Canisius 1 (5)
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.