Manhattan Opens MAAC Tournament Against Monmouth
Fourth-seeded Manhattan (33-19, 13-7 MAAC) takes on fifth-seeded Monmouth (22-29, 11-9 MAAC) in its MAAC Tournament opener at Donald E. Walsh Field. The winner moves on to face No. 1 Iona (26-20, 15-5 MAAC) on Thursday. The Jaspers, who've won 30 games for the second straight season, are one victory away from matching the school-record of 34, set in 1993. Manhattan is looking for its first MAAC title since the 1999 season.
ABOUT THE JASPERS
The Jaspers (33-19) received the No. 4 seed for the MAAC Tournament after going 13-7 in conference play. Manhattan enters the MAAC Tournament having won five of its last seven contests, but is coming off a 1-0 loss in game two of a doubleheader at Iona on Sunday. Sophomore Lauren Pitney paces the Jaspers with six home runs and 34 RBIs, and she's also hitting a team-best .333. Junior Shannon Puthe, meanwhile, has a .297 batting average to go along with a squad-high 52 hits. She also leads the league in triples (7), runs scored (48) and stolen bases (25). Junior Victoria Ross has tallied five home runs and 29 RBIs, and senior Jenn Vazquez paces the squad with 12 doubles. In the circle, freshman Nicole Williams has a 12-6 record to go along with 114 strikeouts and a MAAC-best 1.60 ERA. Junior Briana Matazinsky boasts a 2.17 ERA, and her 14 wins are second-most in the conference.
HEAD COACH TOM PARDALIS
Tom Pardalis is in his eighth season as Manhattan's head coach. He's led the Jaspers to six MAAC Tournament appearances, including a championship round appearance in 2014. Manhattan has won 30 games in each of the last two seasons and has recorded at least 25 wins six times under Pardalis. The winningest coach in program history, he has a career record of 197-196-1.
Manhattan begins its fourth successive MAAC Tournament against Monmouth, the same team that ended its 2016 campaign. The winner of Wednesday's first-round game advances to face top-seeded Iona at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, while the loser will play an elimination contest against the loser of the game between Siena and either Marist or Fairfield at 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Manhattan has qualified for the MAAC Tournament for the fourth consecutive season and the seventh time in nine years. The Jaspers have won five games in the event since 2014, when they reached the championship round for the first time since winning their only MAAC title in 1999. Manhattan also played for the championship in 1995. Overall, this is the Jaspers' 14th MAAC Tournament appearance.
JASPERS VS. THE FIELD
The Jaspers went 5-5 against the rest of the MAAC Tournament field this season, splitting their regular season doubleheader with each opponent. Manhattan welcomed Monmouth, Siena and Marist to Gaelic Park, while also visiting Fairfield and Iona.