Sunday, May 6, 2012

Improbable Comeback Lifts Red Foxes To Tournament Berth

Aly Klemmer saved the season with her huge hit in game one

Marist 3
Iona 2 (8)

Iona 3
Marist 0

Game One Box

Game Two Box

A dramatic win in game one of their doubleheader split with the Iona Gaels gained the Marist Red Foxes a tournament berth Sunday in New Rochelle, NY. The Gaels secured the number one seed with their game two shutout win.

It was looking grim for Marist. Over in Connecticut, their rivals for the final spot in the MAAC Tournament, Siena, had a 3-1 lead in their game. Back in New Rochelle, Sarah Jackson was staring them down from the circle in the seventh inning with a 2-0 lead, two outs and empty bases. Who would bet against the MAAC's top pitcher in that situation?
Iona was cruising along in a by now typical Sarah Jackson game in the first match of this doubleheader. The Gaels jumped in front 2-0 in the first inning with RBIs by Deanne Algeo and Allyssa James. For the first 6 2/3 innings, Sarah did not allow a Red Fox to reach second base. But with their backs firmly against the wall, Marist responded. In that seventh inning, with two outs, Alyssa Zhaka singled. Haley Birnbaum then stepped up and singled also, and Marist had their first runner at second. Aly Klemmer then took the first Sarah Jackson offering she saw, and stroked it to center field for two runs and a tie game, renewing hope on the Marist side. Iona didn't lay down in shock though. They loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning, and brought up the dangerous Alyssa Maiese. Marist starter Emily Osterhaus got her to fly out however, and the game went to extras. With new found confidence, Marist went on the attack in the top of the eighth inning. Ashley Corriss got it started with a one out single, followed by Megan Lamoureux's base hit. With two outs, Nicole DiVirgilio punched a single to right field that scored Ashley and gave Marist the 3-2 lead. Deanne Algeo led off the bottom of the eighth for the Gaels with a double, but Emily Osterhaus got the next three Gaels to secure the huge comeback win that ultimately landed them in the postseason.

An Iona loss in game two would have knocked them from the top seed, so the Gaels were motivated for revenge. Which is what they got with a 3-0 win, led by Alyssa Maiese's pitching performance which saw her scatter five hits and never let Marist get in the game. The Gaels picked up a pair of runs in the third inning with an Alyssa Maiese RBI single, a hit which also allowed Eileen McCann to score after an errant throw. Iona added another run in the fourth inning when Brianna Schauer sent Chelsea Sheehan home via an infield single. Alyssa Maiese was 2 for 2 in the game, and struck out nine Red Foxes.

Marist lost three of four games this weekend, but got in thanks to their dramatic comeback. They will be the number four seed, and open against the same Iona team. But they will be playing on their home field.
Iona wins the regular season title with a 12-4 record, and will now attempt to become only the second MAAC team to win three consecutive championships.


Anonymous said...

Great games this weekend by all! Many games went extra innings! Made for much suspense and excitement to end the regular season!

WNY Softball said...

And made for a very tired blogger!