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.

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