Saturday, February 8, 2014

Canisius Splits On Opening Day

Meghan Cuda hit a grand slam in game one
Canisius 11
Bucknell 10 (8)

Robert Morris 9
Canisius 0

The Canisius Golden Griffins opened their 2014 season with a split at the Cleveland State Dome Tournament Saturday in Cleveland, Ohio.

After falling behind to Bucknell 1-0 in the first inning, the Griffs exploded for a six run second inning. Singles by Lindsey Silfer, Jessica Berzins and Val Nappo loaded the bases for Tori Nappo whose sacrifice fly tied the game. After Bethany DeMarco drew a walk to load the bases once more, Alexis Roman's infield single gave Canisius the lead. With the bases still loaded, sophomore Meghan Cuda then cleared the bases with her first home run of the season, giving Canisius a 6-1 lead.

What seemed like a comfortable Canisius lead turned out not to be, as the two teams exchanged offensive flurries for the remainder of the game. Bucknell pulled to within 6-3 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third inning; Canisius got one back for a 7-3 lead in the top of the fourth thanks to a Robin Kennery RBI single. After Bucknell scored twice more in the bottom of the same inning to cut the Griffs' lead to 7-5, Canisius again attempted to pull away from the Bison. A Val Nappo run courtesy of a wild pitch in the top of the fifth inning, and two RBIs by the same Val Nappo in the top of the sixth inning gave the Griffs a 10-5 lead. But it was another lead they could not hold, as Bucknell tied the game in time to send it into extra innings. Canisius would finally seal their first victory of the new season in the top of the eighth inning thanks to a Bucknell error which scored Alexis Roman, who was on second base because of the tournament tiebreaker rule.

Freshman Sarah Andrews earned her first college win with two innings of relief after starter Jen Consaul surrendered nine runs. But Sarah wasn't as fortunate in the Griffs' game against Robert Morris, which she started, and which the Colonials won 9-0. Canisius was never really in this game, being effectively shutdown by NEC Pitcher Of The Year Nicole Sleith.

Canisius is back at the Dome Sunday for two games against Bowling Green and Cleveland State.

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