Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jessika-Jo Sandrini Ends High School Career

Soon to be Siena freshman Jessika-Jo Sandrini completed her storied high school career as her Adna High School Pirates lost a heartbreaker in the Washington State Championship game to rival Pe Ell High, who they defeated last year.

But Jessika-Jo made them earn it---the game was won by Pe Ell 1-0 in 8 innings. Jessika-Jo pitched no hit ball for the first 7 1/3 innings before the game was finally decided. Adna finished the season 26-2. She will now spend the summer playing travel ball for the Ark Northwest Eruption Gold before heading to Loudonville in August.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Michelle Fridey And Jaci Rahey Named ECAC All-Stars

The ECAC has announced their annual Division 1 All-Star Team. Michelle Fridey of Canisius has been named First Team catcher; Jaci Rahey of Manhattan has been named Second Team designated player.

Michelle Fridey finished the 2010 season with a .395 average. Her 52 RBIs set a Canisius single season record. She led the MAAC in doubles (18); runs scored (47); and total bases (105). She also hit 5 home runs, 4 triples, stole 17 bases and posted a .988 fielding percentage as a catcher.

Jaci Rahey was one of only two MAAC players to hit .400 or better, finishing with a .409 average. She was tops in the MAAC in RBIs (58). She also hit 10 home runs, 12 doubles, and had a slugging percentage of .715.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Melissa Giordano Enjoying Softball In Italy

An article about the 2009 MAAC Player Of The Year and her current softball life.

Giordano, 23, is now starting for Fiorini in the Italian Softball League. It has been a long journey to getting paid for playing a sport she loves -- more in time and effort than the flight that carried her overseas -- but so far worth every laborious second.

"It's been really good so far," Giordano said during a telephone interview Tuesday. "I feel really comfortable. I'm lucky. I knew after college I didn't want to be finished. We practice hard, play hard and it's all about the team..."

Friday, May 21, 2010

MAAC Season Ends With Iona Loss

East Carolina 3
Iona 0

Box Score

The 2010 MAAC Softball season came to an end as MAAC Champion Iona fell in the Austin Regional's loser's bracket 3-0 to East Carolina Friday.

Allyssa James and Melanie Gettins each had a hit for the Gaels. East Carolina scored all their three runs in the third inning, fueled by a two run home run by Sissy Jimenez. Sarah Jackson went the distance for Iona in this game, striking out six and finishing the season with a record of 18-8. The Gaels end their 2010 season with a 28-26 record.

Iona will be returning many talented players in 2011 who now have championship experience.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Jaci Rahey Named First Team All-Region

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association today named Manhattan's Jaci Rahey as a Northeast Region First Team selection.

Jaci finished first in the MAAC with 58 RBIs; second in hitting with a .409 average; and tied for third with 10 home runs.

Gaels Drop First Tournament Game

Texas 6
Iona 0

Blaire Luna one hit the Iona Gaels in a 6-0 win at the NCAA Austin Regional Thursday night. The Texas freshman struck out 14 and picked up her 30th win of the season.

Texas used their power in the NCAA Tournament opener for both teams, hitting four home runs. Loryn Johnson hit a solo homer in the 2nd inning, Courtney Craig and Taylor Hoagland hit back-to-back solo homers in the 3rd inning and Nadia Taylor hit a two run homer in the 5th inning to lead the Longhorns.

Sarah Jackson started for the Gaels, but was pulled in the 5th inning with Texas leading 3-0. She struck out three before being replaced by Alyssa Maiese.

The Gaels continue Friday at the Austin Regional with a game against East Carolina, who earlier in the day lost 1-0 to Brigham Young University. The loser will be eliminated from the tournament. Game time is 6pm EDT.

Teresa Healy And Sarah Jackson Named To NFCA All-Region Second Team

The National Fastpitch Coaches Association announced their All-Region teams today. Niagara's Teresa Healy and Iona's Sarah Jackson were named to the Great Lakes Region 2nd Team.

Texas Set For Iona In Regional Today

Suddenly, the biggest riddle is freshman ace Blaire Luna (pictured). For most of the season, Luna (29-8) looked like the second coming of former Horns star pitcher Cat Osterman. In an 11-5 loss to Georgia on May 10, however, Luna yielded eight runs in two innings. And in an 11-6 loss to Missouri on Sunday that knocked UT out of the Big 12 tournament, Luna didn't even make it through the second inning...

Monday, May 17, 2010

Austin Regional Headquarters

Texas Longhorns

  • 2010 Record: 42-13
  • Leading Hitter: Nadia Taylor (.383)
  • Leading Pitcher: Blaire Luna (29-8; 1.25 ERA)
  • RPI Rank: #8
The Longhorns lost in the Big 12 title to Missouri this past weekend. However, they own wins against: DePaul, North Carolina, LSU, Arizona State and Michigan. Blaire Luna is a freshman who has 372 strikeouts and is a final candidate for National Player Of The Year. She also made the USA team that will play in Japan and Canada this summer.

Offensively, Texas is hitting .316 as a team, and have hit 83 home runs; most of their lineup has home run power.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Iona Will Play At Texas Regional

The NCAA just announced that MAAC Champion Iona will be in the Texas Regional. Along with the host team, the Gaels will be grouped with East Carolina and Brigham Young University.

Because BYU will not play on Sundays, the Regional will be played Thursday-Saturday, which was the case last season when Canisius was grouped with BYU.

Siena Begins Search For New Coach

Deanna Parks has announced that she will not be returning to coach the Saints in 2011. Siena College begins the search for her replacement.
The Saints finished the 2010 season with a 14-37 record; 7-9 in the MAAC.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Where Will Iona Play In The NCAAs?

We won't find out until Sunday night, but I'm hearing they may be going to UMass, possibly with Boston U. and Oklahoma.

2010 All-MAAC Tournament Team

Nicole Michel, Manhattan
Kristina Walraven, Manhattan
Julie DiMatteo, Niagara
Kristin Kill, Niagara
Michelle Fridey, Canisius
Caroline Main, Canisius
Lauren Hope, Canisius
Emily Helbig, Canisius
Allyssa James, Iona
Jodi Petersen, Iona
Chelsea Sheehan, Iona
Sarah Jackson, Iona*
*Most Outstanding Player



Box Score

The Iona Gaels defeated defending champion Canisus 4-1 Saturday at the Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, NY to win the championship of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and have earned an automatic bid to the NCAA National Tournament.

Sophomore Sarah Jackson scattered 4 hits and allowed only a single run in earning her 18th win of the season and leading the Gaels to their first MAAC title in 25 years. Iona scored all the runs they would need when in the third inning they scored three runs after two outs were recorded. Chelsea Sheehan opened the inning with a bunt single, and was immediately sacrificed to second base by Tessa Earley. After Marisa Newman was hit by a pitch and Jodi Petersen lined out, Eileen McCann singled home the first run, and reached second base on the throw to home that failed to get Chelsea Sheehan. Allyssa James then singled home two runs, providing the Gaels with the winning margin. Canisius would cut the Gaels' lead to 3-1 in the fourth inning when Lizzy Gatto hit a sacrifice fly that scored Michelle Fridey, but Iona got that run back in the sixth inning when Canisius starter Amanda Baun walked Chelsea Sheehan with the bases loaded.

Sarah Jackson retired the final six Canisius batters, and the Iona team ran to the backstop where their family and fans were sitting and erupted in celebration.

Sarah Jackson was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.

Iona raised their record to 28-24, and now await word from the NCAA on where and whom they will next play. This will be announced Sunday night.

Canisius ends their season with a record of 34-19.

Championship Saturday

Iona tries to complete their dream season after not qualifying for the tournament in 2009. They will have two chances to win one game for the crown.
Canisius must win two games on their home field. They are the only MAAC team to ever emerge from the loser's bracket to win it all. They have accomplished that three times.
Should be fun!

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Tale Of King High

When the Iona Gaels and Canisius Golden Griffins take the field Saturday to decide the Champion of the MAAC, the students of Martin Luther King High School in Riverside, California may have conflicting feelings about which team to root for.

You see, two of King's 2009 star players will be playing for that Championship---but on opposite sides of the field.

Amanda Baun, Canisius
18-11, 1.89 ERA, 7 shutouts

Jodi Petersen, Iona
.368, 8 homers, 30 RBIs

And how have the two freshmen done in this week's tournament?
Jodi hit the game winning homer in the 9th inning of Iona's win over Niagara.
Amanda pitched a one hit shutout in Canisius' win over Niagara.
Not bad for a pair who traveled thousands of miles to play college ball!

Amanda Baun One Hits Niagara; Sends Griffs To Final Day

Canisius 4
Niagara 0

Box Score

Canisius freshman Amanda Baun (pictured) came within a strike of no hitting Niagara Friday, and pitched a complete game shutout which eliminated the Purple Eagles from the tournament and qualified the Golden Griffins to play in Championship Saturday. They must beat Iona twice to win the MAAC crown.

Canisius scored all of their four runs in the third inning; they led off with three singles. Lauren Hope, Katie Medina and Michelle Fridey loaded the bases. After a Lizzy Gatto fly out, Katie Lancellotti drove home two runs with a ground rule double to center field. This was followed by Emily Helbig's two run double to center, and the Griffs had all the runs they would need.

Amanda Baun struck out 9, and allowed only a single by Jenna Baker with two outs in the seventh inning.

Niagara closes out their 2010 season with a 22-22 record.

Niagara Walks Home

Niagara 2
Manhattan 1 (8)

Box Score

Manhattan was eliminated from the MAAC Championship Friday after an extra innings loss to Niagara. It was a heartbreaking tournament for the Lady Jaspers who lost both their games on the opposition's last at bat, but they performed admirably while missing All-MAAC pitcher Erika Sullivan who was apparently injured and could not play.

Jenna Baker (pictured) opened the scoring with a long home run to left field in the third inning. Manhattan tied the game in the fifth inning with a Kristina Walraven sacrifice fly. The game wasn't decided until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Purple Eagles loaded the bases. Once again in this tournament, MAAC Player Of The Year Teresa Healy was intentionally walked, and this time it cost Manhattan a game. Choose your poison I guess---maybe Teresa would have belted a homer. Becky Zill came to the plate with 2 outs and immediately fell behind 0-2. But Melissa Donnelly walked her and Kristin Kill strolled home scoring the winning run.

The Lady Jaspers finish a successful 2010 season with a 25-23-1 record.

Iona In The Driver's Seat

Iona 6
Canisius 2

Box Score

The Iona Gaels took advantage of three Canisius errors to defeat the Golden Griffins and advance out of the winner's bracket into Championship Saturday. They will have two chances to win one game and become Champions of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Saturday's play at the MAAC Championship opened with the winner's bracket game between defending champion Canisius and the Gaels of Iona. The Golden Griffins shut down the Gaels' attack through the first four innings, with Griffs' pitcher Caroline Main allowing only a first inning Marisa Newman double. Meanwhile, Canisius jumped on board first with a two run second inning. The Golden Griffins got three hits off Iona's Sarah Jackson, and scored runs on Stephanie Pfentner's suicide squeeze bunt, and a Lauren Hope sacrifice fly.

Iona finally scored when in the fifth inning Alyssa Maiese hit a single that drove home Amy Metcalfe. Then the wheels fell off for Canisius. A Chelsea Sheehan sacrifice bunt attempt turned from an easy second out into a two run, two error play that gave the Gaels the lead for good. The Gaels benefited from another throwing error in the sixth, this time from Stephanie Pfentner, a catcher who is filling in for injured Paige Freiberger at third base. Iona scored 4 unearned runs to stun Canisius and advance themselves to at least one Championship game.

The Gaels will again meet Canisius Saturday for the Championship. Iona needs to win only once to gain the crown.

Friday's Weather

It's going to be a lot nicer today. Less than 10% chance of rain the rest of the tournament, with temps in the mid 60s today. Not as warm as May ought to be, but after yesterday it will seem nice. Bit of a breeze today, getting up to 24 mph.

First pitch of today's tripleheader is scheduled for 11am EDT.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Iona's Head Coach Jaime Wohlbach was honored by the MAAC for the great job she's done in leading the Iona Softball program to the top of the conference.

Congratulations Coach!

Canisius Stages Dramatic Comeback

Canisius 5
Manhattan 4

Box Score

Amanda Cannizzo (pictured) drove home the tying and winning runs in the 7th inning as the Golden Griffins overcame a 4-0 Manhattan lead.

The Golden Griffins seemed stunned as they took the field for their first MAAC Championship game against Manhattan Thursday on their home field on the Canisius College campus. Their co-captain and All-MAAC First Team third baseman Paige Freiberger had just been spiked in practice and required 21 stitches in her hand leaving her unavailable to play. This appeared to have an effect on her teammates as they committed 2 errors in the first inning and allowed 3 hits and 4 runs to the Lady Jaspers before even coming up to bat.

Manhattan stormed out of the gate in the top half of the first inning. Kristina Walraven led things off with a single. Monica Evangelista then reached first base after a throwing error by Griffs' pitcher Caroline Main. A walk to Melissa Donnelly followed, loading the bases with no outs. Jaci Rahey drove in the first Manhattan run with a sacrifice fly. Nicole Michel followed that with an RBI single, making the score 2-0. Melissa Donnelly then scored on an error by first baseman Emily Helbig, 3-0. Nicole Michel scored Manhattan's 4th run on a passed ball, and the Lady Jaspers had Canisius in an early hole.

But that was all the offense Manhattan would produce for the rest of the game. The Griffs' comeback began with All-MAAC First Team pitcher Caroline Main, who retired the final 18 Lady Jaspers in order. However, Canisius would not score until the 5th inning. Amanda Cannizzo led off that inning with a walk, and was sacrificed to second base. Lauren Falzone singled her home for the Griffs' first run. Lauren moved to second when Lauren Hope drew a walk, and was sent home by a Michelle Fridey ground rule double that cut the Manhattan lead to 4-2.

Canisius faced do-or-die in the home half of the 7th inning. Katie Medina led off with a single, and was promptly sent home when Michelle Fridey hit her second double of the game. The bases got loaded with one out when Katie Lancellotti was hit in the head with a Melissa Donnelly pitch, and Emily Helbig singled. Amanda Cannizzo then won the game with a looping single to center field.

The Golden Griffins will have to once again play without their co-captain Friday when they meet Iona at 11am EDT in the winner's bracket game. Manhattan will play Niagara immediately following.


Iona was very, very careful pitching to Teresa Healy today, and with good reason.
The MAAC has named Teresa its Player Of The Year. Teresa's .455 average is all the more remarkable considering she began the season in a slump!

Congratulations Teresa!


Sarah continues her great pitching into the MAAC Championship.
Congratulations Sarah!


Jodi put an exclamation point on the honor the MAAC bestowed upon her when she hit that 9th inning homer today!

Congratulations Jodi!

Official All-MAAC Teams

Iona Prevails In Extra Innings

Iona 3
Niagara 1 (9)

Box Score

Chilly, drizzling rain and a lengthy delay did not prevent these two teams from playing an outstanding game as the MAAC Championship opened Thursday at the Demske Sports Complex on the Canisius Campus in Buffalo, NY.

The tournament opened with a very intense game, and even though the weather was not ideal, it did not affect the play at all. Iona's Sarah Jackson and Niagara's Julie DiMatteo both did great jobs holding off strong offenses and requiring a couple of extra innings to decide the game.

Niagara did strike first in the third inning when freshman catcher Becky Zill drove a ball over the left field fence to give the Purple Eagles a 1-0 lead, which they would hold until the fifth inning. The Gaels had a chance in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with singles by Allyssa Maiese and Tessa Earley, plus a walk to Chelsea Sheehan. But Niagara shortstop Maggie McDonald ended that threat by forcing Chelsea at third.

Iona would manufacture a run in the fifth inning and tie the game when Jodi Petersen singled, was sent to third on an Eileen McCann ground rule double, and then scored on an Erin Kyle sacrifice fly. That tying run brought the Gaels' bench to life. It seemed to me that they were a bit nervous playing their first MAAC game---that run relieved the tension.

Most of this game was played in a steady drizzle. It felt more like early April out there. After the sixth inning was completed, play was halted because the rain turned into a steady shower. After about 25 minutes, the teams took the field and resumed play.

Niagara had a good chance in the eighth inning when after singles by Maggie McDonald and Teresa Healy Gaels third baseman Chelsea Sheehan made a bad throw that went out of play. The umpire ruled that Teresa Healy (after Maggie was forced out at third) was not entitled to go all the way home, bringing upon himself a boisterous objection from Niagara Head Coach Al Dirschberger. He could be heard quite plainly describing the umpire's call as a "game changer".

Freshman Jodi Petersen (pictured) became the "game changer" herself when she ended the contest in Iona's favor in the bottom of the ninth inning with a powerful drive over the left field fence. Julie DiMatteo had just walked Marisa Newman with two outs, causing yours truly to mutter under her breath "uh oh" as the MAAC Rookie Of The Year candidate stepped to the plate. Sure enough, Jodi hit the ball long...Niagara left fielder Kristin Sito made a valiant effort to get the ball, crashing through the fence to no avail. Iona advances to the winner's bracket Friday.

It was a great game! Both teams did the MAAC proud, and you never know...they may be playing each other again. Iona will play Canisius in the winner's bracket game Friday. Niagara will face off against Manhattan following that. More great softball to come!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2010 All-MAAC Team*

*This is NOT the official All-MAAC Team.
These players were chosen by this blog. The MAAC will announce their official team soon.

Pitcher: Sarah Jackson, Iona
15-6, 1.83 ERA, 172 Ks, 3 No Hitters, 1 Perfect Game

Catcher: Michelle Fridey, Canisius
.383, 50 RBIs, 16 Doubles, 44 Runs .987 Fielding %

First Base: Jaci Rahey, Manhattan
.424, 10 Home Runs, 57 RBIs, .742 Slugging %

Second Base: Teresa Healy, Niagara
.455, 10 Home Runs, 44 RBIs, .765 Slugging %

Shortstop: Melissa Donnelly, Manhattan
.325, 33 Runs

Third Base: Paige Freiberger, Canisius
.311, 11 Home Runs, 46 RBIs, .711 Slugging %


Lauren Hope, Canisius
.345, 32 Stolen Bases, 6 Triples, 39 Runs

Dani Griswold, Fairfield
.345, 30 Runs, 11 Stolen Bases, .982 Fielding %

Jodi Petersen, Iona
.358, 7 Home Runs, 28 RBIs, 29 Runs

Designated Player: Eileen McCann, Iona
.366, 11 Home Runs, 33 RBIs, 28 Runs

Top MAAC Freshmen Of 2010

Eileen McCann, Iona

.366, 11 home runs, 33 RBIs, .659 slugging percentage.
Eileen tied for the MAAC lead in homers.

Heather Muscara, Rider
.364, 26 RBIs
Heather spent some time as the #1 hitter in the MAAC.

Amanda Baun, Canisius
17-11, 1.98 ERA, 167 strikeouts, 6 shutouts.
Amanda has been in the MAAC top 2 for pitchers all season.

Jodi Petersen, Iona
.358, 7 home runs, 9 doubles, 4 triples, .615 slugging percentage.

Shannon Jones, Siena
.344, 6 home runs, 33 RBIs

Katie Medina, Canisius
.321, 13 stolen bases, 32 runs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

St. Peter's Looking For New Coach

Donna Barone will not be retained as Head Softball Coach at St. Peter's. Although it seems the school has not announced this on their site, she has been "replaced" by Assistant Director Of Athletics Dan Drutz who has the additional position of "acting Head Coach".

It was a very difficult 2010 season for the Peahens who won only two games; they were winless in MAAC play. Many of their losses were run rule games. St. Peter's has some good young players, and more on the way for 2011. Hopefully they can find a coach who can get the program back on track.

MAAC Players Of The Week 5-10-10

Player Of The Week
Jaci Rahey, Manhattan

Co-Pitchers Of The Week
Rachael Matreale, Rider
Sarah Jackson, Iona

Rookie Of The Week
Emily Osterhaus, Marist

MAAC Championship Live Video

The Softball Championship package is up. It's $24.95 for the whole tournament.

MAAC Championship Tickets

From the Canisius site...

Tickets for the MAAC Softball Championship are now on sale through the Canisius Ticket Office by calling (716) 888-2885, or by going online to Tickets cost $3 for students and $5 for adults, and a Weekend Pass is available for the entire event for $12. Tickets will also be sold on game days at the gate. All game day purchases are cash only.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Four Qualifiers

#1 Canisius Golden Griffins
Michele Fridey .383, 50 RBIs
Paige Freiberger 11 homers, 46 RBIs
Lauren Hope .345, 32 stolen bases
Amanda Baun 17-11, 1.98 ERA
Caroline Main 15-6, 2.70 ERA

#2 Iona Gaels
Eileen McCann .366, 11 homers
Jodi Petersen .358, 7 homers
Allyssa James .358
Tessa Early 18 stolen bases
Sarah Jackson 15-6, 1.83 ERA

#3 Niagara Purple Eagles
Teresa Healy .455, 10 homers, 44 RBIs
Kristin Kill .350
Jenna Baker .347
Kristin Sito .320, 7 homers
Julie DiMatteo 14-5, 3.45 ERA

#4 Manhattan Lady Jaspers
Jaci Rahey .424, 10 homers, 57 RBIs
Nicole Michel .353, 8 homers
Kristina Walraven .320, 34 runs
Erika Sullivan 12-5, 2.48 ERA