Saturday, May 3, 2014

MAAC Saturday

Marist senior Alyssa Zahka has been on a tear
Manhattan, Monmouth and Siena joined Marist, Fairfield and Iona in the six team MAAC  championship, clinching berths Saturday.

Marist moved into first place with a double shutout of Canisius Saturday in Poughkeepsie, beating the Griffs 5-0 and 8-0. Alyssa Zahka continued her torrid pace in the batter's box, hitting a homer and driving home five runs on the day. Maureen Duddy had a fine day also, hitting 4 for 5 with three runs, two RBIs plus two stolen bases. The games were never in doubt, with Melanie White and Janine Lalli both tossing shutouts. With the wins, Marist is assurred of one of the top two spots in the MAAC, which qualify them for a day one bye when the tournament begins. With their game one loss, Canisius was eliminated from contention, the third time in the past four seasons for the once dominant Golden Griffins.

The Fairfield at Manhattan doubleheader was a success for both teams. Game one saw the Lady Jaspers win 4-2, and in doing so clinch a spot in the tournament. Katie Bowen got a senior day circle win for Manhattan, tossing a five hitter. Stephanie Reihardt's fourth inning double provided the winning run. Fairfield dominated game two, 8-0, and clinched a top two spot in the MAAC and a first day tournament bye. Shelby Butwell and Gianna Kinhofer hit homers for the Stags. Fairfield still has a chance at first place, although they are done playing for the regular season. Manhattan will finish either 5th or 6th; that will be decided by their doubleheader at Monmouth Sunday.

Speaking of Monmouth, the clinched a spot in the tournament after they beat Rider in game one of that doubleheader in Long Branch 5-0, and Fairfield beat Manhattan. The Hawks got good pitching again from freshman Sydney Underhill in the win; she improved her record to 16-13. Alicia DeSanto drove home two runs for Monmouth. Game two saw the Rider Broncs put forth a great effort despite being on the outside of contention. They scored a 6-5 seventh inning comeback win, with Montana Berg driving home the winner.

The Siena Saints swept St. Peter's in Loudionville by scores of 7-2 and 7-6. The game one win clinched a spot in the tournament for the Saints. Melanie Kalesse hit an impressive 7 for 8 on the day, which included a triple and two RBIs. Jessika-Jo Sandrini improved to 18-10 with the game one win; she's the winningest pitcher in Siena history now. For St. Peter's, freshman Crystal Carlucci hit a home run and drove home five runs in game two.

Niagara had hoped to stay in contention after a 2-0 game one win at Quinnipiac, but wins by Fairfield and Monmouth squashed that hope. Senior Jen Sansano was again stellar in the win, striking out seven while holding the Bobcats to two hits. Game two saw Quinnipiac gain the split with a 6-4 win. Courtney Solt was 3 for 4 for the Bobcats.

Sunday is the final day of the MAAC regular season, and even though the six qualifiers have been set, there is still some seeding to be decided before the tournament gets underway on Wednesday in Fairfield.

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