Saturday, April 23, 2016

Red Foxes Rise To Top With Sweep Of Monmouth

Marist broke the school record for wins Saturday
Marist 5 
Monmouth 4

Marist 8
Monmouth 3

The Marist Red Foxes swept the Monmouth Hawks in a MAAC doubleheader Saturday in West Long Branch, New Jersey.

This long awaited series featured two teams at the top of the conference, and the games had a tournament feel to them right from the start. Marist broke the ice in game one with a two run first inning. After lead off walks to Maureen Duddy and Claire Oberdorf, Janna Korak hit a two out double to give the Red Foxes the early lead. They would increase their lead to 5-0 in the top of the fourth inning with RBIs coming off the bats of Casey Page, Maureen Duddy and Claire Oberdorf. Claire's sister Jayne was busy holding Monmouth hitless through the game's first 4.2 innings. But the Hawks woke up their bats in the bottom of the fifth when Katie Baron slugged a two run home run to cut the Marist lead to 5-2. They continued their rally in the bottom of the sixth inning when Nicole Wieczorek's two out, two run single suddenly made this a one run ball game. Jessica Van Alphen entered the Marist circle, and struck out three the rest of the game to earn a big save, with her team winning 5-4. Jayne Oberdorf was credited with the win; Amanda Riley suffered the loss.

In game two, Marist would again jump out to a 2-0 first inning lead, with Janna Korak again supplying an RBI. Claire Oberdorf also snuck home when Monmouth was making an out at second base. Monmouth this time responded immediately when powerful Justene Reyes belted a three run home run over the center field fence to give her team a lead for the first time this day. However, that would be all the Hawks could muster in this game, as Marist relief pitcher Megan Beiermeister, replacing starter Kallen Leeseberg, pitched a masterful 5.2 innings, scattering five hits while allowing no runs. The freshman improved to 10-0 on the season. After Gabrielle Kelliher's RBI in the top of the third inning tied the game, Marist picked up five runs in the top of the fifth inning, all scored with two outs, with RBIs coming from Colleen McWilliams, Gabrielle Kelliher and Maureen Duddy. To preserve the 8-3 victory, Marist made two outstanding field plays. First in the sixth inning when second baseman Claire Oberdorf with her backhand snared an apparent hit then threw out the speedy Emma Hill at home. Then with a brilliant game ending double play by first baseman Maureen Duddy. First place currently belongs to the Red Foxes.

Marist set a school record for wins Saturday, and now own an impressive 34-8 record; 9-1 in the MAAC. All is not lost for Monmouth, who dropped to 9-3, but still own second place.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Big MAAC Weekend Coming Up

Fairfield's Lauren Filicia had a big DH Thursday
The MAAC softball race heats up this weekend as teams battle to position themselves looking forward to the tournament in May.

Before we get to that, Fairfield and St. Peter's made up a previously postponed conference doubleheader Thursday in Jersey City, with the Stags sweeping by the scores of 12-1 and 8-0. Senior Lauren Filicia had an enormous day for Fairfield, hitting a perfect 7 for 7. The defending champions improved to 7-3; St. Peter's fell to 0-6.

Of course, the featured matchup this weekend will be Marist at Monmouth on Saturday. First place (for now) will be on the line. The teams seem to be evenly matched in terms of hitting and pitching. Last year they split their series, but that allowed Monmouth to get into the tournament while leaving Marist out in the cold. Being swept would not be the end of the world for either team of course, but the coveted first seed with tournament hosting privilege is quite an incentive.

Fairfield is nipping on the heels of both the aforementioned teams, and probably would like to see them split. The Stags are at Quinnipiac Saturday against a Bobcats team fighting for inclusion. QU will then host Iona on Sunday; a very good weekend will put them in good shape. Iona can't afford to be swept in their only series of the weekend.

Canisius and Niagara travel east to play at Manhattan and St. Peter's. The Jaspers, Griffs and Purple Eagles are all close in the standings currently. Another team in that grouping, Siena, will be at Rider on Saturday then at Monmouth on Sunday. If you take out the top three teams as they stand today, seven teams are battling for the final three spots.You can view the standings on the left side of this page.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016



In the bottom of the first inning vs. Holy Cross in Poughkeepsie, NY, Marist senior Maureen Duddy singled, then stole second and third bases. That gave her 41 stolen bases this season, which breaks the previous single season record of 40, which Canisius' Lauren Hope established in 2008. The thefts also gave Maureen 107 in her career; she now chases Lauren Hope's career record of 118.

Congratulations Maureen!

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Mighty Monmouth Hawks

Rachel Shotzbarger has emerged as one of the MAAC's top hitters
The Monmouth Hawks have continued to build on the momentum from their 2015 MAAC Tournament run, and have surged to first place in the conference with a record of 9-1. On Sunday in West Long Branch, NJ, the Hawks stunned Manhattan by scoring the first 18 runs in the conference doubleheader. They won the first game 8-0, in five innings, then stormed to a 10-0 lead in game two before Manhattan staged a late innings rally. The Hawks won that game 10-7. Junior Rachel Shotzbarger had a powerful day, connecting on a grand slam homer in game two, and finished the twinbill with seven RBIs. Her teammate Jill Freese also clubbed a grand slam, in game one. Justene Reyes, the team RBI leader, hit one out herself. Emma Hill also homered. But that one was of the inside the park variety, as the speedy senior rounded the bases in softball's most exciting and rare play. She's having a terrific season as the Hawks' leadoff hitter, often getting on base with a bunt single. She leads the team in stolen bases. Amanda Riley pitched a shutout in game one; her ERA is now 2.28, and she strikes out more than one batter per inning. Sydney Underhill allowed five runs in game two, but none of them were earned. She won her 12th game of the season.

The Hawks face a major test on Saturday when they host the 30 win Marist Red Foxes, who have great hitters and pitchers also. This will be a battle for first place. And although the MAAC season has a ways to go, a sweep would put either team in the driver's seat to host the upcoming MAAC Tournament. Should be fun!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Golden Griffins Climb Into Contention

Lindsey Silfer's bat was on fire this weekend!
A lot changed for the Canisius Golden Griffins from last week. For one thing, their home field was about 45 degrees warmer! The arrival of spring warmed up their bats also, as their offense revived to its 2015 form. After starting conference play 0-2, Canisius faced a tough challenge with Fairfield and Iona coming to town. They finished the weekend winning 3 of those 4 games, coming very close to a sweep. In the first game vs. Fairfield, the Golden Griffins staged a comeback, overcoming an early three run deficit, with Destiny Holani scoring the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. In the second game vs. the Stags, they carried a lead into the seventh inning, but Fairfield rallied desperately to avoid a sweep. Sunday's games vs. Iona saw Canisius score 26 runs in two run rule victories, the most runs the team has scored in a MAAC doubleheader since 1992. In the first game vs. the Gaels, Jessica Berzins hit a home run and a triple, good for six RBIs. Madi Weathers earned wins in both games of the Iona doubleheader. But it was junior ALL-MAACer Lindsey Silfer who went wild this weekend. She hit a remarkable 10 for 14, with a home run and eight RBIs.

Canisius is now 3-3 in the MAAC, and will play on the road next weekend at St. Peter's and Manhattan.

Red Foxes Sweep The Weekend

Jayne Oberdorf was nearly perfect in MAAC play this weekend
The Marist Red Foxes are on their way to having a historical season in 2016. At 30-8, one of the best records at this point in the MAAC season in recent memory, the Red Foxes are only three wins away from tying the school record (33, set a few times). This with at least 18 games left. They have won 17 of their last 18 games, the lone loss being in extra innings to Manhattan. Head Coach Joe Ausanio won his 200th game at Marist this weekend. Senior Maureen Duddy is just one stolen base away from tying the MAAC single season record, and 13 away from the MAAC career record. She's already broken the Marist record (which was hers anyway!).

This weekend Marist improved to 7-1 in the conference with some dominating wins on their home diamond. Leading the way was junior pitcher Jayne Oberdorf, who tossed a no-hitter vs. Quinnipiac on Sunday after pitching a two-hitter vs. St. Peter's on Saturday. She allowed no runs at all. Then there's Jayne's younger sister, freshman Claire Oberdorf; she hit an astounding 8 for 11 in MAAC games this weekend. She currently leads the team, and the conference, with a .443 batting average. Not to be lost in the shuffle is senior shortstop Kyrsten Van Natta, the team's RBI leader with 30. She was 3 for 4 with a homer and four RBIs in the Red Foxes' 22-1 demolishment of St. Peter's, a game in which Marist exploded for nine home runs. The aforementioned Maureen Duddy ran wild again this weekend, stealing seven bases. Plus, the whole lineup is playing very well - Marist has a team batting average of .337; opposing pitchers have no escape. And they have a pitching staff that goes five deep.

Marist will host Holy Cross on Wednesday in a non conference doubleheader before hitting the road. A big test awaits them next Saturday when they play at Monmouth in what amounts to a clash for first place in the MAAC. Remember that the regular season champion wins the right to host the tournament, so this battle will have high stakes!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Rider And Iona Split

Iona's Kristen Turner had a big day*
Rider 5
Iona 2

Iona 8
Rider 5

The Rider Broncs and Iona Gaels split a MAAC doubleheader Sunday in New Rochelle, NY.

Game one of this conference twinbill saw the Iona Gaels jump to a quick 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when Ashlyn Morris scored on a passed ball and Katie Newton singled home Christine Costello.  However, Rider starter Meg Ailand, pitching her finest game of the season, would shut down the Gaels for the remaining six innings. In the Iona circle, "Gnarly" Carly Argyle got the start, and was stellar through the game's first six innings, limiting the Broncs to three hits. But after a walk, and a double by Kiera Swank in the top of the seventh inning, Christine Costello entered the game for Iona in relief. Toni Nino's RBI single then got Rider on the scoreboard. The Gaels seemed to have the game won but a two out infield pop off the bat of Josettee Spencer was lost in the sun, allowing Amanda Crimarco to score and tie the game. With the bases loaded, up to the plate stepped the dangerous Dana Sensi, who proceeded to clear the bases with a double, giving Rider a big road conference win.

The Broncs, with newfound confidence, stormed to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning in game two. With the bases loaded, Montana Berg sent them all home with a triple. In danger of being swept on their home field, the Gaels got busy in the bottom of the third inning. Marisa Gergel singled home a run to get things started, but it was the big bat of Kristen Turner, with a three run home run blast, that gave Iona a 4-3 lead. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Marisa Gergel singled home two more runs, giving her three RBIs in the game, and the Gaels extended their lead to 6-3. Rider, however, would not go away, and pulled to within 6-5 in the top of the sixth inning with RBIs by Kiera Swank and Amanda Crimarco. But it was Kristen "Grand Slam" Turner who again came up big for her team with another home run blast in the bottom of the same inning, this time producing two runs and an 8-5 Iona win. Christine Costello earned the win; Kaitlyn Kallert suffered the loss. Iona is now 1-3 in the MAAC; Rider is 1-5.

*Photo courtesy of Jim Newton Photography

Monday, April 11, 2016

Manhattan And Marist Split

ALL-MAAC seniors Maureen Duddy (left) and Elena Bowman had big games
Manhattan 4
Marist 3 (8)

Marist 10
Manhattan 5

The Manhattan Jaspers and Marist Red Foxes split a MAAC doubleheader Sunday in Poughkeepsie, NY.

The Marist Red Foxes entered Sunday's MAAC matchup with the Manhattan Jaspers riding a ten game win streak. It would take extra innings to snap that streak, as the Jaspers staged a late inning rally for a big win. Marist jumped out to a 3-0 lead thanks to an RBI single by Brandi Coon in the bottom of the second inning, and a two RBI single by Colleen McWilliams in the bottom of the third inning. But Manhattan would begin their comeback in the top of the fourth. After Elena Bowman drew a leadoff walk in that inning, her partner in homers, Jenn Vazquez, blasted a pitch over the center field fence to cut the Red Foxes' lead to 3-2. Freshman Shannon Puthe delivered a big single in the top of the seventh inning for Manhattan, driving home pinch runner Bailey Madison to tie the game. On to extra innings the teams went, with Elena Bowman leading off for the Jaspers in the top of the eighth. You guessed it...Elena launched one over the left field fence, giving her team a big road win. Marist would not pitch to her the rest of the day, giving her five walks in game two. Briana Matazinsky earned the complete game win for Manhattan; Jessica Van Alphen suffered the loss in relief.

Game two again saw Marist jump to a lead, 5-1 after two innings. Stephanie Reinhardt did give Manhattan a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the top of the first inning, but Marist quickly tied the game in the bottom of that inning with Becca Freeman's RBI sac fly after Maureen Duddy doubled and stole third base. The Red Foxes then scored four runs in the bottom of the second inning with RBIs courtesy of Claire Oberdorf, Kyrsten Van Natta and Janna Korak. Claire also scored on a wild pitch. Manhattan, however, attempted another comeback, tying the game in the top of the fifth inning by scoring four times. RBIs by Shannon Puthe and Emily Cutler, plus a pair of bases loaded walks did the deed. But Marist this time sealed the game with a four run output in the bottom of the same inning, with Maureen Duddy and Claire Oberdorf both driving home a pair of runs on singles, winning the game 10-5. Jessica Van Alphen earned the win; Danielle Gabrielle took the loss. Red Fox Maureen Duddy stole three bases on the day. This leaves her just nine thefts short of Lauren Hope's MAAC single season record. Marist and Manhattan are both 3-1 in the MAAC.

Thanks to Maureen Duddy for the great photo taken after the games!

Saints Sweep Canisius In The Cold

The Siena Saints left Buffalo immediately following their sweep of the Griffs!
Siena 13
Canisius 8

Siena 7
Canisius 4

The Siena Saints swept a MAAC doubleheader over the Canisius Golden Griffins Sunday in Buffalo, NY.

MAAC teams have played plenty of cold games, but I can't recall any colder than Sunday's Siena-Canisius conference doubleheader. The official temperature when the first pitch was thrown in game one was 28 degrees; it would never rise above 34 by the end of game two. But the players braved the elements to get the important games played. Canisius did jump in front 2-0 in the first matchup, thanks to Denver Keller's RBI single and Allie Block's run after a bunt and error in the bottom of the second inning. But the Saints then exploded for 13 runs over the next three innings. After Chelsey Drew singled home Jess Volmer in the top of the third, Mady Cossack, in the midst of a productive freshman season, drilled a pitch over the center field fence good for three runs and a 4-2 lead. The Griffs did close the gap in the bottom of the same inning when Lindsey Silfer, who was 4 for 4 in the game, singled home a run. The game, however, was blown open by Siena in the top of the fourth inning with RBIs by Sammy Smaldone, Jess Volmer and Paige Hess; and in the fifth inning with an RBI by Chelsey Drew and a three run home run blast off the bat of Brooke Taylor, giving the Saints a 13-3 lead. Siena was one out from a mercy rule win, and an early trip to the warm locker room, but a bases loaded walk to pinch hitter Taylor Decker extended the game. Siena won 13-8. Lauren Butts earned her seventh circle win; Erika Mackie suffered the loss.

The Saints stormed out of the gate in game two, scoring four runs in the top of the first inning. An RBI single by Paige Hess, followed by an RBI double by Chelsey Drew, then a two RBI double by Alyssa Lancaster gave Siena a lead they would never relinquish. The Golden Griffins tried to stay in the game, scoring a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning when Denver Keller hit a triple. She finished the game 3 for 3. But the Saints answered that with a pair of runs in the top of the second inning when Paige Hess cracked a two run double to center field. Canisius had their chances to rally after that, but a couple of Siena double plays killed any hope for a comeback. Danielle Cacciola earned the circle win; Madi Weathers took the loss. Siena is now 2-2 in the MAAC; Canisius 0-2.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Hawks Sweep Rider

Amanda Riley did it all Saturday
Monmouth 9 Rider 0 (5)
Monmouth 11 Rider 0 (5)

The Monmouth Hawks opened MAAC play with a shutout sweep over the Rider Broncs Saturday in West Long Branch, NJ.

Monmouth did not waste any time in game one, jumping to a quick and insurmountable lead. Helped by two Rider errors, and RBIs by Justene Reyes and Ashalyn Umiamaka, the Hawks led 3-0 after the opening frame. In the bottom of the second inning, the speedy Emma Hill hit a triple which drove home Katie Baron; she scored on another error, and Monmouth was up 5-0. Solo home runs by Jill Freese and Amanda Riley in the third inning extended the lead to 7-0. Katie Baron's two run home run blast ended the game early in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the Hawks a 9-0 win. Katie and Amanda Riley both had a pair of hits in the game. Sydney Underhill earned the shutout with a six strikeout performance, scattering five hits. Toni Nino and Josettee Spencer both had two hits for the Broncs.

Game two was much of the same, although in this one the Hawks scored nearly all their runs in the second inning when they crossed the plate ten times. In that inning they posted nine hits, four of them doubles plus a homer off the bat of Jill Freese, her second round tripper of the game. Monmouth won 11-0, in five innings. Amanda Riley had herself another great game, this time also as a pitcher as she threw a one hit shutout with ten strikeouts. At the plate she drove home two runs. Rachel Shotzbarger drove home three runs; Katie Baron finished the doubleheader a perfect 4 for 4.

Monmouth is 2-0 in the MAAC; Rider 0-2.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Schedule Adjustment

Even old Sol won't be able to break the cold's grip Sunday!
Go figure...after a pre-conference season that was almost totally free of weather issues, the first weekend of MAAC play has been altered by a cold front invading the east coast. Saturday's games should all get played, but Sunday's slate has been almost wiped clean. St. Peter's at Rider is still on as of this writing, but the other four MAAC doubleheaders have been postponed. Fairfield at Manhattan will now take place on Tuesday, April 5th. On Wednesday April 6th, Monmouth and Iona will play in New Rochelle. Both the Niagara at Quinnipiac and Marist at Siena conference doubleheaders have been rescheduled for May 8th, the last day of the regular season.