Monday, February 28, 2011

MAAC Stars Of The Week* 2/28/11

*Not the official MAAC Players Of The Week, but as chosen by this blog

Player Of The Week

Jessika-Jo Sandrini, Siena Saints

Jessika-Jo began her college career with a pow! She hit for a .600 average this past weekend, including her first career homer, 2 doubles, a slugging percentage of 1.100 (!) and 5 RBIs. She also pitched two games, going 1-1 including a 5-1 win over North Carolina Central in which she allowed no earned runs and struck out 8.

Pitcher Of The Week

Sarah Jackson, Iona Gaels

Sarah was lock down good this weekend throwing a pair of shutouts. In her 2-0 win over Farleigh Dickinson, Sarah struck out 14 batters. In her 4-0 win over Monmouth, she struck out 7 batters and did not allow a runner past first base. Sarah is a perfect 4-0 this young season.

Freshman Of The Week

Lauren Liseth, Fairfield Stags

Lauren actually began her college career by striking out twice, but then went on a tear. She hit for a .412 average this weekend, including her first career homer, a triple, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 7 runs and a stolen base. She was 3 for 3 vs. Towson, and showed her versatility playing both shortstop and catcher.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Shutout For Sarah Jackson; Gaels Split

Iona 4
Monmouth 0

George Washington 3
Iona 0

Monmouth Box Score

Sarah Jackson completes shutout road trip and Gaels hit leadoff homers to beat Monmouth and take 3 of 4 in Norfolk, VA.

Junior Sarah Jackson produced another goose egg Sunday breezing through a win against Monmouth. Sarah allowed only a pair of singles in this one and struck out 7. She walked no one, and did not allow a runner past first base. Sarah improved her record to 4-0.

The Gaels got solo homers from two of their All-MAAC players. Jodi Petersen led off the game with a blast over the center field fence. Eileen McCann (pictured) responded by leading off the 2nd inning with a blast to the same spot. The Gaels cemented their lead in the 5th inning when Alyssa Maiese singled home a pair of runs for a final score of 4-0.

The Gaels lost their final game of the weekend, 3-0 to George Washington. Alyssa Maiese started; she didn't do badly but gave up the go ahead run after an illegal pitch in the 4th inning. After giving up a lead off double in the 5th inning, Alyssa was relieved by Deanne Algeo who surrendered 2 hits for 2 runs. The Gaels had 5 hits in this one, all singles. Twice they had a runner at 3rd base, but could not cash in either time.

The Gaels are next in action this coming weekend at the UMBC Retriever Classic.

Sunday Split For Saints

Youngstown St. 8
Siena 0 (5)

Siena 5
N. Carolina Central 1

YSU Box Score
NCC Box Score

Freshman Jessika-Jo Sandrini (pictured) earned her first collegiate victory and hit 3 for 4 in the Saints' win over North Carolina Central Sunday in Cary, NC. The Saints split on Sunday, and begin their season at 2-2.

Sunday started out not too well for the Saints as they lost a run rule game against Youngstown State 8-0. Siena never got their offense going in this one, producing only a pair of hits---a triple by Natasha Powlowsky and a single by Lindsey McKeever. Amanda Filippazzo took the loss, allowing the first four YSU runs to be scored after two outs in the first and second innings.

Siena played a much better game to close out the weekend---a 5-1 win over host N.C. Central. Jessika-Jo Sandrini went the distance in this one, allowing only a run on 6 hits and striking out 8. She seemed to have much better control in this game than she did in her first start, when she threw 4 wild pitches. It was her first win at the college level. Jessika-Jo also had a great game at the plate, hitting 3 for 4 with a double and RBI. She also stole a base. After falling behind 1-0 after 3 innings, the Saints took control of the game in the top of the 4th inning. A Nastasha Powlowsky single and a Kayla Kaminsky sacrifice fly gave Siena a 2-0 lead. They added two more in the 6th inning when Courtney Brinkman and Samantha Ray singled home runs. Jessika-Jo Sandrini singled home a run in the 7th inning and the Saints a 5-1 win.

Shannon Jones was 3 for 4 with a run; Courtney Brinkman 2 for 3 with a run and RBI; Mandy Ferro, Lyndsey McKeever, Natasha Powlowsky and Samantha Ray all had hits. The Saints finish the Lady Eagles Invitational at 2-2, and will next be in action the weekend of March 4 at the UMBC Retriever Classic.

Stags Hold On For Win

Fairfield 12
Lehigh 11 (8)

Box Score

Freshman Rae Ball (pictured) drove home a pair of runs and picked up the win in relief as the Fairfield Stags survived a furious Lehigh comeback and won in extra innings Sunday at the Pirate Clash in Greenville, NC.

The Stags were up 9-1 in the bottom of the 5th inning and Sarah Minice was one out away from registering a run rule victory when the wheels came off. Sarah had been on cruise control up to that point having allowed only 4 hits while striking out 8, but she apparently ran out of gas. She surrendered a 2 out single that erased the run rule possibility, and would end up allowing 5 more runs until she was relieved by Emily Orr in the 6th inning. Emily struggled, allowing a pair of runs without retiring a batter and the game was tied. Rae Ball came in and held the fort until extra innings.

Fairfield had exploded out of the gate, scoring runs in each of the first 4 innings to go in front 9-1. Ali Wigand was 3 for 5 with a double and 2 RBIS; Kristina Lingo was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs; Lauren Liseth continued her hot start with a triple, 3 runs, and RBI; Mikayla Shumate was 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs.

The 8th inning was a wild one, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect and the game tied 9-9. Fairfield was up first, and quickly loaded the bases, thanks to a Lehigh error and a walk. Kristina Lingo hit a sacrifice fly to give the Stags the lead, and Tiffany Lawson also scored on a throwing error. It wasn't enough though---the Stags would need one more run to win this game. And they got it when Ali Wigand doubled to left field scoring Lauren Liseth. Lehigh scored twice with two outs on 3 consecutive singles in their half of the 8th inning. But Rae Ball then induced a pop up to Ali Wigand at 3rd base and Fairfield won a nail biter. What had been a boring run rule game turned into a thriller.

The Stags finish their first weekend of play with a 2-3 record. Their freshmen did a fabulous job. The Stags can be a contender in 2011, but a second pitcher must emerge for them to be consistent. Fairfield will next be in action the weekend of March 11 at North Carolina State's Wolfpack Challenge.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Sarah Jackson Masterful In Win

Iona 3 Morgan St. 1

Iona 2
Farleigh Dickinson 0

Sarah Jackson (pictured) scattered 4 hits and struck out 14 to put Iona atop the MAAC with a 2-0 win over Farleigh Dickinson at the Spartan Invitational in Norfolk, VA Saturday.

Typical early season tournament delays made for a late start to Iona's games this evening, but the long wait certainly did not cool the arm of the MAAC's 2010 Pitcher Of The Year. Sarah Jackson began the Gaels' game vs. Farleigh Dickinson by striking out the first 4 batters she faced. She allowed a runner to 3rd base only once; she ended 6 of her 7 innings with strikeouts. That's a lock down performance!

The Gaels got both of their runs in the 4th inning, and with two outs. After a Katie Jansson walk, Melanie Gettins doubled to left field giving Iona the lead. Deanne Algeo followed that with a single, Melanie scored, and the Gaels had all they would need.

Earlier in the evening, the Gaels defeated Morgan State 3-1. Alyssa Maiese (pictured left) started this game in the circle and did not allow a hit until the 5th inning. She helped her own cause by driving home what would eventually be the winning run in the 1st inning. After Jodi Petersen and Tessa Earley led off with singles, Alyssa doubled them both home to give the Gaels a quick 2-0 lead. Katie Jansson singled home Tessa Earley in the 3rd inning to add another run.

The Gaels will play two games Sunday, facing off against Monmouth and George Washington.

Krysti Maronski's Rider Debut

Presbyterian 1
Rider 0 (8)

W. Carolina 7
Rider 1

Presbyterian Box Score
W.Carolina Box Score

It's been a tough opening weekend for Rider, but one bright spot for the Broncs was the performance of freshman pitcher Krysti Maronski (pictured). The Woodbury Heights, NJ native pitched a very good game in her college debut against undefeated Presbyterian Saturday at the North Carolina A&T Invitational. Krysti pitched a complete game plus an extra inning, allowing only a run on 5 hits; she struck out 5. Unfortunately, the Broncs could manage only one hit in the game, a 7th inning single by Amanda Centeno. Rider lost the game in extra innings when, after a runner was placed on 2nd base with the international tiebreaker rule in effect, a bunt and a single gave Presbyterian the walk off 1-0 win. A good debut for Krysti Maronski though.

The Broncs lost their second game of the day to Western Carolina. Kehli Washington scored Rider's only run of the game on a passed ball in the 6th inning after she had singled and stolen second base. Lucy Higgins had a pair of hits for the Broncs.

Rider will wrap up the tournament Sunday with a game against host North Carolina A&T.

Saints Bomb South Carolina State

Siena 13
S. Carolina St. 4 (5)

Box Score

The Saints exploded for 17 hits and Shannon Jones (pictured) was a perfect 4 for 4 as Siena gained their first win of the 2011 season in Cary, NC Saturday.

Looks like the Saints shook off the winter rust quickly! They took a 2-0 lead in the first inning thanks to RBIs by Shannon Jones (double) and Natasha Powlowsky (single). Samantha Ray and Shannon Jones scored the runs.

But it was the 2nd inning that saw the Saints unleash. Freshman Jessika-Jo Sandrini had a whole game in that inning. She was 2 for 2, with a homer (the first of her young career), double and 4 RBIs. I wrote in my Siena preview that beside pitching, Jessika-Jo may take a few swings at the plate. Well...maybe she'll be in the hitting lineup every game now. The Saints hit 5 doubles in this inning. Courtney Brinkman, Mandy Ferro, Nastasha Powlowsky, Alyssa Sceppaguercio and Jessika-Jo all hit two baggers! In the inning: Mandy Ferro, 2 RBIs; Samantha Ray, RBI; Alyssa Sceppaguercio, RBI; Courtney Brinkman, RBI; Lyndsey McKeever, RBI. 12 hits, 11 runs in all. Surprisingly, South Carolina State committed only one error.

Amanda Filippazzo cruised along for the victory in this one, allowing only one earned run. Mandy Ferro pitched an inning also. Freshman Samantha Ray was 2 for 2 with an RBI and 2 runs. Courtney Brinkman was 2 for 3 with an RBI and 2 runs. Kirstyn Vaughn was 2 for 3 with a run. The Saints continue Sunday at the Lady Eagles Classic with a pair of games: vs. Youngstown State, and host North Carolina Central.

Saints Drop Opener

Delaware St. 9
Siena 1

Box Score

The Siena Saints opened their 2011 softball season in Cary, NC with a 9-1 loss to Delaware State Saturday at the Lady Eagle Classic.

The Saints found themselves down early in this one. Delaware State took a quick 2-0 lead in the 1st inning, and added four more runs in the 3rd off of starter Jessika-Jo Sandrini. Jessika-Jo had control problems in her first college start, throwing four wild pitches. She struck out two and allowed 9 hits before being relieved by fellow freshman Darcy Gardner. Darcy would surrender 3 more runs to Delaware St. in the final two innings. So Coach Bill Lajeunesse wanted to get his freshman pitchers in the rotation immediately; I'm sure nerves played a factor today.

Siena did have 7 hits in the game; with Courtney Brinkman (pictured) hitting a pair of singles. She scored Siena's only run on a bases loaded walk to Mandy Ferro in the 5th inning. Jessika-Jo Sandrini, Shannon Jones, Krystyn Vaughn, Sarah Gallacchi and Lyndsey McKeever also had hits for the Saints.

Siena is back on the field today against South Carolina State.

Watch Iona's Games This Weekend

All of Iona's games at the Spartan Invitational at Norfolk St. will be streamed live (for a fee).

Sign up here:

Here is the weekend's schedule (all times eastern):

Saturday, Feb. 26
9 a.m. – George Washington vs. Monmouth
11 a.m. - NSU vs. George Washington
1 p.m. – NSU vs. Monmouth
3 p.m. – Morgan State vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
5 p.m. – Iona vs. Morgan State
7 p.m. – Fairleigh Dickinson vs. Iona

Sunday, Feb. 27
9 a.m. – Monmouth vs. Morgan State
11 a.m. – Iona vs. Monmouth
1 p.m. – George Washington vs. Iona
3 p.m. – NSU vs. Fairleigh Dickinson
5 p.m. – Fairleigh Dickinson vs. George Washington

Stags Lose Extra Innings Pitchers' Duel

Towson 2
Fairfield 1 (8)

Freshman Lauren Liseth (pictured) hit 3 for 3, but the Fairfield Stags dropped a close one in extra inning to Towson in Greenville, NC Saturday.

A very different game against the Towson Tigers, to whom Fairfield lost 11-10 yesterday, but the Stags once again lost to them on a walk off hit. Lauren Liseth accounted for all the Stags' hits in this game, including a home run blast to center field in the 4th inning that tied the game. She also hit a pair of singles and stole a base, and is now hitting .556. Not bad for her first weekend of college ball.

Fairfield starter Sarah Minice pitched another strong game. Just as happened yesterday, she gave up a 1st inning run then pitched 6 consecutive shutout innings. But in the 8th inning, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect, and a runner beginning the inning at second base, Towson loaded the bases and singled home the winning run, which was unearned. Sarah finished with 3 strikeouts, allowing 6 hits.

The Stags will take on host East Carolina later today at the Pirate Clash.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Stags Lose Shootout

Towson 11
Fairfield 10

The Fairfield Stags lost a wild game in Greenville, NC, but discovered that they have a very talented freshman class. Towson prevailed with a walk off double in the bottom of the 7th inning and the Stags split on the first day of the Pirate Clash.

Freshman Rae Ball (pictured) was 3 for 3, including a 6th inning homer that gave the Stags a temporary lead after a dramatic comeback that saw them erase an 8-2 Towson lead. She also pitched four innings in this one. Freshman Lauren Liseth hit a pair of doubles; scored three times and knocked home a run. Freshman Kristen Filicia scored twice and drove home a run. Freshmen Mikayla Shumate and Kimi Kurata also had hits and scored a run apiece.

The Stags jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in this one. Tiffany Lawson, off to a great start this season, singled to open the game. She was thrown out stealing, but Lauren Liseth soon thereafter doubled and was sent home by Kristina Lingo's single. In the 2nd inning, Kristen Filicia singled home Mikayla Shumate who earlier singled.

Kelli Panter started the game for the Stags, but got into big trouble in the bottom of the 2nd inning, giving up 6 runs. She was relieved by Rae Ball who gave up another and the Stags were suddenly down 7-2. Towson would add another run in the 3rd inning to go up by 6 runs.

Fairfield made a stirring comeback beginning in the 5th inning. After Kristen Filicia reached base on an error, Lauren Liseth hit her second double to send her home. Lauren made it to 3rd base on the throw home, and scored herself off of a Kristina Lingo sacrifice fly. Ali Wigand singled and then Rae Ball smashed a double to left that scored Ali and the Stags pulled within 3 runs.

Fairfield would come all the way back in the 6th inning, scoring 5 runs. Kimi Kurata and Tiffany Lawson opened the inning with singles. The bases got loaded when Kristen Filicia was hit by a pitch. Lauren Liseth then walked, giving the Stags a run with still no outs. Kristina Lingo hit another sacrifice fly for another run. An Ali Wigand ground out tied the game, then Rae Ball clubbed a 2 run homer to give the Stags the lead once more, 10-8. Emily Orr relieved Rae Ball in the bottom of the 6th inning, but an illegal pitch, a wild pitch, and an error gave Towson a couple of unearned runs and the win.

Not a bad opening day for Fairfield. They found out that senior Sarah Minice can still be dominant, and that they have an exciting crop of freshmen who have already stood out and made themselves noticed. Senior Kristina Lingo had 4 RBIs on the day. The Stags continue at the Pirate Clash Saturday with a rematch against Towson and a game against host East Carolina.

Broncs Drop Opener

Rider 0

Box Score

The Rider Broncs began their 2011 season with cold bats producing only 2 hits in a 5-0 loss to Indiana University-Purdue Fort Worth at Greensboro, NC Friday.

Errors were also a problem for the Broncs; three in total led to three unearned runs. Starting pitcher Rachael Matreale surrendered 10 hits but only a pair of earned runs for Rider. Sam Pugh and Brittany Eckett had the lone hits.

Rider's scheduled game vs. Presbyterian was rained out, but will be made up Saturday.

Stags Open With Walk Off Win

Fairfield 2
Campbell 1

Sarah Minice (pictured) struck out six and Fairfield scored twice in the final two innings to open their 2011 season with a win in Greenville, NC Friday.

Looks like senior Sarah Minice is in top form already. She shut out Campbell for the final 6 innings today after surrendering a run to open the game. Campbell scored their only run of the game by executing a double steal after Sarah gave up a double, walk and wild pitch. After that she was in total control, not allowing a runner past second base the rest of the way.

The Stags did load the bases in the bottom of the 2nd inning, with no outs, but didn't really get their offense going until the 6th. In that inning, Tiffany Lawson opened with a single, her second hit of the game. A Lauren Liseth ground out advanced her to third; and she was sent home when Kristina Lingo singled to left field tying the game 1-1. Two Campbell errors in the 7th inning aided the Stags' cause. Rae Ball and Mikayla Shumate both reached, and were bunted over a base by pinch hitter Nikki Osofsky. Kimi Kurata then singled to load the bases. The next batter, Tiffany Lawson, hit a grounder to third but Rae Ball was forced out at home. With two outs, Campbell pitcher Lauren Stephan hit Kristen Filicia with a pitch which allowed Mikayla Shumate to cross the plate with the winning run.

Fairfield will play Towson in a few minutes at the Pirate Clash on the campus of East Carolina University.

Marist Drops Opener

Iowa State 10
Marist 1 (5)

The Marist Red Foxes had trouble generating much offense in their opening game of the 2011 season and fell to Iowa State 10-1. The start of the game was delayed for a couple hours due to some rain in Charleston, SC. After two scoreless innings, Iowa State scored a couple of unearned runs in the 3rd inning after two Marist errors and never looked back. Ashley Corriss (pictured) drove home the Red Foxes' only run of the game, scoring Alyxandra Ponce who had reached on a single. Marist finished with four hits. The Red Foxes will next play Drexel at 6pm today.

Rain Delays

Both Marist and Fairfield have had rain issues at their tournaments, but both teams will be getting underway shortly.

Canisius however have had to cancel their trip to Florida this weekend due to flight delays beyond their control.

*1:30 Update*
Rider is also in rain delay.

Marist To Open Season At Cougar Classic

The Marist Red Foxes head down to the College Of Charleston Friday where they will open their 2011 softball season playing in the Cougar Classic.

Besides the home team, they will also be playing: Iowa State; Drexel; Liberty; and Notre Dame. The tournament will conclude Sunday.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rider To Open Season At North Carolina A&T Invitational

The Rider Broncs will begin their 2011 softball season Friday in Greensboro, NC when they take part in the North Carolina A&T Invitational.

Besides the host team, the Broncs will play Indiana University-Purdue Fort Wayne (or IPFW); Presbyterian; and Western Carolina. There will be a Championship game on Sunday to close out the tournament.

New Unis For The Iona Gaels

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stags Open 2011 Season At The Pirate Clash

The Fairfield Stags will get their 2011 softball season underway when they travel to East Carolina for the Pirate Clash. The tournament opens on February 25.

The Stags will be challenged by some good teams this weekend. Besides the host Pirates, who were 44-18 in 2010 and a NCAA Tournament participant, the Stags will play Campbell, Towson and Lehigh. Fairfield is scheduled to play five games.

The Stags game with East Carolina will be streamed live (for a fee) here:

2011 MAAC Preview---Marist Red Foxes

2010 Record: 8th Place (10-35)
Departed Players: 3
Incoming Players: 6

Returning Players:
Megan Lamoureux (.342)
Nicole DiVirgilio (.291; 31 RBI)
Caitlin Schell (.294; 1-8, 9.53 ERA)
Christina Lausch (.262)
Ashley Corriss (.260)
Alyxandra Ponce (.254)
Joelle Zahka (.214)
Danielle Koltz (.205; 3-8, 3.98)
Sarah Carmody (.203)
Lindsay Durant (.148)
Emily Osterhaus (3-12; 4.95 ERA)

Incoming Players:
Haley Birnbaum
Aly Klemmer
Paige Lewis
Hayley Shelton
Nicole Van Loan
Alyssa Zahka

After reaching the MAAC Championship game in 2008 and barely missing the making the tournament in 2009, the Red Foxes have been in a rebuilding stage. This season's squad will be young with no seniors.

Nicole DiVirgilio begins her junior season at Marist after being named to the All-MAAC Second Team last season. The 2009 MAAC Co-Rookie Of The Year led the Red Foxes in RBIs. An outstanding defensive player, she can catch or play first base.

Junior Megan Lamoureux suffered a thumb injury in 2010, but was outstanding when she was able to play. She led the Red Foxes in average, slugging percentage, and on base percentage. It will be interesting to see what see can do healthy and playing every game.

Marist had a team ERA of over 5.00 in 2010, but freshman Emily Osterhaus became the Red Foxes main starter late in the season and began pitching well. In fact, she was named MAAC Rookie Of The Week in the last week of the season. In her last two starts, she lost to Canisius 2-0 and beat Niagara 5-3. These were two tournament teams she pitched very well against; she'll be given the chance to build on that this season. Caitlin Schell did not pitch as well as hoped last season; she did much better at the plate however hitting .294 including a game winning home run vs. St. Peter's. She may see more action in the outfield this season. Danielle Koltz had a decent ERA in 2010, but she also plays another position (shortstop). Marist will have three freshmen vying for time in the circle this year, Coach Ausanio will have to sort out a rotation that works.

Look for 2011 to be another season of rebuilding for Marist, but remember that every player will (potentially) return next season.

2011 MAAC Preview---Rider Broncs

2010 Record: 5th Place (16-31-1)
Departed Players: 6
Incoming Players: 5

Returning Players:
Heather Muscara (.364)
Amanda Centeno (.333)
Brittany Eckett (.310; 10 HR; 40 RBI)
Jen Steward (.260)
Sam Pugh (.239)
Samantha Mayer (.234)
Lucy Higgins (.226)
Alyssa Paul (.196)
Christina LoBrutto (.000)
Rachaele Matreale (11-18; 3.25)
Sam Bennett (1-6; 7.25)
Kelsey Krisch (4-6; 8.88)

Incoming Players:
Lisa Blanton
Ally Coryell
Laura Gallagher
Krysti Maronski
Kehli Washington

In 2010 the Broncs made an early run toward the MAAC Tournament but were derailed when they made their western trip to play at Canisius and Niagara. After that, they made a late season push to qualify but fell just short and finished in 5th place. This season they return a mix of seniors and underclassmen that will keep them competitive.

Senior Brittany Eckett had an All-MAAC type season in 2010 although she was inexplicably left off the All-MAAC team. She can hit for average and power; dangerous every time she steps up to the plate. Four times in 2010 she drove home 4 or more runs in a game. She has hit 19 home runs in her Rider career. Her numbers have improved each season; look for her to be back on the All-MAAC team in '11.

Senior Amanda Centeno was named All-MAAC in 2010, and with good reason. She had 11 multiple hit games in 2010, a season which saw her improve her batting average by 67 points from her sophomore year.

The MAAC doesn't have an All-Freshmen team, but this blog does and Heather Muscara was on it. As a freshman she hit .364 to go along with 26 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Heather is one of the most talented young players in the conference.

For the Broncs to be contenders in '11, their pitching must improve upon the team ERA of 5.23 they posted in 2010. Junior Rachael Matreale provides some hope for that improvement. She pitched the bulk of the innings for Rider last season, and her ERA was among the MAAC leaders until she faced Niagara and gave up 8 earned runs, then Canisius and 12 earned runs, both in less than 5 innings. On the positive side, she was named MAAC Pitcher Of The Week three times, and pitched a no hitter against conference rival Marist. It is hoped that another year of experience will have made her more consistent. If so Rider could be a factor in the MAAC race this season. Look for her to pitch a lot of innings again this season.

Rider has shown that they can smack the ball around. What they need to do now is prevent opposing teams from doing so.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Four More MAAC Teams Open Play This Weekend

The 2011 softball season really swings into action this coming weekend as four more MAAC schools will open their seasons.
Fairfield, Siena, Marist and Rider will begin play this week. Iona and Canisius will also be playing. I'll preview the upcoming tournaments later in the week.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Canisius Leaves South Carolina With A Win

Canisius 8
E. Tennessee St. 4

Box Score

The Golden Griffins finished the Cougar Classic with a 3-2 record after an 8-4 victory over East Tennessee State Sunday morning in Charleston, SC.

After committing 7 errors on Saturday, Canisius cleaned up their defensive game and perked up their offense as well. The Griffs jumped out to an early lead when Paige Freiberger doubled home Lauren Hope for a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning. Lauren was making her first appearance this season after missing her team's first four games due to food poisoning.

Canisius starter Caroline Main allowed a two run home run in the bottom of the same inning, but Canisius answered quickly in the top of the 2nd. Stephanie Pfentner singled home Lizzy Gatto and Katie Lancellotti scored on the subsequent bad throw and the Griffs retook the lead 3-2. Canisius added to that lead in the 3rd inning when Paige Freiberger walked; was bunted to second; stole third; and scored on a long foul out by Lizzy Gatto.

East Tennessee St. got one run back in the bottom of the 3rd inning and threatened to score more with runners at second and third bases and no outs. But Caroline Main struck out two batters and threw out a runner attempting to score to keep the Griffs in the lead. ETSU did eventually tie the game at 4-4 with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 5th inning.

Canisius scored what would prove to be the game winner when in the top of the 6th inning and with two outs Katie Medina (pictured) singled home Lauren Falzone for the Griffs' 5th run. Canisius would add three more runs in the top of the 7th with a Katie Lancellotti two run double and when she scored herself after a throwing error. Amanda Baun pitched the fianl two innings for Canisius and earned the save.

The Golden Griffins will next play a doubleheader at Mount Saint Mary's on President's Day.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Error Filled Day For Golden Griffins

Akron 10
Canisius 3

Towson 5
Canisius 1

Akron Box Score
Towson Box Score

Canisius lost a pair of games Saturday at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, SC committing 7 errors along the way.

By the time the Griffs batted in the 5th inning against Akron, they found themselves down 6-0 in large part due to the efforts of the Zips' senior Heather Bauer who was 4 for 4 in the game with a home run and 3 RBIs. She also pitched 4 innings of shutout ball. Canisius did attempt to come back in the bottom of the 5th however, loading the bases with no outs and scoring 3 runs on RBIs by Lauryn Chris, Paige Freiberger and Emily Helbig. But with the bases loaded and only one out they could produce no more. Akron scored 4 more runs in the 7th inning, courtesy of 2 Canisius errors (for a total of 3 in the game) to win going away.

The error bug hit the Griffs early in their game with Towson. A throwing error by catcher Stephanie Pfentner led to a pair of unearned runs, and Canisius was behind 3-0 before batting themselves. Griffs' starter Amanda Baun recovered from the inning, and struck out 7 before being relieved after the 6th inning, but Towson had all the runs they would need. Canisius had 6 hits in the game, but none of them timely until Chloe Contreras singled home a run in the bottom of the 7th. The Golden Griffins committed 4 errors in this game.

Canisius is 2-2 on the season, and finishes up the Cougar Classic with a game against E. Tennessee State Sunday morning.

Pair Of Wins For Canisius

Canisius 4
Charleston 3

Canisius 6
Morehead St. 4

Charleston Box Score

Morehead St. Box Score

Sophomore catcher Stephanie Pfentner (pictured) hit for 2 home runs and 4 RBIs as Canisius won their opening games of the 2011 season at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, SC Friday.

The Golden Griffins opened the day against the host team College Of Charleston. Caroline Main pitched for the first time since being injured in last season's MAAC Championship. The All-MAAC First Teamer struck out 6 on the way to her first win of the season. Canisius fell behind early in this game, with a home run contributing to a 3-0 Charleston lead. The Griffs bounced back to tie the game in the 5th inning on 3 hits and a crucial error. Lauren Falzone and Kerry Ulmer led off the inning with singles, then both scored when freshman Val Nappo laid down a sacrifice bunt which the Charleston pitcher Stephanie Saylors threw away. Val made it all the way to third base and was sent home on a sacrifice fly by Katie Medina. In the 6th inning, Stephanie Pfentner crushed a pitch over the left field fence to give Canisius the win.

Stephanie gave the Griffs an early lead in their second game of the night against Morehead St. when she lined a 2 run homer over the right field fence scoring Paige Freiberger who had previously walked. Amanda Baun started this game for Canisius, giving up a 2 run homer in the bottom of the 2nd inning that tied the game. An illegal pitch and a wild pitch got her into some trouble in the 4th inning and gave Morehead St. a 4-2 lead. But Canisius went ahead for good in the 5th inning on 3 hits. Katie Medina led off with a single, and was sent home by a Lizzy Gatto triple. Paige Freiberger sent Lizzy home with a double, and eventually scored on a passed ball to give the Griffs a 5-4 lead. Paige tripled in the 7th inning and scored again when Stephanie Pfentner singled to drive her home. Freshman Jen Consaul earned the save and struck out the final two Morehead St. batters to seal the victory. Amanda Baun was credited with the win.

Canisius continues in Charleston with two more games Saturday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Golden Griffins Open Season Friday

The Canisius Golden Griffins open their 2011 softball season Friday in Charleston, SC when they take part in the Cougar Classic hosted by the College Of Charleston. The Griffs will play Morehead St.; Akron; Towson; East Tennesse St.; and Charleston.

Canisius was 34-19 in 2010 with a 13-3 record in the MAAC.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Iona Settles For Weekend Split

Virginia Tech 8
Iona 1

Senior Melanie Gettins (pictured) homered in the 5th inning to provide Iona's only run in an 8-1 loss to Virginia Tech in the championship game of the 49er Round Robin in Charlotte, NC today.

All told, it was a pretty good opening weekend for the Gaels, who finished 2-2. Iona left with a .299 team batting average (led by Allyssa James and Erin Kyle, both at .429). Freshman Katie Jansson showed that she's ready for the prime time, and Sarah Jackson picked up a couple of wins.

The Gaels will next be in action on February 26-27 when they play in the Spartan Invitational at Norfolk, VA.

Gaels Bomb Charlotte; Earn Spot In Championship

Iona 11
Charlotte 3

Just in...
The Iona Gaels secured a berth in the championship game of the 49er Round Robin by beating host Charlotte today 11-3.

Senior Alyssa Maiese (pictured) led the Gaels to a 6 run 5th inning when she knocked a homer over the left field fence. This inning completed a comeback after the 49ers took an early 2-0 lead.

The Gaels pounded out 15 hits in this one, led by Jodi Petersen, Marissa Newman and Eileen McCann who each had 2 RBIs. Freshman Katie Jansson pitched in with a pair of hits and a RBI; Melanie Gettins posted the same numbers while Deanne Algeo and Beth Kann contributed to the cause with a RBI each. Allyssa James stood tall, hitting 4 for 5 and scoring twice. Sarah Jackson went the distance, striking out 7 49ers and earning her second win of the young season.

The Gaels (2-1) will have a rematch with Virginia Tech (3-0), to whom they lost 5-3 yesterday, in a few minutes for the championship of this tournament.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Gaels Fall Short Vs. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech 5
Iona 3

The Iona Gaels settled for a split on day one of the 49er Round Robin as they fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies 5-3 today in Charlotte, NC.

Iona got off to a great start in this one, taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning when Allyssa James (pictured) drove home Tessa Earley (who walked) and Alyssa Maiese (who singled) by smashing a double to center field. Virginia Tech however scored single runs in the next three innings off starting pitcher Maiese to take a lead they would never relinquish. The Hokies added single runs in the 6th and 7th innings, and held on for the win after the Gaels loaded the bases in the bottom of the 7th. Freshman Katie Jansson walked to force home the third Iona run, but Deanne Algeo then grounded out to end the game.

The Gaels had 5 hits in the game, with Eileen McCann picking up a pair of singles and Jodi Petersen accounting for the other hit. Alyssa Maiese allowed 12 hits and struck out 3, and she certainly pitched well enough to give her team a chance to win.

Sunday Iona will play host Charlotte, and then the round robin will have a championship/consolation game.

Iona Wins Opener

Iona 7
Wilmington 5

The Iona Gaels won their 2011 opener beating UNC-Wilmington 7-5 at the 49er Round Robin in Charlotte, NC today.

Softball season is underway, and the defending MAAC Champions are off to a good start. It's tough for the Northeast schools to begin play in early February, but the Gaels put on a good offensive display with the usual suspects leading the way. The big story of the game though was freshman Katie Jansson (pictured) hitting a 2 run homer in her collegiate debut. In fact, her home run provided the winning margin.

The Gaels got out of the gate early in this one, scoring twice in the 1st inning. After singles by Jodi Petersen and Tessa Earley, Alyssa Maiese stroked a double to center field to give Iona a 1-0 lead. The Gaels would score again on a Wilmington error, with Melanie Gettins getting the RBI.

In the second, the Gaels played small ball to produce a run. Erin Kyle singled, was sacrificed to second by Jodi Petersen, and driven home by Tessa Early to give Iona a 3-0 lead. Wilmington got one back in the third, but Iona scored again when Erin Kyle earned her second run off an Eileen McCann single. Wilmington responded with another run in the 4th inning, but Katie Jansson hit her homer in the 5th inning giving Iona 6 runs which would be good enough for victory. Jodi Petersen drove home pinch runner Tierney Markou for insurance.

Iona ace Sarah Jackson started and went the distance. She pitched fairly well for the first game of the season, striking out 5 and walking no one to pick up the win.

Iona is in action again later today against Virginia Tech.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Gaels Open 2011 Campaign In Charlotte Saturday

The Iona Gaels begin defense of their MAAC Championship Saturday morning in Charlotte, NC. I post a photo of the 2010 team because it's basically the same team this year. The Gaels return the whole starting lineup that was good enough to bring a championship to New Rochelle. Iona is the first MAAC team to begin this season, and will face a challenging group of teams. Host Charlotte is a top squad team in the Atlantic 10; Virginia Tech is an ACC school that made it to that conference's championship game in 2010; Wilmington plays in the Colonial Conference with teams like Hofstra. This is a round robin, and there will be a championship/consolation game on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Iona @ Charlotte Live Video

The Iona Gaels will be the first MAAC team to open the 2011 softball season when they play this weekend at the 49er Round Robin in Charlotte, NC. You will be able to watch them live (for a fee) when they play the host 49ers on Sunday. Don't know yet if the Gaels' other two games will be live streamed.
Bookmark this page:

Of course, we'll have full coverage of this weekend's opening games!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2011 MAAC Coaches Poll

  1. Iona College (73)
  2. Canisius College (71)
  3. Niagara University (63)
  4. Manhattan College (50)
  5. Fairfield University (41)
  6. Siena College (33)
  7. Marist University (32)
  8. Rider University (29)
  9. St. Peter's College (9)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

2011 MAAC Preview---Siena Saints

2010 Record: 7th Place (7-9)
Departed Players: 5
Incoming Players: 5

Returning Players:
Shannon Jones (.344; 6 HR, 33 RBI)
Mandy Ferro (.323)
Lyndsey McKeever (.271)
Sara Gallacchi (.212)
Courtney Brinkman (.207; 6-7, 3.93 ERA)
Alyssa Sceppaguercio (.200)
Kayla Kaminsky (.191)
Natasha Powlowsky (.179)
Jen Duell (.154)
Kristyn Vaughn (.141)
Kristen Borsella (7 Runs)
Amanda Filippazzo (8-22; 4.75 ERA)

Incoming Players:
Stefanie Sueda (Sophomore)
Darcy Gardner
Taylor Guerin
Samantha Ray
Jessika-Jo Sandrini

Although the Saints finished in 7th place in 2010, they showed definite improvement toward the end of the season and I expect them to continue to improve in 2011. Siena won 5 of their last 8 conference games, and had an outside shot at making the tournament last year. This season they have a new head coach, Bill Lajeunesse, who isn't so new as he has been at the school the previous four seasons as an assistant. When I saw Siena play last year, it seemed that he was already in charge (Coach Parks had announced she was leaving the school during the season). So I don't think there will be any difficulty in this transition. This year he has hired a full time pitching coach, first in the team's history. Abby Arceneaux will help develop the talented young pitchers joining the Saints this season.

Two talented freshmen led the Saints in hitting last season. Shortstop Shannon Jones had her impressive debut season capped off by being named to the All-MAAC Second Team. Shannon is a local product who was heavily recruited but decided to play for her hometown team, much to Siena's fortune. She led the Saints in hitting, homers, doubles and on base percentage. She did commit 23 errors at short, and will have to improve that number, but she just began playing the position her senior year of high school. Shannon Jones will be a force in the MAAC for the next three seasons.

Another local player who chose Siena is sophomore outfielder Mandy Ferro. Mandy had a terrific freshman season, finishing second on the team with a .323 average. A very good runner, she led the team in runs and stolen bases. She also pitched some, but I don't think she'll be seeing any time in the circle this season. Look for her to progress her play upward also.

Junior outfielder Lyndsey McKeever had a solid 2010, and will assume a leadership role on the team the next two years. Lyndsey is an outstanding fielder with speed; she was second on the team in stolen bases.

The Siena pitching staff could be interesting this season. Amanda Filippazzo's 2010 record is somewhat not indicative of her play. She won 5 of her last 7 conference games her sophomore season, keeping the Saints in the tournament hunt. Obviously she progressed as the season wound down, and pitched her best in the big games.

Senior Courtney Brinkman was steady in 2010, and also played well in the field and in the batter's box. She also will be a leader on this team. Joining the team this season are two strong and powerful pitchers. Either or both could be factors for the Saints this season, but of course you never know how a freshman pitcher will make the adjustment to division 1 softball. Darcy Gardner is an outstanding athlete from Seal Beach, CA. Jessika-Jo Sandrini hails from Adna, WA where she was Washington State Player Of The Year twice. She is also an outstanding hitter and will get some swings I believe. The Saints have a chance to have very solid pitching this season.

The Siena Saints are an up and coming team in the MAAC. They may be a year away from contending, but if they get big performances from key players and their pitching improves could be a surprise in 2011.