Sunday, May 3, 2015

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.

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