Our 2011 MAAC season has come down to this---the #1 Stags vs. the #4 Gaels for the Championship of the MAAC.
Iona must beat Fairfield twice on Saturday to win the Championship, meaning they must beat Pitcher Of The Year Sarah Minice twice. This will be the senior's last and best chance to win the MAAC, and you can bet she'll be firing on all cylinders trying to get her team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time ever. But if anyone could beat her twice, it would be 2010 Pitcher Of The Year Sarah Jackson and the defending Champion Iona Gaels. Iona Coach Roni Rivera has an interesting choice to make. The Gaels must win twice on the final day, something that has been done only three times in MAAC history, and the question is: does she go with Sarah Jackson for both games? She did start Alyssa Maiese in the first game today, against Manhattan, and it worked out, with a well rested Sarah Jackson pitching the second game. But the Gaels had to come back twice to win that game, something that would not be easy to do against Sarah Minice. The whole season comes down to Saturday, so I see Coach Rivera starting Sarah Jackson in game one and going with what brought her there. As for Fairfield, keep in mind that Sarah Minice in the 2009 tournament pitched a 16 inning game, not to mention last season when she pitched and won both games of a doubleheader at Niagara in a must win situation.
The weather has been very good in Poughkeepsie, and Saturday's forecast calls for a very slight chance of rain with 70 for the high temperature. Game time is noon EDT.