|The Saints' fortunes rise as Jessika-Jo's ERA falls|
Canisius 0 (6)
The Siena Saints qualified for the MAAC tournament for the first time since 2003 when they swept the Canisius Golden Griffins Saturday in Poughkeepsie, NY.
After coming within an inning of making the tournament in 2012, Saturday's sweep had to feel sweet for Siena, as they left no doubt that they belong with the conference's elite. They began the day with an 8-0 run rule win over the visiting Griffs. RBIs by Alyssa Lancaster and Meg Volz gave the Saints a 2-0 lead in the third inning. In the fourth inning, senior Shannon Jones made that lead 4-0 with a two RBI single; that was followed by another RBI by Alyssa Lancaster and an unearned run scored by Shannon. An RBI by Paige Lloyd in the fifth; and another unearned run in the sixth, this time scored by Jessika-Jo Sandrini, wrapped up the game early. In the circle, Jessika-Jo was masterful, scattering three hits while striking out nine. Alyssa Lancaster was 2 for 2; Abby Carpenter also had two hits. Katie Medina had two hits for the Griffs. Jenn Solis took the loss.
Game two provided the Saints with an opportunity to clinch a spot in the tournament. This time they were going against Jen Consaul, who pitched a very good game. Toni Edwards was the surprise starter for Siena, and pitched well, allowing one run over 4.2 innings. Canisius did jump in front 1-0 with an RBI single by Val Nappo in the top of the first inning. The Saints finally got to Jen Consaul in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring the deciding runs. First, Shannon Jones delivered a big hit, driving home Mandy Ferro, who had singled. Alyssa Lancaster then continued her excellent freshman season by delivering the game winning RBI on a sacrifice fly that scored Mel Kalesse. The Saints won 2-1, and let the champagne fly! Jessika-Jo Sandrini got the win by pitching the final 2.1 innings, in which she allowed no hits. She was also 2 for 2 at the plate. Robin Kennery had two hits for Canisius.
Canisius ended one of the most disappointing seasons in their storied history with a 6-10 conference record. Siena still has something to play for before the tournament begins. They will be at Marist Sunday, and with a sweep will win the first regular season title in school history. The Saints stand at 10-4.