|Justene Reyes hit a two run homer in the first inning|
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.