|Jaspers Pick Up First MAAC Win, 5-0 Over Canisius|
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - On Saturday afternoon, the Manhattan College softball team did something it had never done before. The Jaspers (6-27, 1-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) beat Canisius (14-27, 6-4 MAAC) for the third year in a row. After the Griffs won the first game by a 5-0 count, the Jaspers picked up their first MAAC victory of the season, a 4-0 triumph in game two of a twinbill at Gaelic Park.
Canisius took advantage of two Manhattan errors to take a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning of game one. The Griffs notched another unearned tally in the top of the fifth, but Kelsi Redding (Tucson, Ariz.) got out of further trouble when Lauryn Chris lined into an inning-ending double play with a runner on third and one out. However, Canisius increased its lead to 4-0 on a two-run homer by Michelle DelPrince in the top of the sixth. Katie Lancellotti added a solo shot later in the inning to make it 5-0 in favor of the Griffs.
Meanwhile, Canisius pitcher Jen Consaul faced two batters over the minimum, yielding singles to Jocelin Whitmore (La Habra, Calif.) and Amanda Paxson (Cedar Grove, N.J.). Consaul (8-8) struck out five and didn't walk a batter in the complete game shutout. The Griffs had 11 hits in game one, with Valorie Nappo, Stephanie Pfentner and DelPrince all going 2-for-4.
Redding (2-9) took the loss after surrendering five runs (three earned) on 10 hits while striking out three and walking five in 5.1 innings of work. Mickayla Romero (Las Vegas, Nev.) allowed one hit in 1.1 innings of relief.
After Canisius left four runners on base over the first two innings of game two, the Jaspers struck for a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Romero started the rally with a double to right center that was inches from being out of the park. However, it didn't matter, because Meghan McDevitt (Nutley, N.J.) was up next, and she crushed a two-run homer to center field that gave Manhattan its first lead of the day.
With Manhattan still holding on to a 2-0 advantage, the Jaspers' defense kept it that way in the top of the fourth. Katie Medina led off the inning with a double, then was replaced by pinch runner Erica Afanador. Nappo followed with a grounder to short, and Afanador took off for third after the throw to first. After retiring Nappo, Romero threw across the diamond to third baseman Kelly Murray (Leominster, Mass.), who applied the tag on Afanador to complete the double play. Chris then flied to left to end the inning.
Kate Bowen (Newtown, Conn.) worked her way out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the sixth before the Jaspers added a pair of insurance tallies in the bottom half of the inning. After Jen Keller (Woodridge, N.J.) drew a one-out walk, Romero won a long battle with Canisius pitcher Caroline Main, fouling off several two-strike pitches before belting a deep two-run homer to left center.
Bowen retired the first two Canisius hitters in the top of the seventh before giving up a two-out double to Lauren Falzone. However, Falzone tried to turn the hit into a triple, and Keller threw a strike to Murray, who tagged her out to end the game and give the Jaspers their first MAAC victory of the season.
The Jaspers were held to four hits in game two, three of which went for extra bases. Romero was 2-for-2 with a double, a homer, two runs scored and two RBIs. McDevitt went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer, while Keller had the other hit. Bowen (3-8) went the distance in the circle, scattering six hits and walking three while also picking up a strikeout.
Falzone had three of the Griffs' six hits in game two, going 3-for-4 at the plate. Medina was 2-for-3, while Robin Kennery contributed a single. Main (4-13) went the first 5.1 innings before being relieved by Corrine Schaus. Main surrendered four runs on four hits, struck out eight and walked three.
Manhattan was scheduled to conclude its six-game homestand with a twinbill against two-time defending MAAC champion Iona (22-19, 4-2 MAAC) at 10 a.m. on Sunday. However, with the forecast calling for heavy rains most of the day, the doubleheader has been postponed. The Jaspers and Gaels will now square off at 2 p.m. on Monday at Gaelic Park.