Softball splits with Stags, sweeps Gaels
By: Vincent Christiano III
The Canisius Softball team went 3-1 over the weekend, splitting their Saturday contests vs. Fairfield before sweeping Iona, to move into sole proprietorship of first place in the conference.
Coming into the weekend, there were four teams locked in a tie for the MAAC lead, but after this weekend’s games concluded, the Griffs found themselves as the only team with 10 wins and in sole possession of first in the conference.
Saturday’s first game began with Canisius taking the lead in the third inning and extending said lead by the end of the fourth. Christie McGee-Ross acquired the first two RBIs of the game, which gave the Blue and Gold their lead. Junior Sophia Recrosio had a nice day at the plate, going 2-for-3 and recording the hit that drove home Canisius’s third run of the day in the top of the fourth inning.
Fairfield was held scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when an RBI double scored the team’s first run. The very next batter, senior Kaitlin Hoffman, then blasted a three-run home run to left field, which gave Fairfield their first lead of the day and cemented a 4-run inning for the Stags.
Despite putting runners on base in the top of the seventh, the Griffs could not capitalize and Fairfield emerged victorious in the first game.
In game two, Canisius found themselves in a deficit early as the Stags plated the game’s first run in the bottom of the first inning. That would turn out to be Fairfield’s only run of the game, as they were held scoreless for the remaining innings while Canisius plated four to earn a game two victory.
The Golden Griffins recorded 10 hits in their 4–1 victory, which saw redshirt senior Emily Nicosia’s record move to 6–0 on the year and senior Alexis Churchill record her second save of the season. Fairfield recorded seven hits in the losing effort, and both teams were marked for two errors.
The pitching staff continued their momentum into Sunday’s games against Iona, which would prove to alter the conference standings drastically.
Megan Giese struck out eight batters and pitched another complete game shutout in game one, and sophomore Gianna Fazzolari’s two-RBI single in the top of the first proved to be the difference in a game where Iona was held off the scoreboard.
The Griffs added an insurance run in the top of the fourth thanks to a triple from Erin Hufford.
Canisius’s offense exploded in game two, as the Blue and Gold notched seven runs to sweep the Gaels.
The first inning started quickly enough, as the Griffs scored one run and the Gaels scored two. Canisius was able to tie the game at two in the fourth inning, thanks to an RBI from freshman Saige Alfaro.
Tied going into the seventh inning, the Griffs tacked on five runs, including another two-run single from Fazzolari.
Shealyn Ollison was the starting pitcher for Canisius, and Churchill entered in the third inning before recording nine strikeouts and only allowing two hits.
Churchill emphasized the positive group dynamic between the six rostered pitchers, and attributed that teamwork to how well the team has done in the circle this season. “We are very supportive amongst the six of us. Being able to pick each other up at the lowest points while also being there during the highest points is something we all strive to do as a group,” she said.
Canisius looks to maintain their spot at the top of the MAAC this weekend, as they’ll host Manhattan on Saturday and then St. Peter’s on Sunday to begin what is a six-game homestand to end the regular season.