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Softball looks to build off of previous success with season opener nearing

By Ryan Patota, Sports Reporter

Coming off of the best record in the MAAC and finishing with a 17-win campaign in the conference, Canisius softball looks to build on its previous success going into the upcoming season. Ending their 2023 campaign with a loss in the MAAC Championship to the Marist Red Foxes last year at home was tough for the Griffs, but there is a lot of promise coming into this season with returning faces that played a huge contributing role to the team’s success. The Griffs were picked second in the MAAC Preseason Coaches Poll this upcoming season. Only defending MAAC Softball Champs the Red Foxes were picked higher, with eight total votes.

Megan Giese was one of two Golden Griffin Seniors named to the Preseason All-MAAC Softball Team. The two-time MAAC pitcher of the year, Giese had a 3.11 ERA with 18 wins, 168 innings pitched and 208 strikeouts all career highs last season. At the plate, she hit five homers. Giese also plays in the infield, and when she’s not on the mound, she’ll see a lot of time at first base.

The second senior that was named to the Preseason All-MAAC Softball Team was outfielder Christie McGee-Ross. Having both speed and power that was essential for the Griffs last year, McGee-Ross showed that by batting .403 and stealing the most bases of her career, with 35. Both of these seniors were named first team All-MAAC as well last season.

The Golden Griffins have 5 incoming freshmen on their softball team this year. Head coach Kim Griffin praised the leadership on the team of the four current seniors showing the culture of what the standards are for being on the Canisius softball team. “[Our seniors] do a great job living up to our standards on and off the field, setting the tone in practices, executing at a high level helps the underclassman see what the standards are and how to execute,” said Griffin. During the offseason, the Griffs built their team chemistry by going on retreats to develop team building activities and participating in weekly events as a team to get the new players involved. 

Reigning Softball MAAC Coach of the Year, coach Griffin enters her 10th season at the helm where she has earned 192 career wins in the program, 60 of which have come within the past two seasons. On how the coach preps for the new season, “learning doesn't come from the top down: we are all learning from each other. Always open to learning and growing is very important to me and finding a work balance in the season,” Griffin said. During her preparations for the new season, the Griffs will have two new assistant coaches as father-daughter duo George Weimer and Katie Weimer were hired in October 2023.

The Canisius softball team will open their 45th season in program history on Friday afternoon when they play in the Charlotte Invitational in Charlotte, N.C, taking on Charlotte, Boston University and Queens during the four-day span.

Photo courtesy of Ken Morey

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