Sunday, May 1, 2016

Golden Griffins Sweep Monmouth

Jessica Berzins delivered the key hit in game two
Canisius 5
Monmouth 1

Canisius 5
Monmouth 4 (11)

The Canisius Golden Griffins swept the Monmouth Hawks in a MAAC doubleheader Saturday in Buffalo, NY.

Prior to this big conference match up, Canisius had never beaten the Monmouth Hawks, who entered the MAAC in 2014. The Hawks owned a perfect 5-0 record vs. the Griffs, including a 12-1 win in last year's tournament. So this was a big test for the home team. Monmouth got on the scoreboard first in game one in the top of the first inning, thanks to Rachel Shotzbarger's sacrifice fly which scored Emma Hill. But that would be the only run they would score on Canisius starter Madi Weathers, who has been pitching very well in MAAC games this season. The Griffs tied the score in the bottom of the same inning when Jessica Berzins scored after a wild pitch. Jessica then gave her team the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning, singling home Sami Sharkey. Denver Keller's two RBI double, and Moriah Harris' RBI single in the bottom of the fifth inning completed the scoring, giving Canisius a 5-1 win and their first ever victory over the Hawks.

Game two was an intense extra innings affair, with the Griffs prevailing, 5-4. Monmouth again opened the scoring in the top of the first inning, putting up three runs; Rachel Shotzbarger and Ashalynn Umiamaka were credited with RBIs with another scoring after a Canisius error. The Griffs kept the game close with two runs of their own in the bottom of the same inning, courtesy of Meghan Cuda's triple which scored Lindsey Silfer and Lauren Castro. Jill Freese's home run blast in the top of the fourth inning gave the Hawks a 4-2 lead. But Canisius would tie the game, eventually sending it to extra innings, in the bottom of the sixth inning with RBIs off the bats of Denver Keller and Moriah Harris. Erika Mackie then entered the pitching circle for Canisius in relief of Lauren Castro, and tossed five shutout innings. With two outs in the bottom of the 11th inning, Jessica Berzins blooped a single over the infield that scored Moriah Harris with the game winner, giving the Griffs the sweep. Sydney Underhill suffered the loss for Monmouth after pitching in all 11 innings.

Canisius is now 9-5 in the MAAC; Monmouth is 11-5.

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