Saturday, March 31, 2012

Conference Play Begins

The MAAC season begins with a pair of doubleheaders Sunday; the action will be getting intense from now until tournament time.

It looks to me like a number of teams could win it all this season; no one team stands out at the moment. In fact, as of this writing, no MAAC team has a winning record. Offensive production is down from last season. Let's look at the teams, from the bottom of the standings up.

Manhattan is having a difficult rebuilding season. And no wonder, having lost eight starters to graduation. They have had difficulty competing in many of their games.

St. Peter's, though improved somewhat offensively, still can not be considered a contender. They have competed more regularly than in the past two seasons however, and have some promising freshmen who need to see conference play.

Niagara of course lost Teresa Healy to graduation, and other talented players. This season, they are struggling mightily through injury and illness. Senior pitcher Julie DiMatteo has suffered with walking pneumonia. The ailments got so bad they had to cancel participation in their last scheduled tournament. It is questionable whether or not the team can recover from this. They still have a lot of talent on the roster though.

Canisius is the mystery of the MAAC. Although they have played a difficult pre-MAAC schedule, at times they have simply not played well. At other times, they have taken nationally ranked teams to the wire. Their pitching has been uneven; senior Caroline Main has pitched some great games, but also has pitched poorly. Junior Amanda Baun has turned into a non factor, pitching only nine innings this season. Sophomore Jen Consaul has had a lot put on her shoulders, and has had mixed results. Canisius has shown they can be explosive offensively, and are still a great running team. If they can get their pitching together, they will be a threat. Canisius has the tradition of strong conference play, so it's dangerous to count them out.

Siena leads the MAAC in hitting, and has shown great improvement in that area. The top of their order is explosive, and they have had multiple home run innings on a number of occasions. Shannon Jones is a very dangerous hitter, and should be feared by every MAAC pitcher. Their pitching has been decent, but has the potential to be better. The problem with the Saints is that they have had trouble closing games out. They've lost quite a few in late inning comebacks by opponents. They don't hold leads well, even big leads. This can probably be attributed to inexperience. And yet, the Saints are a real threat, and what they need is early success in conference play to build confidence.

As long as Rachael Matreale is in the circle, Rider can compete with any team in the MAAC. She's having a great senior season, and this year the Broncs are figuring ways to scratch out runs for her. She has a winning record. Rider's offense is still anemic, but they have players who have in the past produced offensively. It will be interesting to see if Rachael goes both games in MAAC doubleheaders. That would be my strategy, if she could handle it.

Marist is currently 12-17, but they have easily played the toughest schedule in the MAAC. They spent a couple of weeks facing a slew of nationally ranked teams, and performed well under that pressure. They are definitely toughened up for conference play. They still have the players that know how to drive home runs; Dani Koltz is having a great season. One of the Red Foxes' problem areas is they have committed too many errors, which can be deadly in close games. Also, their two starting pitchers from last season have not performed well as of yet; the freshmen have seen lots of circle time. But, Marist will be ready to play and will be hard to beat.

Fairfield no longer has that super Ace in the circle, but they are getting pretty good pitching this season from Becca Trott and Rae Ball. Offensively, they are a great running team, and have a balanced lineup. They also have had a challenging pre-MAAC schedule. Lately though, they have had trouble holding leads. Lauren Liseth is not hitting for as high an average as last season, but she has compensated with plenty of RBIs. Last year's freshmen class gained a lot of experience leading the Stags to the Championship game, which they nearly won. They have the tools to win it all.

Which brings us to defending champion Iona. The Gaels have the best pitching in the conference; and of course they are led by senior Sarah Jackson. You know that she won two games on Championship day last season; she is not going to be shaken in her final season. Redshirt senior Alyssa Maiese takes the pressure off Sarah in the regular MAAC season, as she too has pitched very well this year. So the Gaels will come at teams with two Aces. In spite of their great pitching, however, they both have records of only about .500. The Gaels haven't had a very difficult pre-MAAC schedule, and have struggled offensively at times. So if they're going up against a hot pitcher in conference play, likely you will see tight, low scoring games. But trumping everything is their experience; other teams will have to overcome that to dethrone them.

Well, I think it's going to be exciting at the top of the standings this season. Who will be dedicated enough to give their all for 16 games?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sarah Jackson Breaks Iona Win Record

52 wins most in Gaels history

Sarah Jackson interview in video below along with Head Coach Roni Rivera and Chelsea Sheehan.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monster Day For Shannon Jones, But...

Shannon Jones leads the MAAC in all offensive categories

Siena's Shannon Jones had a fabulous doubleheader at Binghamton Tuesday, hitting three homers and driving home six runs. The problem was, her Saints lost both games. The Siena pitchers found themselves in the circle with bases loaded way too many times, and it cost them. Binghamton won 5-4 and 9-6. Shannon is tops in the MAAC with a lofty .444 average, 69 points higher then the next best hitter.

The rest of the MAAC teams that played Tuesday did not fare well either, although Iona had a moment of excitement in their game at Hofstra. It looked like the Gaels were about to lose 7-2 in a game they were never really in. But with two outs in the seventh inning, the Pride shortstop committed an error that extended the game, and all of a sudden Jodi Petersen was clubbing a grand slam homer to pull her team to within 7-6! But that was as close as the Gaels would get. Fairfield lost a pair of games at cross state rival Central Connecticut by scores of 2-0 and 8-5.

More action coming Wednesday as we rapidly approach the games that really count.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Amber Velasquez Commits To Saint Peter's

Amber Velasquez of Hopewell Junction, NY has verbally committed to play softball at St. Peter's College beginning in the 2013 season. She will sign her National Letter Of Intent in April.
Amber is an infielder, primarily a shortstop, for the New York State AA Champion John Jay High School Patriots. She plays travel ball with the Hudson Valley Hurricanes Gold.

Congratulations Amber!

Monday, March 26, 2012

MAAC Stars Of The Week* 3/26/12

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

Player Of The Week

Eileen McCann, Iona Gaels

Eileen continued her surge to the top of the MAAC hitting parade last week, swinging for a .700 average. In the process, she established an Iona record for career home runs. She also sparked a seventh inning comeback against St. John's. And she produced another blog entry!

Pitcher Of The Week

Janine Lalli, Marist Red Foxes

Janine is having an impressive freshman season with the Red Foxes, leading the pitching staff with a 5-1 record. She had a great week, compiling a record of 2-0 with a three inning save thrown in, and a stingy 1.64 ERA.

Freshman Of The Week

Nicole Olmeda, Saint Peter's Peahens

Nicole had a fabulous week for the offensively improved Peahens. She hit for a .600 average, with two home runs and five RBIs. One of the homers was of the grand slam variety, hit against Seton Hall.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

MAAC Saturday

Canisius played their first ever indoor game Saturday

Lots of action in the MAAC Saturday on the eve of conference play.

Canisius played their first indoor game in history when they faced off against #24 Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. It was odd seeing softball played on a football field.

The Golden Griffins lost a heartbreaker to Syracuse, 6-5, when the Orange scored the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Lizzy Gatto had given Canisius a 5-3 fifth inning lead when she hit a three run homer over the makeshift left field fence. Lizzy had two homers and six RBIs on the day, but the Griffs also lost their previous game, which was played outdoors, to Colgate 5-4 in eight innings. The two close losses extended the Canisius losing streak to eleven games.

Iona played a doubleheader at St. John's Saturday, losing the first game 4-0, but coming back late in game two to win 3-1 in eight innings. Alyssa Maise pitched a great game in the win, allowing only two hits while striking out seven. Nevertheless, the Gaels were trailing 1-0 when the seventh inning began. Brianna Schauer hit a lead off double however, and eventually scored to tie the game on Deanne Algeo's sacrifice fly. The Gaels won it in the eighth when the red hot Eileen McCann hit a one out double, and scored on a Katie Jansson sacrifice fly. Brianna Schauer then hit another double for an insurance run.

Fairfield split their doubleheader at Providence, also winning a game with a comeback. Trailing game one 3-1, the Stags scored three runs in the seventh inning for the win. After Mikayla Shumate singled home a run to pull Fairfield to within 3-2, Rae Ball hit a two out single to drive home the tying and winning runs. The Stags lost game two 4-2.

Marist played a doubleheader at Holy Cross. The Red Foxes exploded for a 12-3 win in game one, blasting 14 hits and taking advantage of four Crusaders' errors. Ally Klemmer homered and drove home a pair of runs; Nicole DiVirgilio had three RBIs; Alyssa Zhaka drove home two runs. Marist dropped the second game 6-3.

Manhattan dropped two games at Lafayette; 3-0 and a heartbreaking 8-7 loss which saw four lead changes and ten hits by the young LJs. St. Peter's lost two home games to Columbia; 5-2 and 7-1. Rider continued play at the Penn Spring Invitational, but lost to Penn 9-1, and to Villanova 5-1.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rider Beats Army In Extras

Alyssa Paul drove home the winner for the Broncs

Rider 2
Army 1 (8)

Box Score

The Rider Broncs won an extra inning game over Army Friday at the Penn Spring Invitational in Philadelphia, PA.

Senior Rachael Matreale continued to get the offensive help from her team that she didn't receive last season, pitching another stingy game for her sixth win of the season. Rachael held Army to five hits, while striking out seven and walking only one batter. The Broncs took the lead in the top of the first inning when Alyssa Paul rocked a pitch over the left field fence. Army got the equalizer in the bottom of the fifth inning, resulting in extra innings needed to decide the game. In the top of the eighth inning, with the international tiebreaker rule in effect and Sam Pugh on third base after being sacrificed over by Kehli Washington, Alyssa Paul hit a two out single to give Rider the go ahead run. In the bottom of the eighth, Army did bunt their tiebreaker runner to third base, but Rachael Matreale induced two easy outs to end the game. Alyssa Paul and Gina McCool each had a pair of hits for Rider, who continue play at the Penn Spring Invitational with games against Villanova and Penn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

McCann Breaks Iona Home Run Record

Iona home run Queen

Breaking news...

Junior outfielder Eileen McCann broke the all-time Iona career home run record when she launched one over the fence in the fifth inning of the Gaels' game at Temple this afternoon. Eileen's homer broke the record held by Liz Hammel ('05). Eileen now has a chance to firmly establish herself in the Iona record book.

Monday, March 19, 2012

MAAC Stars Of The Week* 3/19/12

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

Player Of The Week

Shannon Jones, Siena Saints

Shannon had a great week in Baltimore, hitting safely in all seven games the Saints played. She hit for a .522 average, with a home run and eight RBIs. She also hit five doubles and a triple. Shannon raised her average to .435, tops in the MAAC.

Pitcher Of The Week

Becca Trott, Fairfield Stags

Becca quite simply pitched out of her mind last week in Florida. She had a record of 5-1 with a miniscule .053 ERA. But she also pitched fabulous games against two nationally ranked opponents, beating South Florida 2-1, then losing a pitcher's duel to Florida State 2-0, a game in which she allowed only four hits to the Seminoles. Sarah who? (Just kidding Ms. Minice!)

Co-Freshmen Of The Week

Meg Volz, Siena Saints

Stephanie Viggiano, Siena Saints

The Saints have some exciting new players on this year's roster, two of whom had a great seven games in Baltimore. Meg hit for a .412 average, while Stephanie hit .417. Too close to call, so they share this week's honor.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

MAAC Saturday

Rough Saturday for MAAC softball with only two wins. Rachael Matreale continued her fine pitching as she led Rider to a 3-1 victory over Wagner in Kissimmee, FL. Rachael pitched a two hitter with seven strikeouts. Sam Pugh and Ally Coryell had RBIs in the game. The Broncs also dropped a close on to Howard, 1-0. Kelsey Krisch and Krysti Maronski combined for a four hitter, but Rider got no offense in this one.

Iona topped Providence 8-1 in Clearwater, FL. Sarah Jackson scattered seven hits while striking out seven. Eileen McCann led the Gaels' offensive charge with a perfect 4 for 4 game, driving home three runs. Deanne Algeo had a pair of hits and one RBI. Iona lost to Dartmouth 2-1 later in the day.

Niagara struggled mightily at the plate Saturday being no hit and one hit in losses to Eastern Michigan and Dayton in Oxford, OH. Canisius saw their losing streak extended to eight games with losses to Long Island and Bryant in Clearwater. The Griffs' Lizzy Gatto was 4 for 4 against Bryant and increased her consecutive stolen base count to 30. Marist concluded their difficult Hawai'i trip with a 14-2 loss to #21 Texas Tech. All told however, it was a productive trip for the Red Foxes. St. Peter's dropped a couple of games in Kissimmee, FL, but continued to see improved offensive production. The Peahens lost to Army 5-3 in eight innings; then lost 14-7 to Green Bay in a wild game which saw them coming from behind to tie the game at 7-7. MAAC leader Fairfield dropped a close game to nationally ranked Florida St. 2-0 in Clearwater. Becca Trott allowed only five hits against the Seminoles. The Stags dropped another close on to Florida Gulf Coast, 6-4, later in the day. Kristen Filicia had a pair of hits. Manhattan lost a pair of games to Texas Tech in South Orange, NJ. Katie Bowen had three hits in the doubleheader. Siena lost to Robert Morris 3-1 in Baltimore, MD. Shannon Jones had a pair of hits in the loss.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Red Foxes Battle Number One

Alyssa Zhaka was 3 for 3 against the nation's top ranked team

#1 California 1
Marist 0

Just in...

Marist went toe to toe with the nation's number one ranked team in Hawai'i today, losing 1-0 to California. The Red Foxes outhit Cal 6-5, led by Alyssa Zhaka's perfect 3 for 3 day. Freshman Melanie White once again pitched splendidly against a nationally ranked team, allowing just one run on five hits; she struck out four. Marist will be very toughened up come conference play.

Fairfield Upsets #24 South Florida

Complete game win for Becca Trott

Just in...

The Fairfield Stags have defeated #24 South Florida in Tampa today by a 2-1 score. Ali Wigand and Kristen Filicia drove home runs in the first two innings and the Stags never trailed. Becca Trott pitched a great game, holding the nationally ranked Bulls to four hits on their home field.

Earlier in the day, Fairfield lost to Northwestern 12-1.

Jackson Sets Iona Strikeout Record With 14 Ks in 1-0 Win

Greatest pitcher in Iona College history

Just in...

Iona's Sarah Jackson struck out 14 batters in a 1-0 win over Dartmouth at the USF Tournament in Clearwater, FL today. The Gaels scored an unearned run on a throwing error which scored Angie Nieves; Sarah did the rest in a dominant performance. In this game, Sarah Jackson broke the all-time Iona record for strikeouts in a career, previously held by Becky Riccitelli ('08).

In an earlier game today, the Gaels fell to Colgate 2-1.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Peahens Win First In Dramatic Fashion

Team effort brings win for St. Peter's

St. Peter's 4
Howard 3

The St. Peter's Peahens won their first game of the season Wednesday at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL.

The Peahens entered the seventh inning of their game with Howard down 3-0, but emerged victorious. After a single by Taylor Corretjer and a walk by Nicole Olmedo led off the inning, Krystine Rice continued her impressive freshman season by driving a run home. RBIs by Michelle Tinajero and Tori Feorenzo tied the game before Nicole Schnecker sent home the winner.

St. Peter's continues at the Spring Games with a pair of games today.

Saints Move Into Second Place With Sweep

Shannon Jones was 5 for 7 with 5 RBIs

Siena 5
Coppin St. 3

Siena 9
Coppin St. 4

Game 1 Box

Game 2 Box

The Siena Saints swept a doubleheader over Coppin State in Baltimore, MD Wednesday and evened their record at 5-5.

Siena struck for 20 hits in the doubleheader and never trailed in either of the games. The Saints opened the scoring in game one on a first inning sacrifice fly RBI off the bat of Jessika-Jo Sandrini which scored Mandy Ferro, who had led off with a double. The Saints broke a 1-1 tie in the top of the fourth inning after the deadly combination of Jessika-Jo and Shannon Jones led off by both tripling. Shannon scored as a result of a sacrifice fly by Meg Volz. The Saints added runs in the final two innings on singles by Nastasha Powlowsky and Mandy Ferro for a 5-3 final score. Mandy Ferro was 3 for 4 in the game; Samantha Ray 2 for 3. Amanda Filippazzo picked up the win, allowing only two earned runs.

Siena jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second game of the day. A Shannon Jones double scored Jessika-Jo Sandrini, who had walked, in the first inning to open the scoring. The Saints scored four more runs in the third; another Shannon Jones double scored two runs. A Meg Volz double scored another. And yet another double, this time off the bat of Abby Carpenter, got another run home. Coppin State did score four runs of their own in the bottom of the frame to make it a game, but the Saints shut that door quickly by scoring three more in the top of the fourth inning. Jessika-Jo Sandrini, Shannon Jones and Meg Volz all drove home runs. Abby Carpenter's sixth inning homer put icing on the cake of a 9-4 win. Freshman Abby was 3 for 4 in this game with a pair of RBIs; Shannon Jones was also 3 for 4 and drove home four. Jessika-Jo Sandrini picked up the win and struck out ten batters. Lyndsey McKeever made an appearance after fracturing her jaw earlier in the season.

The Saints will stay in Baltimore for a split doubleheader Thursday against UMBC and St. Francis.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Another Win For Rachael Matreale

Rachael continues her hot streak

Rider 5
Farleigh Dickinson 2

Nebraska-Omaha 3
Rider 0


UN-O Box

The Rider Broncs continued play at the Rebel Spring Games today in Kissimmee, FL as senior Rachael Matreale got another win in the circle.

Rachael Matreale struck out 9 batters and her team gave her a 5-0 lead to work with as she extended her streak to four games without a loss. Lauren Davies was 2 for 3 in the game with a pair of RBIs; Sam Pugh, Samantha Mayer and Heather Muscara all drove home runs as well. Krysti Maronski pitched well in the second game of the day against Nebaraska-Omaha, but the Broncs could generate only two hits and fell 2-0.

Monday, March 12, 2012

MAAC Stars Of The Week* 3/12/12

*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 returned to the top of the MAAC hitting leaders with a great weekend in Baltimore. She hit for a .583 average, with a home run and four RBIs. She also picked up a win in the circle.

Pitcher Of The Week

Amanda Filippazzo, Siena Saints

Amanda continued her stingy senior season, pitching in three games over the weekend. She had a 1-1 record with a .058 ERA while striking out ten batters.

Freshman Of The Week

Ambur Farmer, Niagara Purple Eagles

Ambur helped the Purple Eagles win 3 of 4 in Baltimore this past weekend by hitting .467. She hit two home runs, drove home three and scored five runs.

Becca Trott Throws 2 Hitter; Stags Sweep

Becca led Fairfield back into action

Fairfield 4
Columbia 1

Fairfield 7
Army 0

Columbia Box

The Fairfield Stags jumped back into first place with a pair of wins Monday at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL.

After a layoff which included a rain canceled Sunday, Fairfield finally got back on the field today with a couple of solid wins. Against Columbia, the Stags got on the board in the top of the first inning with Ali Wigand and Rae Ball RBIs. Columbia scored their only run in the bottom of the same inning, but would get no closer as Fairfield starter Becca Trott would allow only one hit over the final six innings. The Stags added a run in the fourth inning when Brianna Levick singled home Sammy Ruffolo. Lauren Liseth's RBI single in the seventh inning gave the Stags a 4-1 win. Fairfield had ten hits in the game, with Lauren, Sammy and Kristen Filicia all hitting safely twice. The Stags stole six bases in the game.

Fairfield shutout Army in their second game of the day, 7-0. No details as of yet.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Red Foxes On The Radio

Alyssa Zhaka just hit a 2 out, RBI single in the bottom of the 7th to give Marist a 3-2 win over S. Illinois. The Red Foxes sent two freshman to the circle tonight, Melanie White and Janine Lalli, and they both did a great job.
And I just watched softball for 16 1/2 hours straight. Good night!

The Red Foxes put up a good fight, but lost to #17 Hawai'i 4-0.
And they are now playing in the middle of the night against S. Illinois!
Marist's game at #17 Hawai'i will be broadcast live tonight. The Red Foxes haven't yet taken the field today as I write this at 9:30 pm EDT. The game preceding is running late. But Marist should take the field shortly after 10 pm Poughkeepsie time.
Here's the link:

The Red Foxes will be playing another game after this, against S. Illinois, that will probably run well past midnight!

Broncs Fit To Be Tied

Kehli Washington scored both Rider runs

Rider 2
Utah Valley 2


The Rider Broncs played a seven inning, rain halted tie with Utah Valley Sunday at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL.

Almost all of the Rebel Games Sunday schedule was wiped out by rain, affecting a number of MAAC teams, but Rider got one game in...sort of. The Broncs and Wolverines played a complete seven innings, but the game was tied 2-2. The rain made further play impossible, so it goes in the books as a tie. Rachael Matreale pitch another great game for Rider, striking out nine batters and allowing only three hits. The Broncs had six hits, with Gina McCool driving home a run.

Rider and the other MAAC teams in Kissimmee will attempt to get back on the field Monday.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

MAAC Saturday

Julie DiMatteo strikes out 13 for Niagara

Elsewhere in the MAAC this Saturday...

Niagara completed a two game sweep in Baltimore with a 6-1 win over Coppin State. Julie DiMatteo went the distance, allowing only three hits while striking out a baker's dozen. Ambur Farmer and Alexis Wayne were both 3 for 4 in this game; Gabrielle Lustrinelli drove home a pair of runs.

Marist split a pair of games in Hawai'i, defeating Robert Morris 7-6 and losing to Radford 5-1. In the game against RMU, Nicole DiVirgilio and Haley Birnbaum each drove home a pair of runs. Emily Osterhaus got the win, allowing only two earned runs. Nicole homered in the game against Radford.

Manhattan is still looking for win number one after dropping two games at the Rebel Spring Games, 3-0 to Holy Cross and 4-1 to Utah Valley. Amy Bright struck out six in the game against Holy Cross.

Saints Split At The Dawg Pound

A homer and circle win for Jessika-Jo in game one

Siena 8
Mount St. Mary's 5

Siena 2

Mt. St. Mary's Box


The Siena Saints split a pair of games at the Dawg Pound Invitational Saturday in Baltimore, MD.

Jessika-Jo Sandrini got the Saints marching early in their game against Mount St. Mary's when she hit a two run homer in the first inning after leadoff batter Mandy Ferro had drawn a walk. The Mount tied the game right up in the second, so J-J drove home another pair with a single, which came after a Mandy Ferro RBI single. (Correct your box scores, J-J had four RBIs). Siena then put the game out of reach in the third inning, thanks to a Meg Volz RBI triple, a fielder's choice RBI from Samantha Ray and a wild pitch that scored Alyssa Sceppaguercio. Jessika-Jo earned the win in this game also, striking out six over five innings before being relieved by Amanda Filippazzo.

Unfortunately, the Saints let one slip away in their second game of the day. Siena grabbed a 2-1 lead over host UMBC with a pair of third inning runs. After loading the bases, UMBC pitcher Katie Ferguson hit Shannon Jones, which caused a run to cross the plate. In hindsight, it may have been good strategy keeping Shannon's bat off the ball in that situation. A walk issued to Meg Volz brought home another run. Amanda Filippazzo was cruising with two outs and no runners on in the sixth inning when shortstop Stephanie Viggiano committed an error which extended the inning and turned into a disaster, as UMBC would go on to score four unearned runs and win the game 5-2.

Siena continues at the Dawg Pound Invitational with a pair of games Sunday.

Golden Griffins Go On The Offensive

Lizzy Gatto has stolen 28 consecutive bases

Canisius 7
Green Bay 5

Canisius 10
Cleveland St. 6

The Canisius Golden Griffins scored 17 runs on their way to a pair of wins at the South Florida Showcase in Clearwater, FL Saturday.

After being stymied offensively until the 7th inning of Friday night's loss to East Tennessee St., the Golden Griffins saw their offensive production explode today. They grabbed a quick 6-0 lead over Wisconsin-Green Bay in the day's first game, courtesy of RBIs by Robin Kennery, Jen Consaul, Lauren Falzone, Val Nappo and a pair from Lizzy Gatto through the game's first two innings. Green Bay chipped away at starter Caroline Main until Robin Kennery drove home another run in the seventh inning to seal the 7-5 victory.

Against Cleveland State, the Griffs exploded for eight runs in the first inning, pounding out the same number of hits. Robin Kennery drove home two runs, followed by Erica Afanador's double which sent home a pair. Michelle DelPrince then singled home another two. Michelle then scored with a steal of home before Lizzy Gatto drove home another run. As in the first game, Canisius saw their big lead shrink, this time with Cleveland St, pulling to within 8-6. But the Golden Griffins would steal home twice in the fifth inning, with Stephanie Pfentner and Lauren Falzone beating throws. Canisius stole eight bases in this game, three by Lauren Falzone, and two by Lizzy Gatto, who has stolen 28 in a row and is now second all-time on the national division 1 career list for stolen base percentage. Jen Consaul picked up the win.

Canisius improves to 4-8, and plays Northern Iowa on Sunday morning to wrap up the tournament.

Niagara Beats Seton Hall

Ambur Farmer smashed two homers

Niagara 8
Seton Hall 4

The Niagara Purple Eagles opened play at the Dawg Pound Invitational in Baltimore, MD with an 8-4 win over Seton Hall Saturday morning.

Niagara got on the board immediately when freshman Ambur Farmer led off the game with a solo homer; more to come from her later. Seton Hall tied the game in the bottom of the first inning, but the Purple Eagles responded quickly, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the second, thanks to a Gabrielle Lustrinelli two run single. Seton Hall pulled to within a run in the third inning, but again Niagara responded immediately, this time scoring three times in the top of the fourth inning. A two RBI single by Becky Zill, and an RBI by Jen Hare gave the Purple Eagles a 6-2 lead. Ambur Farmer hit her second homer of the game in the sixth inning, after a Brittany Richberg single, giving her three RBIs and Niagara an 8-4 win. Ambur was 3 for 4 in this game, Brittany hit 2 for 2, with three runs scored. Kim Bryson went the distance for Niagara, and struck out 11 Pirates.

Niagara is now 2-8, and will play at Coppin State later today.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Red Foxes In Hawai'i For Spring Break

The Marist Red Foxes are in Hawai'i for a couple of tournaments over the next week. This weekend they will take part in the Malihini Kipi Aloha Tournament. Friday night at 11 pm ET they will play the host Rainbow Wahine, who sport a 17-0 record.

Elsewhere in the MAAC this weekend, Canisius will take part in the South Florida Showcase; Niagara and Siena will play in the Dawg Pound Invitational in Baltimore; Rider, Manhattan, St. Peter's and Fairfield will be at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lady Jaspers Open Seaon In Florida

The Manhattan College Lady Jaspers will become the final MAAC school to open their 2012 softball season when they begin play Friday at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL. The LJs will be at the games for about a week, and have a total of ten games scheduled.

Manhattan is the big unknown in the MAAC this season. Gone is the class of '11, comprised of eight players who led the Lady Jaspers to three consecutive tournament appearances. That's a huge turnover, and naturally the team is forecast to suffer growing pains. But the truth is that no one knows what will happen for them this season; remember that Fairfield had a big turnover last year, but saw their freshmen propel the team all the way to the MAAC Championship game. Returning for Manhattan is senior catcher Carla Velasquez, who will anchor the defense and captain the team. Also returning is Katie Bowen. Katie is coming off a great freshman season which saw her hit .336, mostly playing the infield. Katie was a great high school pitcher, however, who did not see much time in the circle last season because of the seniors ahead of her. She performed well when she did pitch though, with a 3-1 record. As for the freshmen, they will get plenty of chances to prove themselves in 2012. The LJs also have a junior class that did not see much playing time; that will change this season.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Matreale Strikes Out 11 In Win

Total control

Rider 2
Drexel 0

Just in...
Rachael Matreale's two hitter led the Rider Broncs to a 2-0 win over Drexel this afternoon in Lawrenceville, NJ.

Rachael struck out 11 Dragons in the game, walking only three. She did not allow a hit until the 5th inning, and did not allow a runner past second base in a game which saw her in complete control. Rider got a run in the fourth inning after Sam Pugh doubled home Gina McCool who had led off with a double of her own. The Broncs added a run in the fifth inning courtesy of Samantha Mayer's homer over the left field fence.

The Broncs improved their record to 2-8, and play the second game of the doubleheader shortly.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Broncs Open Home Schedule

Herb & Joan Young Field

The Rider Broncs will be the first MAAC team to play at home when they host Drexel for a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon. The weather in Lawrenceville, NJ calls for lots of sunshine, but a high of only 42.

Senior Rachael Matreale has been pitching very well of late, but the Broncs have an exciting new player on their roster. Freshman catcher Allysen Breeden has been on fire this season. She's second in the MAAC with a .458 average, and leads the conference with 11 RBIs.

2012 Statistics

This season's statistics are now posted and will be updated through the remainder of the season.
Click the statistics tab on the top of this page to view.

MAAC Stars Of The Week* 3/5/12

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

Player Of The Week

Alyssa Maiese, Iona Gaels

Alyssa hit .400 this past weekend, with a home run and eight RBIs, including the extra inning winner vs. UMBC that capped a wild comeback. She also had a four RBI game against James Madison.

Pitcher Of The Week

Rachael Matreale, Rider Broncs

Rachael was 1-1, with a shutout and a 1.07 ERA. She surrendered only six hits in the two games, and struck out 13 batters.

Freshman Of The Week

Allysen Breeden, Rider Broncs

Allysen continued the great start to her college career by hitting for a .636 average over the weekend, with a home run and seven RBIs.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Much Better Day For The MAAC

Rachaele Matreale threw 2 hit shutout

After a disappointing Friday, MAAC teams bounced back with some big wins on a rain drenched Saturday as tournament play continued.

I have previously told you about Siena's impressive win over Army. Rider also scored their first victory of the season behind a masterful performance by their All-MAAC pitcher Rachael Matreale. The Broncs defeated George Mason at that school's Patriot Classic, 5-0. Rachael was dominant, striking out six Patriots while walking no one. She surrendered just a pair of harmless singles, which were GMU's only base runners. The Broncs exploded for five runs in the fourth inning to take the game. Freshman Allysen Breeden continued her good play with a three run blast over the left field fence; Sam Pugh followed her with a two run shot of her own, and the Broncs were in the win column.

Niagara secured their first win of the season also, holding on to beat Princeton 4-3 at the Retriever Classic. Julie DiMatteo started for the Purple Eagles, and threw five strong shutout innings before being relieved by Bri Allen. The game was scoreless after five innings, but Becky Zill changed that in the sixth when she hit her second homer of the season, a two run shot. Aileen Hinton hit her first career home run in the seventh before Alexis Wayne doubled home a run that turned into the winner. Princeton went on to score three times in the bottom of the seventh, but left a runner stranded at second base as Niagara sealed the deal.

Marist won a pair of games today at the Patriot Classic, first shutting down Cornell 6-0. Emily Osterhaus pitched the complete game shutout, throwing a two hitter with eight strikeouts. Freshman Taylor Kuzma had a pair of hits and an RBI in the win. Because of the rains forcing rescheduling, Marist then played a rare non-conference game against MAAC rival Rider, which was won by the Red Foxes 7-4. Paige Lewis picked up the win, striking out six Broncs, and allowing only one earned run.

Fairfield jumped into first place with a win over Providence College in a game played at Towson. The Stags won 5-3, with Rae Ball gaining the win with six strong innings of pitching. Mikayla Shumate, Lauren Liseth, Ali Wigand, Rachel Beaudoin and Rae Ball all contributed RBIs, with Rae's coming from a home run.

Elsewhere in the MAAC, Canisius lost to UMBC 6-4 in the completion of their suspended game; Iona lost to Princeton 5-2. St. Peter's saw both of their scheduled games rained out.

Saints Grab First Win

Mandy Ferro lit up Army's pitching

Siena 8
Army 2


The Siena Saints picked up their first win of the season Saturday at the Colonial Classic in Washington, D.C.

Rain is still wreaking havoc on MAAC teams this weekend, but the Siena Saints managed to get a game in today, and broke out their bats in doing so. Going up against Army, the Saints jumped out to a quick lead in the second inning when Nastasha Powlowsky smashed a pitch out of the park that scored pinch runner Stephanie Sueda for a 2-0 advantage. Army got one of those runs back in the top of the third inning, and then tied the game in the top of the sixth inning before Siena exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Lyndsey McKeever, Mandy Ferro and Alyssa Sceppaguercio all pitched in RBIs before Shannon Jones salted the game with a three run shot. Shannon has two homers and five RBIs in the Saints' first three games this year. Amanda Filippazzo was rock steady in earning the complete game win. Mandy Ferro finished the game 3 for 4; Nastasha Powlowsky 2 for 3.

The Saints' scheduled game today against Buffalo was canceled. They will conclude play at the Colonial Classic Sunday with a game against host George Washington.

MAAC Friday

Who can beat Sarah "Stonewall" Jackson?

Rain interrupted much of the action Friday, but defending champion Iona did squeeze in two victories at the Retriever Classic in Baltimore, MD. Again, the rest of the MAAC did not fare so well.

The Gaels won in five innings, 2-0 at Coppin State before the rains made it impossible to play. They also beat James Madison 3-0 behind the three hit pitching of Sarah Jackson. Sarah got into a wee bit of trouble late in the game against the Dukes, but calmly struck out a pair of hitters to end that threat. Otherwise, she was "lights out". To see her so on her game this early in the season must make other MAAC teams wonder how they will ever beat her. Again the Gaels didn't produce much offense, but they got the few runs Sarah needs and let her do the rest.

Canisius, Niagara, Marist and Rider all lost games to the rain. Marist and Rider didn't even get on the field today at George Mason's Patriot Classic. Canisius and Niagara both got a game in at the Retriever Classic, and lost. Canisius gave up nine runs to the same team Sarah Jackson shutout, losing 9-5 to JMU. Niagara dropped a 7-5 game to undefeated Farleigh Dickinson. Siena, playing in Washington D.C. got a couple of early games in before the rain, losing 2-1 to Robert Morris, and 5-2 to Stony Brook. Shannon Jones was 3 for 5 with a home run and two RBIs on the Saints' opening day. And St. Peter's lost big twice.

The Saturday schedule is altered; it may be again due to weather. Stay tuned.