|Sydney Dimon delivered the game winning hit|
The #3 Iona Gaels came from behind to beat the #6 Manhattan Lady Jaspers 6-5 on opening day at the MAAC Championship in Fairfield, CT.
This MAAC tournament game began as a pitchers' duel and ended as a slugfest. The game was scoreless through the first three innings with Iona's Carly Argyle and Manhattan's Katie Bowen both looking very sharp in the circle. But Iona broke the deadlock in a three run bottom of the fourth inning when Allie Hand singled home a run, and Kelsey Long doubled home two runs. This seemed to wake up the Manhattan offense, who put up two runs in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to a bases loaded walk to Jenn Vazquez, and Andi Stallard's sacrifice fly RBI. The top of the sixth inning started well for Carly Argyle, as she quickly retired the first two Manhattan batters. But a four pitch walk to pinch hitter Anna Crowley left the door ajar for the LJs, who bolted through with three runs to take a 5-3 lead. After a walk to Katie Bowen, and an intentional walk to powerful Elena Bowman, Carly was relieved by Jordan Courage. Up to the plate stepped Amanda Paxson. Amanda is among the nation's leaders in getting hit by a pitch, and you guessed it - she was promptly plunked, and the game was tied. Jenn Vazquez then stroked a double down the right field line good for two runs, and giving her three RBIs in the game. Things suddenly weren't looking good for the Gaels. Iona still trailed 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning when Eileen McCann led off by smashing a double to the left field fence. Kristen Turner immediately followed that with a single, and alertly took second base when Manhattan was being very casual with the ball. Sarah Schutz was then hit by a Katie Bowen pitch to load the bases, and Katie was relieved by freshman Daniell Gabrielle, a tough spot for sure. Danielle very nearly got a double play when Katie Jansson lined out sharply to shortstop Stephanie Reinhardt. Kristen Turner, however, just made it back safely to second base. Bri Schauer then stepped up and delivered a huge two run single just inside the right field line to tie the game at 5-5. With a runner on third base, pinch hitter Sydney Dimon then hit a fly ball to right field that just found an empty space, and Iona won 6-5.
Jordan Courage got the win in relief for the Gaels; Katie Bowen suffered the loss. For the Gaels, Kristen Turner hit 3 for 4; Eileen McCann was 2 for 2. Allie Hand also had two hits. For Manhattan, Elena Bowman was 3 for 3. Iona will face #2 Fairfield Thursday morning. Manhattan is still alive in the double elimination tournament, and will face an opponent still to be determined.