona in the top of the second inning. Niagara however retook the lead in the bottom of the same inning thanks to Ambur Farmer's solo home run shot. The Gaels stormed to the lead in the top of the third inning when Sydney Dimon launched a pitch over the center field fence good for three runs. Niagara then closed the gap to 5-4 in the bottom of the third with Rachel Ziarnowski's RBI. Bridget Hogan's RBI in the fourth and Theresa Fleckenstein's run producing double in the fifth gave Niagara the lead again at 6-5. It was about this time that a major rain system began to creep into the area; once the rain fell it was forecast not to end until the next day, so the teams played on.

In the top of the sixth inning, Katie Jansson drove home two runs with a single, and the Gaels were back in the lead, 7-6. Niagara answered once again in the bottom of the inning when Bridget Hogan hit a bomb over the left field fence. The game went into extra innings tied 7-7. By that time, the rain was coming down hard. Probably the game should have been called, which likely would have resulted in a tie being declared. But it was decided to keep playing. In the top of the eighth inning, Katie Jansson delivered another big hit, this time a homer to left field. Niagara then batted in the bottom of the frame. Katie Gruarin singled and Bridget Hogan was issued a walk. After Aileen Hinton sacrificed them both forward a base, Desarae Maldonado tied the game with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Ambur Farmer hit a high fly ball to center field which Allie Hand lost in the by then pouring rain, scoring an unearned run and giving Niagara the 9-8 win. Very unfortunate way to end a conference game. Jen Sansano got the win for Niagara, who improved to 2-2 in the MAAC. Carly Argyle took the loss in relief; Iona is now 4-2.

Fairfield And Canisius Split

Rae Ball pitched her 2nd consecutive MAAC shutout
Fairfield 7
Canisius 0

Canisius 3
Fairfield 0

The Fairfield Stags and Canisius Golden Griffins split a MAAC doubleheader Monday in Buffalo, NY.

This matchup had been pushed back from Saturday due to inclement weather, but the Fairfield Stags didn't let that affect their play on their western trip, taking game one to assure them of a winning record over the weekend. The Stags jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to RBIs by Tori Reed, Lauren Filicia and Rae Ball. They added four more runs in the sixth inning to seal the game, highlighted by freshman Gianna Kinhofer's two run homer. Rae Ball and Nicole Capra also drove home runs in the frame. Rae Ball got the win for Fairfield, and was 2-0 on the western trip with both wins being shutouts. Jen Consaul took the loss for Canisius.

Jen Consaul also started game two for Canisius, and pitched a shutout herself. The game was scoreless until the Golden Griffins broke it open in the fifth inning. Michelle DelPrince led off with a single, and the speedy outfielder made it all the way to third base on Val Nappo's sacrifice bunt. She scored after Bethany DeMarco's sacrifice fly. After a two out Tori Nappo single, Meghan Cuda hit her team leading seventh home run to give Canisius a 3-0 lead. Fairfield threatened in the top of the seventh inning, but with two runners on base, Jen Consaul struck out Lauren Liseth to end the game. Jen improved her record to 7-11 with the win; Becca Trott suffered the loss for Fairfield. The Stags stand at 5-2 in the MAAC; Canisius earned their first conference win, and are now 1-3.

Hannah Lindsley No Hits Manhattan

It took Hannah a week to pitch this game!
Quinnipiac 2
Manhattan 0

In the completion of a suspended game, Quinnipiac defeated Manhattan 2-0 Monday in Riverdale, NY behind the no hit performance of junior Hannah Lindsley.

This conference game, the second of a doubleheader, began on March 29, but play had been halted due to the dreadful weather we have had this season. Jordan Paolucci's second inning homer gave Quinnipiac a 1-0 lead before the teams packed it in. Fast forward to April 7, and the Bobcats resumed play in the top of the fourth inning with the bases loaded. A walk to Abby Johnson increased their lead to 2-0, but as it turned out, they didn't even need that run. Pitcher Hannah Lindsley was brilliant in the circle back when the game began in March, and continued to shut the door on the Lady Jaspers when the game resumed, tossing a no hitter. She walked only one batter in the effort to improve her record to 5-5. She made history too...she became the only pitcher in division 1 history to pitch a no hitter in a game that was played over two different days. Not an easy accomplishment when you think of it - she had the same great stuff after a week's span. She also became the first Quinnipiac pitcher to toss a no hitter in the school's D-1 history, which goes back 16 years.

The elongated doubleheader resulted in a split. The Bobcats continued their recent hot play, improving to 4-4 in the MAAC. Manhattan dropped to 1-3 in the conference.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gaels Overpower Canisius

Senior Eileen McCann was a perfect 6 for 6
Iona 10
Canisius 8

Iona 16
Canisius 6 (5)

The Iona Gaels swept a MAAC doubleheader over the Canisius Golden Griffins Sunday in Buffalo, NY, and secured first place in the MAAC.

It was shades of the championship years for the Iona Gaels Sunday, as they took the first two games of their western trip. One member of those championship Gael teams, Eileen McCann, had one of her best days ever, hitting a pair of homers and driving home six runs. Game one was a see saw affair, with the teams exchanging leads. Iona jumped in front 2-0 in the top of the second inning, thanks to Katie Newton's RBI double. Canisius got a run back in the bottom of the same inning, when Bethany DeMarco singled home Michelle DelPrince. The Gaels took a 5-2 lead the next inning. Consecutive triples by Ashlyn Morris and Eileen McCann produced one run; RBIs by Katie Jansson and Sarah Schutz brought home two more. Canisius hung in though, scoring twice in the bottom of the third to cut Iona's lead to 5-4 when Michelle DelPrince hit her second double of the game. Eileen McCann's solo homer increased the Gael lead to 6-4 in the top of the fourth, but Canisius would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a bases loaded walk to Sam Sharkey and Jessica Berzins' two RBI single. The big inning for Iona was the top of the sixth. With two on, and two out, the Griffs were very careful (with good reason) with Eileen McCann, walking her to load the bases. This set the table for freshman Kristen Turner, who proceeded to clean that table with a grand slam home run which gave Iona the lead for good. Canisius would add another run, and threaten to score in the seventh inning, but Iona won the game 10-8.  Carly Argyle got the win for Iona; Jen Consaul suffered the loss for Canisius.

Game two was all Iona all of the time. The Gaels scored 13 runs in the game's first three innings, and never looked back. Eileen McCann was 3 for 3 with a homer and four RBIs. Over the day, she hit two homers, a triple and a double. And also walked a few times. Allie Hand hit a homer; Sarah Schutz drove home three runs. Kristen Turner had two RBIs, giving her seven for the doubleheader. Jordan Courage earned the circle win. Iona has won five straight games, and stand atop the MAAC with a 4-0 record.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Marist Pummels Fairfield In MAAC Opener

Taylor Kuzma continued her hot hitting
Marist 10
Fairfield 0 (6)

Game 2 postponed

The Marist Red Foxes began defense of their MAAC crown with a resounding 10-0 win over Fairfield Saturday in Fairfield, CT. The second game of the conference doubleheader was postponed due to heavy rain, and will be played Monday, March 31 at 4:30 pm in Fairfield.

The Marist onslaught began in the top of the second inning. Maureen Duddy's RBI ground out got the Red Foxes on the board, then Kyrsten Van Natta's three run home run blast made the score 4-0. Marist would then score six runs in the top of the sixth inning on the way to the mercy rule win. RBIs by Aly Klemmer and Haley Birnbaum increased the Red Foxes' lead to 6-0. Up to the plate then stepped one of the MAAC's top hitters in 2014, Taylor Kuzma. With the bases loaded, she launched a Lauren Falkanger pitch over the fence good for a grand slam home run, and a 10-0 rout.

Janine Lalli was outstanding in the circle for Marist, allowing only one hit, and that to the MAAC's leading hitter Kristen Filicia. She walked no one. Maureen Duddy, Haley Birnbaum and Aly Klemmer each had two hits for the Red Foxes. Fairfield, considered one of the favorites to win it all this season, continues to struggle, especially in the pitching circle. The Stags will have a chance to rebound in game two, scheduled for Monday.

Manhattan Wins MAAC Opener Over Quinnipiac

Circle win and 3 hits for Katie Bowen
Manhattan 6
Quinnipiac 1

Quinnipiac 1
Manhattan 0 (Suspended, 4th inning)

The Manhattan Lady Jaspers continued their hot streak with a 6-1 conference win over Quinnipiac Saturday in Riverdale, NY. Quinnipiac, playing their first MAAC games ever, lead game two 1-0 in the 4th inning. The game was suspended due to heavy rain, and will be rescheduled if it has tournament implications.

Manhattan jumped out to a 4-0 lead in game one, scoring twice in each of the first two innings. In the first inning, consecutive doubles by Katie Bowen and Elena Bowman scored the game's first run. A bases loaded walk then gave the LJs a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, RBI singles by Amanda Paxson and MAAC rookie of the week Jenn Vazquez upped the Manhattan lead to 4-0. Quinnipiac responded with a run in the top of the third inning when Dani Edmands singled home a run to make the score 4-1. But Elena Bowman's two RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning, giving her three RBIs for the game, sealed a 6-1 Manhattan win.

Katie Bowen had three hits in the game, and struck out seven Bobcats to earn the win. Sydney Robey suffered the loss for Quinnipiac. In the second game, Quinnipiac's Jordan Paolucci hit a home run to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead, but the game was called in the 4th inning due to the rain.

Iona Tops St. Peter's In MAAC Opener

"Gnarly" Carly shut down the Peacocks
Iona 8
St. Peter's 0 (5)

St. Peter's 2
Iona 0 (suspended after one inning)

The Iona Gaels opened their 2014 conference season with an 8-0 win over St. Peter's in New Rochelle, NY Saturday. The second game of the MAAC doubleheader was suspended due to torrential rain, and will be rescheduled, with St. Peter's holding a 2-0 lead after an inning.

Allie Hand, who hit 4 for 4 in the game, led off the bottom of the first inning for the Gaels with a single, and would eventually score an unearned run after a passed ball. After three consecutive walks loaded the bases, Kelsey Long was hit by a Crystal Carlucci pitch and Iona had a 2-0 lead after an inning of play. The Gaels took a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Allie Hand singled home Katie Newton, who hit a leadoff triple. Consecutive doubles by Katie Jansson and Bri Schauer to lead off the third inning gave the Gaels a 4-0 lead; Katie Newton's RBI single in the same inning made it 5-0. Allie Hand's two run home run blast in the bottom of the fifth inning extended Iona's lead to 7-0. The game ended early with Kristen Turner's RBI double, giving Iona the 8-0 win.

Allie Hand drove home three runs to go with her perfect game at the plate. Katie Jansson and Katie Newton each had a pair of hits. Carly Argyle pitched a three hit shutout for the Gaels. The second game has yet to be rescheduled.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Monmouth Picks Up Win For The MAAC

Shannon Fitzgerald had a big game for the Hawks
The Monmouth Hawks earned their second win of the young season when they opened play Friday in Fairfax, Virginia by beating the host school George Mason 6-1.

Senior outfielder Shannon Fitzgerald began what would be a big day for her by leading off the game with a home run. She would finish the game hitting 3 for 3, which also included a triple and two RBIs. Freshman Rachel Shotzbarger also added a couple of RBIs for the Hawks; Alicia DeSanto drove home a run too. Freshman Sydney Underhill picked up the win, pitching the complete game while scattering three hits.

Elesewhere in the MAAC, results weren't as positive. Niagara dropped their final two games at the Rebel Games,  losing to LaSalle 5-2 and Akron 3-0. Manhattan finally got to open their season at the same Rebel Games, but the rust showed as they dropped a pair of games, 8-1 to St. Francis and 13-3 to Temple. Quinnipiac was at the South Florida tournament, and is still looking for their first win of the season after losing twice, 10-1 to Indiana State and 9-0 to Cleveland State.

Marist saw their first day at the Winthrop tournament rained out. Canisius had a strange day without stepping on the field. Originally set to play at the Towson tournament that got weathered out, the Griffs were going to be part of an impromptu tournament in Virginia, which also included Rider; that one got snowed out. Canisius then scheduled a last minute doubleheader at Miami for Sunday, hopefully the weather will cooperate. Plenty of games though coming up this weekend!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jen Sansano Off To Great Start

2013 MAAC Pitcher Of The Year 3-0 so far
The Niagara Purple Eagles are in Florida this week, and their pitching is beginning to look very good already. The Purps have allowed only one run in their last three games, winning two of them while losing a tough 1-0 decision to Sacred Heart. Kim Bryson suffered the loss against the Pioneers, but she pitched an excellent game, scattering five hits while allowing just the one run. Sophomore Sydney Smyers pitched very well in the win vs. Temple today, throwing four shutout innings before being relieved by Jen Sansano; she earned her first win of the season. Speaking of Jen, she's picking up where she left off in 2013, a season which saw her named the best pitcher in the MAAC. Jen is currently 3-0, with a 1.90 ERA. This includes a 2-0 shutout over St. Francis on Tuesday. The Red Flash had pummeled Niagara on Monday, 11-1, but were totally shut down by the senior ace in the rematch. So far this young season Coach Puzan is not overworking Jen, he's used his whole pitching staff. Meaning she'll be more than ready to go extra time once conference play begins. And if the early season is any indication, she is going to be difficult to beat.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Red Foxes Win In Walk Off

Taylor Kuzma helps Marist to first win
Just in...
The Marist Red Foxes won their first game this morning with a 3-1 win over North Carolina Central which featured a seventh inning comeback. The bottom of the seventh saw Marist down 1-0, but they tied the game when Janna Korak led off with a single and was moved to third base by Haley Birnbaum and scored on a passed ball. Then up to the plate stepped Taylor Kuzma who launched a pitch over the fence for the win. Haley was 3 for 3 in the game. The Red Foxes continue play today at the Mercer classic.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

This Weekend In The MAAC

Freshman Bridget Hogan had a big game in Niagara's first win of the '14 season
Five more MAAC teams opened their seasons this past weekend, with Manhattan once more having their (rescheduled) tournament appearance in North Carolina cancelled due to unplayable conditions. Overall the MAAC didn't fare well in this early season action, but there were bright spots.

The Rider Broncs got busy, getting six games played at the Aggie Invitational hosted by North Carolina A&T. They lost a pair of games on Friday; most noticeable was their 15-6 loss to Maryland-Eastern Shore, a game in which they had held a 5-2 lead. Freshman Amanda Crimarco hit her first college home run in the game, but the Broncs surrendered 13 runs in the final three innings. They then lost 10-1 to St. Francis. On Saturday, Rider got their first win of the season, 6-1 over Coppin State. Home runs by Ally Breeden and Dana Sensi paced the Broncs; freshman Kaitlyn Kallert earned her first career college win. Earlier the same day, the Broncs dropped a 7-3 decision to Morgan St., despite a 3 for 4 performance by senior Kehli Washington. On Sunday, the Broncs dropped another game to UMES, this time by a 3-0 score before closing their weekend by beating the host Aggies 8-7 with four seventh inning runs. Freshman Delaney DeMello had three hits in the game.

Niagara began their season with an extra innings loss to Elon, who hosted the tournament the Purple Eagles and Iona played at this weekend. Niagara took a 5-4 lead in the seventh inning, but could not hold it, losing 6-5 in eight innings. Amanda Werth was 3 for 4 with three RBIs in the loss. The Purple Eagles dropped a game to UMBC later that day, 3-1. Kim Bryson took the loss, although she allowed no earned runs. On Sunday, Niagara came from behind to win 5-2 in eight innings vs. St. Joseph's. Freshman Bridget Hogan had a big game, hitting 3 for 4 with a home run and three RBIs, including the game winner. Jen Sansano won her first game of the season with a five strikeout performance.

Siena began their season at the Buccaneer Challenge hosted by East Tennessee St. with a strong pitching performance by Jessika-Jo Sandrini. J-J earned a complete game shutout, striking out six. She also drove home the only run in the 1-0 victory over Oakland. The Saints lost their second game on Saturday, 6-1 to the host Bucs. For the day, Alyssa Lancaster was a perfect 5 for 5. On Sunday, Siena dropped a pair of games, including a tough 3-0 eight inning loss to Oakland. Toni Edwards started this game for the Saints, and pitched very well before being relieved by Jessika-Jo in the sixth inning. An eight inning three run home run by Oakland ended the game abruptly. The Saints then lost again to the host team, this time 7-1.

Fairfield began their season on Friday at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, Florida. They lost 7-3 to Northern Illinois in their first game of the day; Sam Frugillo had three RBIs in the loss. Four errors by the Stags hurt starter Becca Trott, who struck out seven. Four of NIU's runs were unearned. Rae Ball's three hit performance in the circle vs. Lamar later in the day gave the Stags their first win of the young season, 2-1. Sammy Ruffolo began what would be a 6 for 6 streak with a pair of hits and an RBI in the game. Orlando experienced thunderstorms on Saturday, and the Stags had their scheduled games cancelled. On Sunday, they lost a tough one to East Carolina, again errors playing a major role. Sammy Ruffolo had a great game, hitting 4 for 4 with an RBI. A two out double in the top of the seventh inning by Kristen Filicia tied the game, then Sammy drove home what appeared to be the game winner. But a costly error in the bottom of the same inning cost the Stags the game in a 5-4 loss.

Iona was at the Elon tournament, dropping all four games this weekend. They had leads in each of their first three games, but could not hold them. On Friday the Gaels lost 13-9 in eight innings to UMBC. Iona had a 7-4 lead in the game before surrendering nine runs in the final three innings. Freshman Kristen Turner had a fabulous college debut, hitting 4 for 5 with a homer and three RBIs. Christine Costello hit 3 for 4. On Saturday, the Gaels lost to the same UMBC, this time by a score of 10-8. The Gaels had a 4-1 lead in this one, but a nine run UMBC fifth inning spelled their doom. Bri Schauer hit two homers in this one, to go along with four RBIs. The Gaels dropped a pair of games on Sunday, 5-2 to St. Joseph's and 10-1 to host Elon.

Canisius went 0-5 this past weekend, losing 5-0 to Miami and 8-1 to W. Kentucky, who hosted the tournament, on Friday. After a 2-0 loss to Belmont on Saturday, in which Jen Consaul allowed only two hits an one earned run, Canisius suffered the worst loss in their history, 17-0 to Bradley. But the Griffs rebounded on Sunday, when Jen Consaul again pitched a great game, shutting down the host Hilltoppers and holding a 1-0 lead through six innings. But two crucial Canisius errors in the bottom of the 7th inning scored two unearned runs and gave the Griffs a 2-1 loss.