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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Peacocks Shock Iona; Delight Niagara!

Shelby Beaver and the SPU seniors ended their careers on a positive note
Iona 5
St. Peter's 3

St. Peter's 13
Iona 9

The Iona Gaels and St. Peter's Peacock split a crucial MAAC doubleheader Saturday in Jersey City, NJ.

A third MAAC team was involved in this doubleheader, namely the Niagara Purple Eagles, who were idle and desperately needing one St. Peter's win. They got it. Niagara would have to wait though, because Iona stayed in the hunt with a 5-3 game one win. The Gaels jumped out to a 5-0 lead, beginning with Allie Hand's RBI single in the first inning. A Jodi Petersen double, and Bri Schauer single brought home three more runs in the second inning. The Gaels took the five run lead when Beth Kann singled home a run in the fourth inning. In the bottom of the same inning, St. Peter's attempted to rally when Fran D'Amato knocked a two run homer, and Shelby Beaver singled home another run. But Iona starter Carly Argyle would shut down the Peacocks for the rest of the game to get the win. Carly struck out a dozen batters. Lee Harrison took the loss. Jodi Petersen was 3 for 4 in the game for Iona; Fran D'Amato 2 for 2 for St. Peter's.

Game two was perhaps the most interesting MAAC game of the season. With Siena winning the first game of their doubleheader, it became apparent that this was going to be a "must win" for the Gaels. But the Peacocks just wouldn't play the patsy, playing arguably their best game of the season. They simply overwhelmed Iona, pounding out 17 hits in a 13-9 win. Allie Hand got the Gaels on board in the top of the first inning with an RBI single, but the Peacocks responded with two runs in the bottom of the same inning, thanks to Nicole Olmedo and Shelby Beaver RBIs. Iona tied the game with an unearned run in the top of the second inning, but St. Peter's began their surge in the bottom of the third. In that inning, they would take a 5-2 lead with RBIs coming from Chelsea Crews, Shelby Beaver and Stephanie Gilronan. Iona cut the lead to 5-4 in the top of the fourth with Sydney Dimon's two run homer, but the Peacocks then went on a rampage against obviously tired Carly Argyle. St. Peter's put five runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning: Sierra Parker, Chelsea Crews (again), Taylor Corretjer and Stephanie Gilronan (again) all drove home runs. Chelsea Crews again drove home a run in the fifth inning that gave St. Peter's an 11-4 lead; and gave Niagara hope. Iona went into panic mode in the top of the sixth inning, scoring four runs on five hits to pull to within 11-8 of the Peacocks. RBIs came from Bri Schauer, Allie Hand and Katie Jansson. Any hope that the Gaels still had was crushed when Lee Harrison crushed a pitch over the center field fence to give St. Peter's a 13-8 lead. The Gaels added a run in the seventh, but could get no closer, and saw their season end. Hundreds of miles away, Niagara, who had just been swept in a non conference doubleheader, were dancing wildly on their field, because seconds later the news came that Siena had swept Canisius, meaning the Purple Eagles were in the tournament.

Shelby Beaver, in her final college start, got the win, allowing only two earned runs. She also drove home two runs in the game. Carly Argyle took the loss; I think she had nothing in the tank as she was basically the Gaels' only go to pitcher the last month. Sierra Parker was 4 for 5 in her final college game for St. Peter's; Stephanie Gilronan drove home a pair of runs. Chelsea Crews was 3 for 4 with three RBIs. For Iona, Allie Hand was 4 for 4. It was a tough loss for Iona, who staved off elimination last week. For St. Peter's, it was a great win, and one they can build on for next season. And Niagara owes them lunch in 2014!

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