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.