Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stags Sweep Siena; Grab Number Two Seed

Rae Ball shut down the hard hitting Saints in game two

Fairfield 4
Siena 3 (9)

Fairfield 2
Siena 0

Game One Box
Game Two Box

The Fairfield Stags secured a berth in the upcoming MAAC Tournament when they swept the Siena Saints Sunday in Fairfield, CT.

Here was a big doubleheader which could have gone either way; perhaps Fairfield's experience pulled them through. Game one gave us yet another extra innings match, this time with the Stags winning 4-3 in nine. Fairfield scored first, in the bottom of the fourth inning, when after loading the bases, Tiffany Lawson lifted a fly ball deep enough to score Ali Wigand. Siena responded in the top of the fifth inning with three runs to take the lead. A Samantha Ray single and Shannon Jones double set up Jessika-Jo Sandrini, who singled home Samantha for one run. After a Nastasha Powlowsky walk, freshman Meg Volz singled home a pair, and Siena was up 3-1. That lead would last until the bottom of the sixth inning when Fairfield scored twice to tie the game. Kimi Kurata led off the frame with a blast over the center field fence to pull the Stags to within a run. Tiffany Lawson received a walk immediately following, and was bunted to second base by Nikki Osofsky. An infield hit by Kristen Filicia put runners at the corners before freshman Sammy Ruffolo singled home the tying run. The game went to extras, and the Saints had a chance to score in the eighth inning, but with runners on second and third and with one out, Stephanie Viggiano was tagged out in a rundown trying to make it home. Fairfield won the game in the ninth inning when Sammy Ruffolo led off with a single, was sacrificed over to second base by Lauren Liseth, and sent home by Ali Wigand's single. Becca Trott picked up the complete game win; Jessika-Jo Sandrini suffered the loss. Sammy Ruffolo was 3 for 5 in the game; for Siena, Jessika-Jo hit 4 for 5.

A win in game two would have put Siena in the tournament, but they simply could not solve the pitching of Rae Ball. Rae was masterful in her complete game win, scattering three hits against a desperate Siena team. Amanda Filappazzo pitched her last game in a Siena uniform, and also did very well, keeping her team in it until the end. The Stags put up the only run they would need in the first inning, thanks to the great base running of Kristen Filicia, who led off with a single. After stealing second base, then third base, she scored on a simple fielder's choice off the bat of Ali Wigand. Neither team threatened much after that, until Fairfield got their insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Tiffany Lawson's two out RBI, which scored Rae Ball, gave the Stags the 2-0 win.

With the sweep, Fairfield finishes in second place with an 11-5 record, and will open the MAAC Tournament against Canisius on Thursday.

Siena finishes 8-8. The Saints were one out away from qualifying; not in their game, but in a game Marist played, which you will read about later. It was a tough ending to the season for Siena, but they will be back with a strong lineup in 2013, and with a hunger I'm sure.

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