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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Golden Griffins Return To Tournament With Sweep Of Rider

Katie Medina's first inning homer in game one set the pace for the Griffs

Canisius 8
Rider 2

Canisius 3
Rider 2

Game One Box

Game Two Box

The Canisius Golden Griffins clinched a berth in the MAAC Tournament when they swept the Rider Broncs Sunday in Buffalo, NY.

It was a rare occurrence in 2011 when Canisius did not make an appearance in the MAAC Tournament, and the team made it their mission to get back this season. The Golden Griffins would need a win in their doubleheader against Rider to qualify, and got it in game one with an 8-2 win. The Griffs pounced on starter Rachael Matreale in the first inning, taking advantage of a Lucy Higgins error that allowed leadoff hitter Lauren Falzone to reach base. After Robin Kennery singled, which moved Lauren to third base, a passed ball gave Canisius a 1-0 lead. Katie Medina then stepped up and lifted a pitch just over the right field fence for a 3-0 lead. Rider had an excellent chance to get back into the game when they loaded the bases, with no outs, in the third inning. Alyssa Paul did drive home Lucy Higgins, who beat the throw, but Canisius starter Jen Consaul would get the next three outs to avoid a big inning by the Broncs. The Griffs got that run back in the bottom of the same inning when Katie Medina drove home Lizzy Gatto for her third RBI of the game. Rider pulled to within two in the top of the fifth inning when Sam Pugh, facing reliever Caroline Main, smashed a solo homer over the center field fence. But Canisius again responded in the same inning, this time scoring four runs. After Katie Lancellotti drew a walk, Robin Kennery doubled, which allowed Katie to score on a throwing error. Canisius would go on to load the bases for senior Lauryn Chris, who would smash a pitch to the left field gap for a double, clearing the bases and giving her team an 8-2 lead. Jen Consaul earned the win, with Caroline Main, who has been effective as a reliever, picking up the save. Rachael Matreale suffered the loss.

Rachael would make her final start in a Rider uniform in game two, pitching five innings. Rider relied heavily on her this season; and she gave everything she had. There probably wasn't a player more valuable to her team than Rachael. Canisius, however, jumped to a 2-0 first inning lead. Once again, leadoff hitter Lauren Falzone reached base due to an error. She scored when Lizzy Gatto roped a double down the right field line. Robin Kennery's single to center scored Lizzy, and the Griffs were up by a pair. Rider did come back to tie the game in the fourth inning with an Amanda Irving RBI and a wild pitch. But they never held the lead in this doubleheader. Canisius scored a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to win it. Katie Medina led off with a single. Her pinch runner, Chloe Contreras, was bunted to second base by Val Nappo; moved to third base by A Lauryn Chris single; and scored as a result of Stephanie Pfentner's sacrifice fly. Caroline Main, who relieved starter Corinne Schaus, earned the win.

Canisius finished very strongly after a rough start, and will open against Fairfield in the Tournament.
Rider finishes at 7-9, disappointed with their final weekend I'm sure. But the Broncs battled hard all season.

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