Saturday, April 14, 2012

Great Pitching Results in Iona-Niagara Split

Niagara's Julie DiMatteo won game one pitcher's duel with 4 hit shutout

Niagara 1
Iona 0

Iona 3
Niagara 0

Game One Box
Game Two Box

The Iona Gaels and Niagara Purple Eagles split a low scoring MAAC doubleheader Saturday in Lewiston, NY.

Game one of this series between the defending champs and Niagara had to be the MAAC game of the day. If you like pitchers duels, you couldn't ask for much better. Two seniors, the Gaels' Sarah Jackson and the Purple Eagles' Julie DiMatteo, matched each other pitch for pitch in this tense conference game. Eileen McCann tried to get things going for Iona when she singled in the second inning for the game's first hit, but she would be called out for leaving first base early trying to get into scoring position. After that, through the fourth inning, each team could only manage an infield single, as the two pitchers were in total control. The Purple Eagles struck for a couple of singles in the fifth inning by Sarah Anthon and Jaclyn Russell, but Sarah Jackson snuffed out that threat with an inning ending strikeout. Iona's only real threat came in the sixth inning when Eileen McCann blasted a pitch to center field good for a triple; but there were already two outs, and she never got further than third base. The bottom of the sixth opened with the game still scoreless, when Niagara freshman Ambur Farmer stunned the Gaels by ripping a pitch over the left field fence for a home run and the game's only score. It was Ambur's third homer of the year, and of course the biggest of her career. Julie DiMatteo is 3-0 since recovering from pneumonia, allowing only one run and six hits in those appearances.

Game two featured some more fine pitching. Niagara's starter Kim Bryson did well, holding Iona to three runs, all scored in the game's first three innings. But the real story was Iona's fifth year senior Alyssa Maise, who pitched out of her mind to ensure the Gaels left the Falls with a split. Alyssa mowed down 15 Purple Eagles in the game; walked only one; and allowed only two singles. Niagara had only one real chance in this one, in the fourth inning, but Alyssa refused to allow a runner to get past second base the whole game. Eileen McCann, who was immune to all the great pitching going on, had another 2 for 3 game and drove home the game's first run with a first inning double. Iona made it 2-0 in the second inning when Angie Nieves doubled home a run of her own. The Gaels added a third run in the third inning when freshman Allison Hand blasted a pitch over the left field fence. After that, Alyssa Maise put the game in cruise control for a 3-0 win.

Iona will take their 3-1 record to Canisius Sunday. Niagara at 1-1 hosts Fairfield.

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