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  • The Griffin

Softball Starts Strong in the Carolinas

By: Vinnie Christiano III

After playing 13 games in 10 days, the Canisius softball team is off to one of their best

starts in recent history, winning eight of their 13 games and outscoring opponents 79–44.

The team began the season with a three-game winning streak, with two wins over South Carolina State and one over Northern Kentucky. After losing four of the following five games, they reignited the win streak, finishing off the trip winning four of their final five games.

Throughout the road trip, the team outhit their opponents 119–68, on the back of a team

leading 20 hits courtesy of sophomore Christie McGee-Ross. She also currently leads the MAAC in hits and is tied with fellow Griff Gianna Fazzolari for a conference-leading 10 runs, though Canisius has played more games than any other MAAC team to this point.

Fazzolari also currently leads the MAAC with five home runs. The sophomore belted

four home runs in the first five games of the season and added another as Canisius’s lone run in a 4–1 loss to UNCW on Feb 26.

Another standout player to this point for the Griffs is freshman Saige Alfaro, who

currently rides a seven-game hit streak and was named last week’s MAAC Rookie of the Week.

McGee-Ross was also recognized last week as Co-Player of the Week.

Two more sophomores were also recognized as MAAC Weekly Award winners the week

prior, as Fazzolari and pitcher Megan Giese were recognized as the Player of the Week and

Pitcher of the week respectively. Golden Griffins have received four of the possible six MAAC

weekly awards.

While offensively the team has certainly been dominant, their success hasn’t been without contributions by the Canisius pitching staff. Giese is becoming a prominent utility player, recording three hits this year and four RBI at the plate while holding opponents to a 1.96 ERA. She has recorded 39 strikeouts across just over 36 innings of work.

Redshirt Senior Emily Nicosia currently has a 3–0 record and has 17 strikeouts through

18 innings pitched. This past Sunday against NC Central, Nicosia threw a complete-game one-

hitter, as the Griffs defeated the Eagles in five innings. In addition to tossing a shutout, Nicosia

also went 2-for-2 at the plate, recording her first career collegiate hit. Of those two hits, she recorded an RBI double early in the contest, and she followed it up with a three-run homerun to right field in the fourth inning.

During the stint in the Carolinas, graduate student Erin Hufford recorded seven stolen bases, surpassing Jacqueline Fusco for fourth all time in program history. She currently leads the MAAC, just in front of teammate McGee-Ross, who has five.

The Golden Griffins have no games this weekend, but will embark on another road trip down the East Coast next weekend when they travel to Delaware. That away series kicks off on Saturday, March 12 against the Penn State Nittany Lions, before facing the U. of Delaware Blue Hens on both March 12 and 13.

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