Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Niagara Sweeps Iona In The Rain

Jen Sansano earned two wins on Monday
Niagara 2
Iona 1

Niagara 9
Iona 8 (8)

The Niagara Purple Eagles recovered from being swept in their MAAC opener by sweeping the Iona Gaels Monday in Lewiston, NY.

After suffering a blowout loss to Fairfield Sunday, Niagara opened their MAAC series with Iona with a very strong performance by 2013 MAAC Pitcher Of The Year Jen Sansano. It didn't begin great though, as Iona's Allie Hand opened the game with a home run blast over the left field fence. But that was all the Gaels would get in this game. The Purple Eagles took the lead in the second inning, scoring twice on a passed ball. After that, Jen Sansano took over the game, scattering two more hits to take the win. Carly Argyle suffered the loss for Iona, but pitched a fine game, also allowing only three hits.

Game two would end in rain and controversy, but before that it was an entertaining back and forth battle. Jen Sansano also started this game for Niagara, but was not as effective. Niagara opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning with Desarae Maldonado's two RBI double. Sarah Schutz's home run and Kelsey Long's RBI single tied the game for Iona in the top of the second inning. Niagara however retook the lead in the bottom of the same inning thanks to Ambur Farmer's solo home run shot. The Gaels stormed to the lead in the top of the third inning when Sydney Dimon launched a pitch over the center field fence good for three runs. Niagara then closed the gap to 5-4 in the bottom of the third with Rachel Ziarnowski's RBI. Bridget Hogan's RBI in the fourth and Theresa Fleckenstein's run producing double in the fifth gave Niagara the lead again at 6-5. It was about this time that a major rain system began to creep into the area; once the rain fell it was forecast not to end until the next day, so the teams played on.

In the top of the sixth inning, Katie Jansson drove home two runs with a single, and the Gaels were back in the lead, 7-6. Niagara answered once again in the bottom of the inning when Bridget Hogan hit a bomb over the left field fence. The game went into extra innings tied 7-7. By that time, the rain was coming down hard. Probably the game should have been called, which likely would have resulted in a tie being declared. But it was decided to keep playing. In the top of the eighth inning, Katie Jansson delivered another big hit, this time a homer to left field. Niagara then batted in the bottom of the frame. Katie Gruarin singled and Bridget Hogan was issued a walk. After Aileen Hinton sacrificed them both forward a base, Desarae Maldonado tied the game with a sacrifice fly. With two outs, Ambur Farmer hit a high fly ball to center field which Allie Hand lost in the by then pouring rain, scoring an unearned run and giving Niagara the 9-8 win. Very unfortunate way to end a conference game. Jen Sansano got the win for Niagara, who improved to 2-2 in the MAAC. Carly Argyle took the loss in relief; Iona is now 4-2.

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