Sunday, May 2, 2010

Big Sweep For Fairfield

Fairfield 4
Niagara 1

Fairfield 5
Niagara 0

Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score

If you were the Coach of Farfield and your team just lost the first two games of the Western New York road swing, and your MAAC record dropped to 5-5, what would you do?
That's right, you'd pitch Sarah Minice every inning!
And that's exactly what Fairfield Head Coach Julie Brzezinski did. After losing twice at Canisius on Saturday, the Stags found themselves in danger of falling out of the MAAC's top 4 (only 4 teams qualify for the tournament), so they put their fate in the arm of the 2009 MAAC Pitcher Of The Year. Sarah pitched a 16 inning game in last year's tournament, so she's used to a lot of work.

The result: Sarah Minice twice shutdown the vaunted Niagara offense on their home field. Game one started well for the Purple Eagles as MAAC hitting leader Teresa Healy drove home Kristin Kill to give the home team a 1-0 lead after one inning. But that would be the only lead Niagara would have all day. In fact, it would be the only run they would score all day, as Sarah Minice would go on to shutout them out for the final 13 innings.

The Stags tied the game in the top of the 2nd inning on an Allison Wigand sacrifice fly. The game stayed knotted until the 6th inning when Kayla Marth gave the Stags the lead with an RBI double. Kristina Lingo and Jenna DiBernardo added RBIs in the 7th to seal the victory. Sarah Minice held Niagara to 5 hits, all of them singles. She struck out 5 and walked no one.

Sarah took a brief rest and got right back in the circle for game two. Her performance was almost exactly the same---5 hits allowed, all singles. She struck out 5 and walked no one. The only difference being is that this time, Niagara scored no runs. The Purple Eagles committed 4 errors in this game, leading to 4 unearned runs. Perhaps Sarah Minice had gotten under their skin. Kristie Trifiolis was 2 for 4 with a RBI for the Stags.

These were huge wins for Fairfield; it's amazing what adversity can do for a team's performance. The Stags are now 7-5 in the MAAC; 23-19 overall. Niagara is 7-5; 17-19.

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