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.