Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Iona 2016 Softball Schedule

The Iona Gaels will open their 49 game 2016 schedule on the weekend of February 26 at the Greensboro Invitational in North Carolina. They will play a set of five games at one of South Florida's tournaments on the weekend of March 11 before heading out to the west coast. On the weekend of March 18, the Gaels will play in Santa Clara's tournament, then make visits to three Cali schools, including the Gaels of St. Mary's on March 24. Before returning home, they will play in the Aggie Tournament hosted by Cal Davis.

Iona will open the home portion of their schedule on March 31 when they host Fordham. MAAC play begins for the Gaels on April 3 with a doubleheader vs. Monmouth in New Rochelle. They will close their regular season on May 7 at defending conference champion Fairfield. Iona will have eight home dates in 2016.

Iona 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, December 18, 2015

Siena 2016 Softball Schedule

The Siena Saints will open their 54 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 19 when they play in Eastern Michigan's Invitational Tournament in Madeira Beach, Florida. On the weekend of Febraury 26, the Saints will be in Miami for Florida International's Felsberg tournament. The first weekend of March will find Siena back in Johnson City, Tennessee to participate in E. Tennessee's annual tournament. The Saints will play at UMBC's Spring Classic on the weekend of March 18 to close out the tournament portion of their schedule.

Siena will open the home portion of their schedule on March 24, playing a doubleheader vs. Holy Cross. They open MAAC play at home on April 2nd and 3rd vs. Manhattan and Marist. They will close their regular season schedule on May 7 when they host conference rival Niagara. The Saints will have ten home dates in 2016.

Siena Saints 2016 Schedule

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Ally Stoltzmann Faces Long Recovery

Monmouth Hawk pitcher Ally Stoltzmann was jogging after softball practice on December 3 shortly after practice when she was struck by a car, and is now recovering after awakening from an induced coma:

Ally is a beautiful, sweet spirited, giving 21 year old, Jr attending Monmouth University.  She was suddenly struck by a car while jogging home from softball practice on Thursday, December 3, 2015.   Ally sustained very serious injuries and is currently in a drug induced coma at Jersey Shore University Medical Center.  As a result, Ally has endured traumatic brain injuries to both frontal lobes, fractured the back of her skull, sinus cavity, cheek bones, ribs, and has some internal bleeding on her brain. 

Ally is from Gilbert, Arizona, and had transferred to Monmouth in time to play with the Hawks in the 2016 season.
But this unfortunate accident will result in months of recovery and rehabilitation. To help her family offset the cost, please visit this page:


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monmouth 2016 Softball Schedule

The Monmouth Hawks will open their 49 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 27 when take part in the Lancer Lead Off hosted by Longwood University. The Hawks will play in George Washington's District Invite the weekend of March 4, and then head to the west coast. On the weekend of March 11, they will play a set of five tournament games at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Then it's off to Florida for a series of games vs. Stetson, Jacksonville and North Florida beginning March 15.

Monmouth will open their home and MAAC schedule on April 2 when they host state rival Rider. They will close their regular season on May 8 by hosting conference rival St. Peter's. The Hawks will have six home dates in 2016.

Monmouth 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, November 13, 2015


Rider University has issued a comment on this situation; Coach Carroll will not be returning; the search for the next Broncs head coach is on:

Rider University has dismissed longtime head coach Tricia Carroll.

The dismissal happened shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 softball season, but was held up in the courts as Carroll challenged the dismissal in hopes of reinstatement. She was told her contract would not be renewed after the 2016 season; it's still not clear if she will return for the '16 season.

Tricia Carroll became the longest tenured coach in the MAAC after the retirement of Mike Rappl of Canisius. She won over 400 games, and won a MAAC championship in 2003. She also led the Broncs to two championships when they played in the NEC in the 1990s.

In her lawsuit against the University, coach Carroll raised Title IX issues, alleging that her complaints that men's teams at Rider received better treatment than women's teams led to her dismissal. She alleged that the men's teams had better locker rooms; a greater share of scholarship money and booster funding; and bigger coaching staffs.

Rider University has offered no comment at this time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Manhattan 2016 Softball Schedule

The Manhattan Jaspers will open their 55 game 2016 softball schedule on the weekend of February 19 in Madeira Beach, Florida when they participate in a tournament hosted by Eastern Michigan. Manhattan will then look to open their home schedule with a doubleheader vs. Hartford on March 1. With this being an El Nino winter, the weather may be nice on that date. After playing at Hampton's tournament on the weekend of March 4, the Jaspers head to the west coast for a six game tournament at St. Mary's in Moraga, California beginning March 11. Their final tournament will be at St. John's on the weekend of March 18.

Manhattan will end March with a series of home games vs. Long Island, Sacred Heart and Stony Brook before beginning MAAC play at Siena on April 2. They will close their regular season on May 7 with a conference DH at St. Peter's. The Jaspers will have 11 home dates in 2016.

Manhattan 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fairfield 2016 Softball Schedule

Defending MAAC Champion Fairfield will open their 51 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 28 with four games at a tournament hosted by North Carolina. Beginning on March 5, the Stags will be in Florida for two weeks, participating in tournaments hosted by Stetson and South Florida, with a few non conference games scheduled in between. Fairfield will then close the tournament portion of the season up north on the weekend of March 19 when they play in Stony Brook's tournament.

The Stags will have their home opener on March 30 with a doubleheader vs. Yale. They begin conference play on the road April 2 and 3 at St. Peter's, then Manhattan. They will close their regular season at home on May 7, hosting Iona in a MAAC matchup. In 2016, Fairfield will have nine home dates.

Fairfield 2016 Softball Schedule

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quinnipiac 2016 Softball Schedule

The Quinnipiac Bobcats will open their 55 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 19 indoors at the Illinois-Chicago tournament, playing six games. On the weekend of February 26, QU will travel to Hampton, Virginia to play a five game tournament. Then it's off to Florida for a couple weeks beginning March 11 where the Bobcats will play in two of South Florida's famous tournaments, including one hosted by the venerable Michele Smith.

Hoping for a warm El Nino early spring, Quinnipiac will open home play with a three game series vs. the Maine Bears on March 25 and 26. They will open MAAC play also at home, with a pair of doubleheaders vs. Canisius and Niagara on April 2 and 3. QU will close their regular season with a conference matchup at Rider on May 7. The Bobcats will have ten home dates this coming season.

QU 2016 Softball Schedule

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fall Ball Underway In The MAAC

Pitcher Allie Block made her debut with Canisius this weekend
It's a new school year and a new softball season in the MAAC. The fall, or non traditional portion of the season is when we see a new flock of players beginning their careers in the conference. Canisius, who played in the annual Nan Harvey Tournament in Buffalo this weekend, showcased some new team members. Pitcher Allie Block began her career by striking out the side. Fellow freshman Lauren Castro also pitched, and the Golden Griffins look to have a much deeper pitching staff this season. The Griffs posted a 2-1 record in the tournament, with ALL-MAACer Lindsey Silfer boasting a five RBI performance in an 8-7 win over Buffalo. Newcomers Maddie Aston and Destiny Holani both contributed offensively.

Niagara played in the same tournament, and although they were held winless, the big news for them was the return of ALL-MAACer Bridget Hogan. Bridget, a redshirt sophomore, missed the entire 2015 season after major surgery. She's fully recovered, and had a good tournament hitting and pitching.

Iona opened their fall season Saturday, splitting a pair of games at St. John's. They lost to the host team, but finished with a come from behind win thanks in large part to Christine Costello's two run seventh inning double to beat Sacred Heart. The Gaels also had a player of note return from a lost season. ALL-MAACer "Gnarly" Carly Argyle got back into action after being out the whole 2015 season, hitting and pitching well. She will be a redshirt senior. The last time Iona had one of them, they won it all.

Marist also opened fall ball Saturday, with a pair of home wins. St. Peter's, Siena, Rider and Fairfield will all be in action on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Coaching Moves In The MAAC

Shannon Salsburg will lead Monmouth this season
Fall ball softball season has arrived for the MAAC, and a few new coaches have joined the conference.

The Monmouth Hawks have found the successor to the retired Louie Berndt, recently hiring Shannon Salsburg to be their new head coach. Coach Salsburg spent nine season with the MAC's Bowling Green Falcons, compiling 196 wins. Her best season at BGU was in 2012, when she led her team to 36 wins. Her BGU teams set school records for home runs.

Manhattan has hired Cat Clifford as an assistant coach, who recently concluded a successful playing career at Mount St. Mary's. Iona hired Matt Klampert as assistant coach. He last year was a voluntary assistant at St. John's, the Big East champions of 2015.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monmouth Coach Berndt Retires

This is a breaking story, and I'll try to update this later.

A source has informed me that Monmouth head coach Louie Berndt has retired, and the Hawks are currently looking for her replacement. I'm told this is due to an ongoing health issue.

As MAAC softball followers know, Coach Berndt led her team on an impressive MAAC tournament run this past season, falling one game short of the championship. Solid recruiting has her team in good shape, but her field leadership will be missed.

The current Monmouth assistant is Jessica Garcia, former All-American at New Mexico and a member of the professional Akron Racers this season. No word yet if she has applied for the position.

More on this later.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NCAA Approves New Rules for 2016

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently approved a number of rule changes proposed by the Softball Rules Committee, the most significant of which will permit the usage of in-game video and statistical technology. The Committee stated that this will eliminate the "burden of enforcement", which implies teams have already been using the technology.

Some of the other approved new rules:
Defensive players will no longer be allowed to block a base without possession of the ball, or being in the act of catching the ball;
Tournament hosts will be permitted to live stream all games that do not involve them;
Non traditional, or dome games must have regulation fences. If not, home runs will be be ground rule doubles;
Deliberate throwing of the ball at an umpire will result in all sorts of ejections, obviously a response to a recent viral video!

Read more here

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kelly Rasulo Commits To Siena

Kelly Rasulo of Merrick, New York has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2017 season.

Named one of the top players in Long Island, Kelly Rasulo is a tall, athletic third baseman who can hit for average and power. She's known for driving home runs. However, she is also very quick in the infield with excellent range, and has been described by her coach at Kellenberg high school as a "stabilizing force" in the infield. Kelly plays travel ball with Team Long Island Gold.

Congratulations Kelly!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

MAAC Season Ends With Fairfield Loss

USC Upstate 9
Fairfield 0 (6)

The Fairfield Stags were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament when they fell to the USC Upstate Spartans Saturday at the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional.

The Fairfield offense was never able to get on track in this Regional appearance. Destinee Pallotto pitched well through the game's first five innings, keeping the Stags in the game. The freshman has a bright future. Her circle counterpart, Lexi Shubert, with an ERA well below 2.00, had shut down Fairfield with one hit until the top of the sixth inning when Lauren Filicia and Sammy Ruffolo led off with singles. But the Stags were not able to capitalize; in fact, they never reached third base in the two games played in Tuscaloosa. A Fairfield error, plus a triple and home run helped Upstate end the game early, 9-0.

So that ends another MAAC softball season, one that was marred in the beginning with inclement weather and many cancellations. Teams scrambled to get games played as the harsh winter roared on; this, in my opinion, hampered all the teams in one way or another. But, with El Nino forming somewhere way out in the Pacific, next season is forecast to bring a much milder winter! Maybe some February games in Hawaii and southern Florida might help!

Thank you for reading this season! In the coming weeks, I will bring you news on the new players coming into the conference next season and beyond. Lots of them are pitchers...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stags Drop NCAA Opener

Future trivia question: Nicole Capra had Fairfield's first ever NCAA Tournament hit
#6 Alabama 8
Fairfield 0 (6)

The Fairfield Stags played their first ever NCAA Tournament game, losing to #6 Alabama Friday in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional.

The Stags were unable to solve Alabama's star pitcher Sydney Littlejohn in this game, and were limited to just two hits and no walks. Nicole Capra got Fairfield's first ever national tournament hit in the third inning; and Lauren Filicia doubled in the sixth inning. But the Stags were never able to get a runner past second base. Alabama pounded out 15 hits in the game, ending it early in the sixth inning for an 8-0 win.

Fairfield will play an elimination game Saturday vs. South Carolina Upstate, who lost to #20 Washington earlier in the day. A win would mean the Stags would play another elimination game immediately following. A loss would mean an end to the 2015 MAAC softball season.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional

#6 Alabama Crimson Tide
Record: 42-12
Leading Hitter: Haylie McCleney .462
Leading Pitcher: Sydney Littlejohn 1.52; 15-1

 #20 Washington Huskies
Record: 40-15
Leading Hitter: Ali Aguilar .425
Leading Pitcher: Casey Stangel 4.45; 9-4

 South Carolina Upstate Spartans
Record: 43-8
Leading Hitter: Hayley Reinfeld .447
Leading Pitcher: Lexi Shubert 1.50; 33-5

 Fairfield Stags
Record: 25-22
Leading Hitter: Lauren Filicia .406
Leading Pitcher: Destinee Pallotto 3.64; 11-8

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fairfield To Play In Tuscaloosa Regional

The NCAA just announced that MAAC Champion Fairfield will be playing in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional.

The Stags will be grouped with host #6 Alabama, Washington and South Carolina Upstate.
More on this Regional this week.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fairfield's Time Has Finally Come!

Stags were not to be denied
Fairfield 8
Monmouth 5

Fairfield 11
Monmouth 5

The Fairfield Stags swept the Monmouth Hawks Saturday in Buffalo, New York, winning the championship of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time since 1991.

Seven times previously the Fairfield Stags made it to the championship game of the MAAC tournament, and seven times they walked off the field disappointed. Somehow this season felt different. Maybe because the pressure was not on them this time; last year they hosted the tournament and fell in one day. Maybe after a rough start of the season, they had to fight and claw to get back into contention. Whatever the reason, this time they made it all the way through, and are champions of the MAAC.

Fairfield would have to beat Monmouth twice on this day to claim that championship, and game one began like the streaking Hawks' previous tournament games had begun - with them jumping out of the gate with a substantial early lead. Coach Berndt had her team fired up from the first pitch of this tournament. Monmouth took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to Rachel Shotzbarger's RBI single. The Stags tied the game in the bottom of the first, with Sam Frungillo's ground ball RBI providing the run. But the Hawks came right back with a four hit, three run inning in the top of the second. Vanessa Cardoza led off the inning with a double, followed by Jill Fresse's home run blast over the left field fence. An error scored another run, and the Hawks were up 4-1, and looking well on their way to getting the one win they needed. But Fairfield stayed composed, and put up a three spot of their own in the bottom of the same inning to tie the game up 4-4. They quickly loaded the bases, then took advantage of two Monmouth errors to close to within a run. Sam Frungillo's second RBI of the game then sent the tying run home. Rachel Shotzbarger, who had a great tournament, led off the top of the third inning with a home run to give the Hawks the lead once more. But after that, it was all Fairfield the rest of the day. Pitcher Destinee Pallotto, who was pulled in Fairfield's winners' bracket game vs. Monmouth with the Stags in the lead (they eventually lost), would not leave the circle this day. She shut out the Hawks in game one's final four innings. Her team gave her the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring four times. Molly Roche tied the game with a long homer over the center field fence. The Stags weren't done though, getting four more hits in the frame. Lauren Filicia's RBI single; then Sammy Ruffolo's 2 RBI double to the center field fence sealed the victory, and forced a "winner take all" championship game.

The Stags stormed out early in game two, and never looked back. Sam Frungillo drove home her third run of the day to give them a 1-0 first inning lead. Then a six hit, six run onslaught in the second inning built a lead that Monmouth simply could not overcome. Kate Robinson doubled home a run; she would hit a remarkable 7 for 7 on the day. She was 10 for 14 in the tournament and inexplicably left off the All-Tournament team. Lauren Filicia singled home a run; Tori Reed and Sammy Ruffolo perfectly executed a suicide squeeze bunt; Kristen Ball singled home a run; Kate Robinson singled home another in her second at bat of the inning. Monmouth was visibly stunned after having played ahead the whole tournament. They did keep fighting, scoring five runs in the game, but they never got close to the Stags. Destinee Pallotto pitched her second complete game of the day, and when she recorded the last out, the Fairfield players erupted into a frenzy. They later doused long time head coach Julie Brzezinski with the traditional water bucket shower!

Fairfield won the MAAC way back in 1991 before the conference had an automatic bid to the national tournament, so they will be making their first ever appearance in the NCAAs. They will find out Sunday evening where they will be playing. Monmouth made a great run, and the experience should prove invaluable next season.

MAAC ALL-Tournament Team

Most Valuable Player
Lauren Filicia, Fairfield

ALL-Tournament Team:

Nicole Capra
Destinee Pallotto
Lauren Falkanger
Sammy Ruffolo

Emma Hill
Rachel Shotzbarger
Ashalynn Umiamaka

Amy Bright
Stephanie Reinhardt

Paige Lloyd
Paige Hess




The Stags came out of the losers' bracket to sweep Monmouth Saturday in Buffalo, NY, and will make their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

More later...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Monmouth vs. Fairfied This Season

The MAAC rivals have actually played each other five times this season, with Monmouth holding a 3-2 edge:

MAAC Tournament 5/8/15
Monmouth 12
Fairfield 8

@Monmouth 4/19/15
Fairfield 10
Monmouth 2

Monmouth 8
Fairfield 0 (5)

Orlando, FL 3/14/15
Fairfield 9
Monmouth 4

Bules Creek, NC 3/7/15
Monmouth 3
Fairfield 2

Stags Advance To MAAC Championship Game

The Fairfield Stag will play for MAAC title for the 4th time in 5 years
Fairfield 7
Siena 3

The Fairfield Stags have advanced to the MAAC tournament championship round by beating the Siena Saints 7-3 Friday in Buffalo, NY.

Had a few breaks gone their way, we'd be talking about the Fairfield softball program dynasty. The Stags will be playing in the MAAC championship game for the fourth time in the last five seasons when they meet Monmouth Saturday - maybe this will be their year. They got out to a 3-0 lead in this elimination game due to some Siena miscues. Tori Reed's sacrifice fly gave them a 1-0 lead in the first inning after an error. Another Siena error scored two more in the third inning, with Sam Frungillo sacrificing home a run. The Saints got back in the game in the top of the fourth inning with RBIs from Melanie Kalesse and Lauren Milligan, but the Stags answered immediately in the bottom of the same inning when Nicole Capra blasted a pitch over the left field fence, her second homer of the day, and Lauren Filicia drove home a run. Fairfield scored twice more in the fifth inning, thanks to Sam Frungillo's second RBI of the game and an unearned run. Paige Hess would hit a homer for Siena, but Lauren Falkanger otherwise shut the door on the Saints the rest of the way, striking out eight in her complete game win.

So Fairfield will have to beat Monmouth twice on Saturday to win the title. They did, however, score eight runs on the Hawks in today's earlier loss; they know they can hit MU pitching. Siena's season ended, but not before they won multiple tournament games for the first time in their history.

Saints Survive; Manhattan Eliminated

Lauren Butts pitched brilliant game
Siena 4 
Manhattan 1


The Siena Saints won multiple tournament games for the first time in their history when the defeated the Manhattan Jaspers 4-1 Friday in Buffalo. Manhattan was eliminated in the loss.

A Sammy Smaldone RBI single gave Siena the quick 1-0 in the top of the first inning. In the bottom of the same inning, Siena starting pitcher Amanda Gatt surrendered a bases loaded walk, which resulted in a 1-1 game. She got out of that jam, but Lauren Butts entered the game to begin the bottom of the second inning, and was dominant, tossing a one-hit shutout the rest of the way. Siena took the lead in the top of the fifth inning when, after Paige Lloyd singled and Abby Carpenter doubled, freshman Paige Hess ripped a pitch over the left field fence for the 4-1 win.

Siena will now play Manhattan in the final elimination game; Manhattan was eliminated from the tournament.

Monmouth Will Play In Championship Round

Rachel Shotzbarger drove home 5 runs in win
Monmouth 12
Fairfield 8

The Monmouth Hawks defeated the Fairfield Stags 12-8 Friday in Buffalo, earning the right to play for the Championship of the MAAC on Saturday.

This was a strange tournament game, with both teams mounting big comebacks and combining for 29 hits. But it was Monmouth who ended on top of the pile and in the driver's seat. A seven run, sixth inning onslaught sealed the win for the school only in its second year in the MAAC. Rachel Shotzbarger had a huge game, with a homer and five RBIs. Chloe Howerth, Emma Hill and Ashalynn Umiamaka all had three hits; Ashalynn and Kayleena Flores both drove home a pair of runs. For Fairfield, who had a big five run fifth inning, home runs were hit by Molly Roche and Nicole Capra. Tori Reed finished with three hits.

Monmouth waits for their opponent in the championship round; Fairfield plays Siena next in the final elimination game.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Manhattan Survives; Canisius Eliminated

Amy Bright pitched her team to a new day
Manhattan 2
Canisius 1

The Manhattan Jaspers eliminated the host Canisius Golden Griffins, and will play again Friday at the MAAC Championship.

Manhattan squeaked by the host Griffs 2-1, scoring both their runs in the first inning. Mickayla Romero's double, which scored Jenn Vazquez and Amanda Paxson, both of whom had singled, gave the Jaspers all the runs they would need. Canisius starter Madi Weathers did pitch shutout ball the rest of the way, but her team could manage but one run, that on Jessica Berzins' seventh inning RBI single. Amy Bright, recovered from Manhattan's first game loss, struck out eight Griffs in earning the win.

Manhattan will play Siena in an elimination game Friday. Canisius was eliminated.

Siena Survives; Iona Is Eliminated

Paige Lloyd delivered the winning hit
Siena 2
Iona 1

The Siena Saints eliminated the Iona Gaels Thursday in Buffalo, NY, and will move on to play on Friday at the MAAC Championship.

Siena's Amanda Gatt and Iona's Christine Costello both pitched very well in this game, which was scoreless heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Saints hadn't had a base runner for four innings when Stephanie Viggiano tripled to deep center. Then with two outs, Paige Lloyd sent a towering blast over the left center field fence, and suddenly Siena was in front 2-0. The Gaels did mount a comeback in the top of the seventh inning, with Courtney Miller driving home a run to halve the Saints' lead. But Amanda Gatt struck out Tori Danner to end the game.

Siena moves on to survival mode Friday, when they will play Manhattan in an elimination game. Iona saw their season end.

Hawks Crush Canisius; Advance To Winners' Bracket

Big game at the plate for Vanessa Cardoza
Monmouth 12
Canisius 1 (5)

The Monmouth Hawks won a run rule game over the host Canisius Golden Griffins Thursday to advance to the winners' bracket.

This game was All Monmouth All The Time as the Hawks stunned the host Griffs 12-1, pounding out 13 hits. A muffed fly ball scored them a run in the first inning, but it was a five run third inning that saw Monmouth run away with the tournament game. They would add another four in the fourth inning, and two more in the fifth to end the game early. Vanessa Cardoza and Chloe Howerth both drove home three runs, but everyone in the Hawk lineup contributed. Sydney Underhill earned her second win of the tournament.

Monmouth will play Fairield Friday morning in the winners' bracket game. The two teams have already played four times this season, splitting those games. Canisius will face Manhattan Thursday in an elimination game.

Stags Beat Iona, Advance To Winners' Bracket

Lauren Filicia delivered a big hit in the Stags' 6th inning rally
Fairfield 6
Iona 2

The Fairfield Stags advanced to the winners' bracket when they defeated the Iona Gaels 6-2 Thursday morning in Buffalo, NY.

The Gaels built a 2-0 lead in this game when Allie Hand singled home Courtney Miller in the third inning, and Kristen Turner blasted her second homer of the tournament in the fourth inning. They seemed well on their way to a win with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, but after a pair of walks, recent ALL-MAAC honoree Lauren Filicia stepped to the plate and calmly stroked a single to center field which brought home the tying and winning runs. The Stags would add three more runs thanks to Sammy Ruffolo's RBI single and Tori Reed's two run homer. Lauren Falkanger earned the win, striking out nine batters.

The Stags will now play Monmouth Friday in the winners' bracket game; the Gaels are currently playing Siena in an elimination game.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Monmouth Edges Siena

Justene Reyes hit a two run homer in the first inning
Monmouth 5
Siena 4

The Monmouth Hawks won their opening game of the MAAC Championship, defeating the Siena Saints 5-4 Wednesday in Buffalo, NY.

Monmouth burst out of the gates in this game, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning, thanks to two home runs over the left field fence. Justene Reyes opened the scoring with a two run blast, immediately followed by Rachel Shotzbarger's solo homer. Lauren Butts came in to relieve starter Amanda Gatt, and kept the game close. Sammy Smaldone got Siena on the board with a solo home run in the bottom of  third inning, but the Hawks added a pair of runs in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to four runs. After a throwing error scored Emma Hill, who had stolen third base, an Ashalynn Umiamaka grounder scored Chloe Howerth and it was 5-1 Monmouth. But the Saints didn't give up, and scored three times in the bottom of the same inning to pull to within 5-4. Paige Lloyd's grounder scored one run, then Abby Carpenter's two out, two run RBI single made it a one run game. The Saints nearly tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, but left fielder Chloe Howerth's perfect throw got Brooke Taylor at home plate to end the inning. Sydney Underhill earned the win as she induced many easy ground balls during the game.

Monmouth will play #1 Canisius Thursday at 11:30 am; Siena will play in an elimination game in the afternoon.

Gaels Stun Manhattan In Tournament Opener

Kristen Turner drove home four runs in rout
Iona 10
Manhattan 0 (6)

The Iona Gaels won the opening game of the 2015 MAAC Championship in Buffalo, New York Wednesday, defeating the Manhattan Jaspers 10-0.

This tournament game was actually a pitchers' duel through the first four innings, with starters Amy Bright (Manhattan) and Christine Costello (Iona) keeping the scoreboard full of zeroes. But the Gaels broke the ice in the top of the fifth inning, scoring seven runs, all with two outs having been recorded against them. Kristen Turner began the onslaught with a two RBI single; Christine Costello followed this with an RBI single. Sarah Schutz made the score 5-0 when she singled home a pair of runs; this was immediately followed by RBI singles from the bats of Courtney Miller and Kelsey Long. In the top of the sixth inning, homers by Kristen Turner (2 runs) and Sarah Schutz sealed the surprising run rule win. Christine Costello was stellar in the circle, striking out six Jaspers.

Iona will play #2 Fairfield at 9 am Thursday morning. Manhattan will play in an elimination game Thursday afternoon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


*Not the official ALL-MAAC team, but as chosen by this blog.

Manhattan's Elena Bowman is consensus Player Of The Year

Amy Bright, Manhattan Jaspers
14-8; 2.79 ERA; 121 Strikeouts

Melanie White, Marist Red Foxes
16-11; 2.95 ERA; 145 Strikeouts

Elena Bowman, Manhattan Jaspers
.474; 16 Home Runs; 41 RBIs

Lindsey Silfer, Canisius Golden Griffins
.388; 6 Home Runs; 38 RBIs

Paige Lloyd, Siena Saints
.410; 9 Home Runs; 37 RBIs

Dana Sensi, Rider Broncs
.380; 13 Home Runs; 38 RBIs

Stephanie Viggiano, Siena Saints
.366; 19 RBIs

Amanda Paxson, Manhattan Jaspers
.344; 21 RBIs

Kyrsten Van Natta, Marist Red Foxes
.308; 7 Home Runs; 39 RBIs; 22 Stolen Bases

Melanie Kalesse, Siena Saints
.346; 12 Stolen Bases

Third Basemen
Sammy Sharkey, Canisius Golden Griffins
.333; 2 Home Runs; 26 RBIs; 10 Stolen Bases

Abby Carpenter, Siena Saints
.292; 5 Home Runs; 34 RBIs

Jessica Berzins, Canisius Golden Griffins
.441; 2 Home Runs; 3 Triples; 21 RBIs; 9 Stolen Bases

Lauren Filicia, Fairfield Stags
.396; 17 RBIs; 15 Stolen Bases

Michelle DelPrince, Canisius Golden Griffins
.325; 5 Home Runs; 6 Triples; 30 RBIs; 14 Stolen Bases

Sammy Ruffolo, Fairfield Stags
.346; 17 RBIs; 12 Stolen Bases

Gabrielle Kelliher, Marist Red Foxes
.300; 10 Home Runs; 28 RBIs

Allie Hand, Iona Gaels
5 Home Runs; 15 RBIs; 7 Stolen Bases

Jenn Vazquez, Manhattan Jaspers
.328; 11 Home Runs; 41 RBIs

Sam Reilly, Marist Red Foxes
.297; 8 Home Runs; 40 RBIs

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tournament Preview - #1 Canisius Golden Griffins

Record: 15-5 (26-17)
vs. the field: 5-5

Jessica Berzins .441; 2 HRs; 3 3Bs;  20 RBIs; 9 SBs
Lindsey Silfer .388; 6 HRs; 38 RBIs
Sammy Sharkey .333; 2 HRs; 26 RBIs; 10 SBs
Michelle DelPrince .325; 5 HRs; 6 3Bs; 30 RBIs; 14 SBs
Moriah Harris .322; 14 RBIs
Alexis Roman .315; 3 3Bs; 18 RBIs; 7 SBs
Robin Kennery* .310; 21 RBIs
Bethany DeMarco .310; 12 RBIs
Meghan Cuda .306; 3 3Bs; 14 RBIs; 13 SBs
Sarah Andrews .231
Tori Nappo .133

Erika Mackie 3.22 ERA; 14-7
Madi Weathers 3.29; 11-8

Tournament Preview - #2 Fairfield Stags

Record: 15-5 (21-21)
vs. the field: 7-3

Lauren Filicia .396; 17 RBIs. 15 SBs
Tori Reed .371; 5 HRs; 28 RBIs; 9 SBs
Sammy Ruffolo .346; 17 RBIs; 12 SBs
Sam Frungillo .326; 32 RBIs
Kate Robinson .265; 5 HRs; 27 RBIs
Bri Levick .253; 5 SBs
Gianna Kinhofer .243
Angelina McGuire .237

Destinee Pallotto 3.40 ERA; 9-8
Nicole Gardon 3.59 ERA; 3-3
Lauren Falkanger 4.21 ERA; 9-10

Tournament Preview - #3 Manhattan Jaspers

Record: 13-7 (25-18)
vs. the field: 5-5

Elena Bowman .474; 16 HRs; 34 BBs; 41 RBIs
Amanda Paxson .344; 21 RBIs
Jenn Vaquez .328; 11 HRs; 41 RBIs
Sydney Weedon .290; 2 HRs
Briana Matazinsky .289; 6 HRs; 25 RBIs
Mickayla Romero .282; 4 HRs; 21 RBIs
Stephanie Reinhardt .266; 2 HRs; 21 RBIs
Emily Cutler .214 5 SBs

Erin Hamm 2.71 ERA; 1-2
Amy Bright 2.79 ERA; 14-8
Briana Matazinsky 3.78 ERA; 9-6
Danielle Gabriel 5.54 ERA; 1-1

Tournament Preview - #4 Siena Saints

Record: 13-7 (19-25-1)
vs. the field:5-5

Paige Lloyd .410; 9 HRs; 15 2Bs; 37 RBIs
Stephanie Viggiano .366; 13 2Bs; 19 RBIs; 6 SBs
Melanie Kalesse .346; 12 SBs
Paige Hess .326; 4 HRs; 24 RBIs
Abby Carpenter .292; 5 HRs; 34 RBIs
Alyssa Lancaster .285; 14 RBIs
Brooke Taylor .267; 6 SBs
Lauren Milligan .263; 6 SBs
Sammy Smaldone .256; 4 HRs; 19 RBIs

Lauren Butts 3.79 ERA; 9-10
Amanda Gatt 3.79 ERA; 9-10

Tournament Preview - #5 Monmouth Hawks

Record: 12-8 (16-23)
vs. the field:4-6

Kayleena Flores .330
Vanessa Cardoza .306; 22 RBIs
Chloe Howerth .301; 13 RBIs; 7 SBs
Rachel Shotzbarger .297; 3 HRs; 19 RBIs
Jill Freese .297
Emma Hill .291; 22 SBs
Ashalynn Umiamaka .291; 34 RBIs
Justene Reyes .283; 21 RBIs

Sydney Underhill 4.47 ERA; 5-13
Amanda Riley 4.71 ERA; 5-7
Breanna Sniffen 5.41 ERA; 6-3

Tournament Preview - #6 Iona Gaels

Record: 12-8 (15-26)
vs. the field: 4-6

Kristen Turner .341; 10 HRs; 27 RBIs
Bri Schauer* .340
Katie Newton .310; 14 RBIs; 8 SBs
Allie Hand .303; 5 HRs; 15 RBIs; 7 SBs
Brianna King .300
Ashlyn Morris .266
Christine Costello .257; 4 HRs; 26 RBIs
Sarah Schutz .238; 4 HRs; 13 RBIs

Christine Costello 2.84 ERA; 5-7
Jordan Courage 5.93 ERA; 5-11
Sarah McMahon 7.14 ERA; 4-4

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Golden Griffins Grab Top Seed

Lindsey Silfer hit 6 for 7 with 6 RBIs in DH
Canisius 17
Rider 0 (5)

Canisius 5
Rider 0 

The Canisius Golden Griffins won their first MAAC regular season title since 2010 when they swept the Rider Broncs Sunday in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

After their disappointing Saturday, the Golden Griffins took a "no prisoners" approach to game one of this doubleheader, demolishing Rider with a 17 run barrage. Lindsey Silfer led the charge with a 4 for 4 performance which included a double, a triple and five RBIs. Sammy Sharkey also had a powerful game, with a home run and triple, good for three RBIs. Alexis Roman, Moriah Harris and Bethany DeMarco each drove home a pair of runs. Freshman Erika Mackie threw a three hitter for her MAAC leading sixth shutout of the season.

Game two was much, much closer with the Griffs clinging to a 1-0 lead through six innings in a game they had to have to take first place. Jessica Berzins gave them that lead with an RBI double in the top of the third inning. In the meantime, the other Canisius freshman pitcher, Madi Weathers, was holding the Broncs at bay to keep her team in the lead. Just before the seventh inning began, the Griffs learned of Fairfield's sweep. This seemed to move them to action, and they scored four insurance runs in the top of that inning to seal a 5-0 win. Five consecutive hits got them those runs, with RBIs coming from the bats of Michelle DelPrince (2), Alexis Roman and Lindsey Silfer.

Canisius finished 15-5, and earned the right to host the MAAC Championship on their field. Rider finished their season at 6-12.

Surging Stags Take Second Seed With Sweep

Freshman Destinee Pallotto controlled game two
Fairfield 4
Manhattan 3

Fairfield 7
Manhattan 1

The Fairfield Stags swept a MAAC doubleheader from the Manhattan Jaspers Sunday in Fairfield, Connecticut, earning second place in the process.

The Fairfield Stags completed a fabulous MAAC regular season run with this sweep. After a 1-3 start, they won 14 of their final 16 conference games. Game one was a tight pitchers' duel through four innings before the Stags broke the ice. They scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, beginning with Molly Roche's pinch hit RBI single. Lauren Filicia, continuing her fabulous junior season, then tripled for a 2-0 lead. Sammy Ruffolo's sacrifice fly and Sam Frungillo's single extended the Stags' lead to 4-0. Manhattan, however, would mount a furious comeback in the seventh inning. Fairfield starter Lauren Falkanger was relieved when she walked the inning's first three batters, after which Briana Matazinsky singled home a run. Pinch hitter Anna Crowley then halved the Stag lead, but hit into a double play in doing so. Another pinch hitter, Andi Stallard, singled in another run to make it a one run ball game, but that's where the rally ended.

Game two was pretty much all Fairfield, as they breezed to a 7-1 win. Stag starter Destinee Pallotto, a freshman whose ERA has been taking a nosedive as of late, kept the Jasper power hitters in check, striking out eight. Sam Frungillo had a fine senior day, with a pair of hits and three RBIs. Molly Roche hit a home run, and added three RBIs herself.

It seemed a little while ago that Fairfield was hardly in the hunt, but they have risen all the way to the #2 seed, and a first day bye at the tournament. They finished 15-5. Manhattan had a rough weekend to be sure, dropping to third place with a 13-7 record. Perhaps though this will take the pressure off them come tournament time.

Canisius Will Host MAAC Tournament

The Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo
With their sweep of the Rider Broncs in Lawrenceville Sunday, the Canisius Golden Griffins won the MAAC regular season title and the right to host the MAAC Championship. The tournament will begin this Wednesday. Apart from the host school, also participating will be Fairfield, Manhattan, Siena, Iona and Monmouth. More on Sunday's games and the upcoming tournament later.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Down To The Wire!

We don't have a #1 seed yet!
This Saturday in MAAC softball had a real tournament feel to it. And like the upcoming tournament, nothing was decided in one day. Instead of the usual play by play accounts, let's take a look at what went on and what it means.

Marist visited Manhattan hoping to keep their season alive, and they did so with a sweep. The Red Foxes won game one 7-6 in eight innings, with Kyrsten Van Natta's two run triple being the deciding hit. They won game two 8-5, thanks to a seventh inning three run homer by Gabrielle Kelliher. These were impressive wins over a team that shares first place in the MAAC, but it may not be enough. Marist still needs help on Sunday to qualify for the tournament; Monmouth must lose at least once. For the Jaspers, it was a tough couple of losses, mitigated only by seeing co-leader Canisius losing twice themselves. But Manhattan must travel to Fairfield on Sunday; the Stags suddenly made this a three team race for the right to host the tournament.

First place Canisius also had a rough day. They were the second top team to go against a team struggling to qualify, losing twice at Monmouth. The Hawks battered the Canisius pitchers, winning 8-1 and 8-4. Basically the Hawks had two big innings - a six run fourth inning in game one; and a seven run second inning in game two. Ashalynn Umiamaka led the way with four RBIs. These wins were huge for Monmouth, putting them in the driver's seat for the sixth and final spot in the tournament. They will host Niagara Sunday. Canisius still retains a slight first place edge as far as tiebreakers go, but can't count on that. They play at Rider Sunday.

The team that gained the most Saturday was clearly the Fairfield Stags, who swept Iona and grabbed a share of first place in the process. Game one was an epic battle, going 12 innings before the Stags prevailed 8-5. Tori Reed's two run triple in the top of the 12th was the decider. The Gaels seemed deflated for game two, and Fairfield breezed to a 6-0 win. The Stags host Manhattan for a crucial doubleheader Sunday, with a chance to win first place. However, they were swept by Canisius earlier this seaon, so that may be an impediment. But the second seed is also a valued goal, with it's first day bye. Iona is in the tournament, but can finish no better than third.

Siena ended Quinnipiac's season when they won game two of that doubleheader in Hamden, which was good for a split. The Saints can't win the regular season title, but they have a chance at the second seed. They will host Iona on Sunday and need to sweep and get some help.

Elsewhere, Rider swept Niagara in Lawrenceville.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Canisius Sweeps Niagara

Freshman Madi Weathers tossed a one hit shutout
Canisius 9
Niagara 0 (5)

Canisius 12
Niagara 0 (5)

The Canisius Golden Griffins moved into first place in the MAAC with their doubleheader sweep of the Niagara Purple Eagles Wednesday in Buffalo, New York.

Canisius actually began game one playing "small ball", methodically moving Lindsey Silfer around the bases in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. After that, they simply started pounding the ball, and the floodgates opened for two easy wins. Two doubles and a triple gave the Griffs a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning, with RBIs coming from Jessica Berzins, Michelle DelPrince and Lindsey Silfer. They then concluded the game with a five hit, five run onslaught in the bottom of the fourth inning. Alexis Roman, Lindsey Silfer and Sammy Sharkey all earned RBIs. Erika Mackie got her fifth shutout of the season in the 9-0 run rule game.

Game two was more of the same, with the Griffs pounding out 14 hits. Madi Weathers threw a one hitter, never giving Niagara a chance. Jessica Berzins and Meghan Cuda hit triples in this game, keeping the Griffs number one in the nation in that category. Meghan drove home three runs; Jessica drove home two. Bethany DeMarco had two RBIs; and freshman Moriah Harris hit 3 for 3 in the 12-0 romp.

Canisius is now 13-3, and in first place holding (for now) the tiebreaker. They must hit the road for their final four MAAC games. Niagara fell to 4-12, but are not yet eliminated.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Manhattan And Canisius Split; First Place Undecided

Manhattan 9
Canisius 1 (5)

Canisius 6
Manhattan 4 (8)

The Manhattan Lady Jaspers and Canisius Golden Griffins split a critical MAAC doubleheader Sunday at the Demske Sports Complex in Buffalo, New York.

Manhattan blew open game one of this series when Jenn Vazquez blasted a grand slam home run in the top of the fourth inning (shown in video above). This one big hit stunned the Griffs, as the game had been close prior to it. Canisius took the early 1-0 lead thanks to Lindsey Silfer's second inning home run. RBI singles by Amanda Paxson and Jenn Vazquez gave the LJs a 2-1 lead in the top of the third inning, setting the stage for Jenn's home run. She finished the game with five RBIs. It was Elena Bowman, hitting her 15th home run of the season, who caused the game to end early in the fifth inning. She is now just one homer away from tying the all-time MAAC career home run record. She also hit two doubles in the game. Manhattan's freshman Victoria Ross hit her first career home run. Amy Bright got the circle win; Erika Mackie suffered the loss.

Canisius would have to shake off their stunning defeat and prepare for game two. To their credit they did so, and handed Manhattan a stunning defeat. This was a classic game, with the lead changing hands. Michelle DelPrince continued her hot streak with a solo homer in the bottom of the first inning to give Canisius a 1-0 lead. Canisius starter Madi Weathers kept Manhattan off the board until the top of the fifth inning when Amanda Paxson singled home two runs to give her team a 2-1 lead. But the Griffs responded in the bottom of the same inning when a perfect suicide squeeze bunt by Alexis Roman scored Meghan Cuda to tie the game, and a sacrifice fly by Moriah Harris scored Jessica Berzins to put Canisius in front again. Sydney Weedon's lead off home run in the top of the sixth inning knotted the game at 3-3, and Manhattan went in front 4-3 in the top of the seventh inning thanks to Stephanie Reinhardt's RBI single. It was looking good for Manhattan to all but clinch the top spot, but Michelle Delprince smashed a double down the right field line in the bottom of the seventh, eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly by Lindsey Silfer to send this important game to extras. It was in the bottom of the eighth inning, with the game still tied and with two outs and two strikes, when Meghan Cuda sent a towering blast well past the center field fence (shown in video above) to end the game. Canisius players went into a frenzy; Manhattan players walked off dejected as the race for first place and the right to host the tournament remained undecided. Freshman Madi Weathers earmed the circle win, striking out eight. Amy Bright, in relief, took the loss.

Manhattan is now 13-3. Canisius is 11-3, and will host Niagara on Wednesday in a MAAC makeup. This will likely come down to the last weekend; tiebreakers may decide who will host.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Saints Clinch Berth With Sweep

Alyssa Lancaster had 4 hits in the MAAC doubleheader
Siena 7
Monmouth 3

Siena 9
Monmouth 1 (5)

The Siena Saints swept a MAAC doubleheader Sunday in Loudonville, New York over the Monmouth Hawks, securing themselves a spot in the upcoming MAAC Championship.

The Siena Saints completed a dominant home conference weekend with these wins. Game one did, however, find them trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Hawks had just gotten RBIs from Justene Reyes and Rachel Shotzbarger, overcoming Siena's 1-0 lead which had come as a result of a Paige Lloyd RBI back in the third inning. But the Saints exploded for six runs in the bottom of the sixth - all of them after two outs had been made against them - to coast to a 7-3 victory. The RBI parade was thus: Stephanie Viggiano, Sammy Smaldone, Abby Carpenter, Paige Hess (2) and Alyssa Lancaster. They were smacking the ball hard too! Amanda Gatt struck out six in earning her second win of the season.

Game two was more of the same, although it didn't last as long, just five innings and a 9-1 Siena win. Sammy Smaldone and Paige Lloyd gave the Saints a third inning 2-0 lead with RBI hits. Vanessa Cardoza drove home a run for the Hawks in the fourth, but then the Saints went through three Monmouth pitchers in the bottom of the fifth, pounding out seven runs. Only the mercy rule ended the onslaught. Stephanie Viggiano both drove home a pair of runs in the inning. Abby Carpenter added another, and Alyssa Lancaster finished the game early with an RBI single. Lauren Butts earned another win, allowing just two hits. She surrendered a measly five for the weekend.

Siena is 11-5, and will participate in their third consecutive MAAC tournament, nice for a program that used to be on the outside looking in. Monmouth is 8-8, and still in the final slot. They have work to do, as Marist is hot on their heels at 7-9. The Hawks will be hosting a Canisius team looking to clinch first place so they can host the tournament, so Monmouth will not be facing a team playing out the string when they next play a conference game.

Saints' Pitchers Mow Down Rider

Freshman Lauren Butts tossed a three hitter in game two of sweep
Siena 3
Rider 0

Siena 7
Rider 0

The Siena Saints swept a MAAC doubleheader over the Rider Broncs Saturday in Loudonville, New York.

The Siena Saints' young pitching duo has shown steady improvement over the course of the season, and Saturday they posted a double shutout. Amanda Gatt was in the circle for game one, and delivered a dominating two hit performance, striking out a dozen Broncs. But the game was scoreless through the first four innings, with Rider's Delany DeMello keeping her team in the contest. The Saints, however, would put up three runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the win. Abby Carpenter's two run double and an RBI single off the bat of Paige Hess gave Amanda Gatt more than enough support.

Another dominating pitching performance gave the Saints an easy 7-0 win in game two. Lauren Butts scattered three hits while striking out nine, making sure the Broncs never had a chance. Abby Carpenter and Paige Hess blasted homers for Siena; Paige Lloyd, Stephanie Viggiano and Chelsea Stout added RBIs.

Siena improved to 9-5, and would clinch a spot in the tournament with a Sunday sweep. Rider fell to 4-10 and are mathematically alive, but face elimination Sunday.

Monmouth And Marist Split Key Series

RaeLynn Galindo's game two home run gives Monmouth the edge
Marist 13
Monmouth 4 (6)

Monmouth 3
Marist 1

The Monmouth Hawks and Marist Red Foxes split a MAAC doubleheader that had tournament implications Saturday in Poughkeepsie, New York.

With the top six in the MAAC nearly settled, this doubleheader featured two teams fighting for inclusion. Monmouth, with the better record entering the twinbill, needed to avoid the sweep that Marist was looking for. Predictably, the games were intense. Game one saw the teams trading leads until the Red Foxes ended it with a big inning. Justene Reyes' suicide squeeze bunt in the top of the first inning scored Emma hill, giving Monmouth a 1-0 lead. Colleen McWilliams' two run home run blast in the bottom of the second inning put the Red Foxes in front 2-1, but the Hawks would regain their lead in the top of the next inning, thanks to a home run off the bat of Justene Reyes and an unearned run due to error scored by Emma Hill. Marist tied the game quickly in the bottom of the third when Becca Freeman delivered an RBI double. Monmouth again forged in front, 4-3 in the top of the fifth inning, thanks to an RBI single by Ashalynn Umiamaka. But Marist kept fighting for their season, tying the game with Janna Korak's RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, and exploding for nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, ending early what had been a tight contest. In that sixth inning, Gabrielle Kelliher's two run homer gave the Red Foxes a 6-4 lead; RBI hits by Maureen Duddy and Kyrsten Van Natta, plus a bases loaded walk to Janna Korak increased the lead to 9-4. Freshman Sam Reilly then hit a dramatic walk off grand slam home run to seal the win. Melanie White improved her circle record to 12-10.

The stakes for game two were high. The winner would take possession of the sixth and final tournament slot, and hold the tiebreaker over the loser. Again, it was an intense contest. And again, Monmouth took the early lead, this time in the top of the third inning with Emma Hill scoring once more after Ashalynn Umiamaka sent her home. The bottom of the same inning saw Marist quickly tie the game when Becca Freeman sent a blast over the center field fence. The game remained tied until the top of the fifth inning when, after Jill Freese opened the frame with a single, RaeLynn Galindo hit a home run over the left field fence to give the Hawks a lead they would not relinquish. Marist did load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning, but Vanessa Cardoza and catcher Jill Freese turned a double play that snuffed that threat. Freshman Amanda Riley, pitching a fine game on the road, earned the win.

Monmouth is now 8-6 in the MAAC, and control their own fate. Marist is 6-8, and will need to win perhaps their final games while hoping for some help.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Manhattan And Canisius Take Care Of Business

Michelle DelPrince hit a homer and triple good for 5 RBIs in Griffs' game two romp
It's no secret that Manhattan and Canisius are playing for a position in the MAAC driver's seat Sunday, but first both teams had to get through doubleheaders in which they were heavily favored. It can be tempting to "look past" these kinds of games, but both teams were prepared and won easily over the MAAC's bottom two teams.

At Niagara, Manhattan swept the Purple Eagles 12-0 (5) and 11-3. The big news there was Elena Bowman's 14th home run of the season, and freshman Briana Matazinsky continued her torrid streak with her third grand slam homer of the season.

Meanwhile, a few miles away at Canisius, the Griffs made short work of their doubleheader vs. St. Peter's, winning two five inning run rule games, 10-2 and 9-0. Jessica Berzins continued her .400 hitting with another fine day, including a walk off home run in game one. Michelle DelPrince showed why the Griffs are second in the nation in triples, with her MAAC leading fifth of the season; she added a homer and drove home five runs in game two.

Manhattan at Canisius on Sunday will begin at 11 AM EDT. Both teams are already virtually assured of a spot in the tournament, but the new format this season calls for the number one seed to host. So a lot to play for.