The host Siena College Saints clinched a berth into next weekend’s MAAC Softball Championship and stayed in contention for the MAAC regular-season title by scoring a doubleheader sweep of Canisius Saturday afternoon at Siena Field in Loudonville, N.Y. The Saints (19-24, 10-4 MAAC) took game one by the score of 8-0 in six innings before coming-from-behind to defeat the Golden Griffins 2-1 in the nightcap. Canisius sees its season end with a record of 22-25 overall and 6-10 in conference play.
This will mark just the third time since 1990 where the Griffs have failed to qualify for the MAAC Softball Championship tournament. Canisius dropped nine of its final 10 games of the year, with six of those losses coming to MAAC rivals Iona, Fairfield and Siena. Sophomore Robin Kennery posted two hits in the second game on Saturday and finished the year with a team best .350 batting average and 55 hits. She also drove in a team leading 39 RBIs.
In the first game of the day, Siena junior pitcher Jessika-Jo Sandrini went the distance and allowed just three hits while striking out nine, and the Saints took advantage of four Canisius errors to earn the 8-0 win in six innings. Siena led 2-0 after three innings and then tacked on four runs in the home-half of the fourth to jump out to a 6-0 advantage. Canisius senior Katie Medina had two of the Griffs’ hits and fellow senior Stephanie Pfentner added a double to the losing effort for Canisius.
In the second game of the day, Siena scored two times in the bottom of the fifth to earn a 2-1 in Canisius’ season finale. The Griffs jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI base hit by junior Valorie Nappo. That lead would hold until the fifth, as Canisius starter Jen Consaul held the Saints to just three hits through four innings, but an RBI-single by Shannon Jones and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Alyssa Lancaster put Siena ahead for good. Sandrini came on in relief of game two starter Antonia Edwards and earned the win after she pitched a flawless 2.1 innings. The win for Sandrini improved her to 13-7 on the year in the circle.
Kennery had two hits in the game two loss, while freshman Meghan Cuda went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run scored. Sophomore Michelle DelPrince had a hit as well in the losing effort for Canisius. Consaul took the loss to see her record go to 15-12 on the year.Game Notes: Canisius is now 38-8 all-time against Siena in softball… In the second game, there were no extra-base hits for either team – the two teams combined for 11 singles… Kennery’s 55 hits are the most for a Canisius player since Lauren Hope had 61 hits during the 2010 campaign… Cuda finished the year with 53 base hits, the most hits for a freshman in a season since Jodi Tassone set the school record for hits by a freshman with 54 in 1993… DelPrince was at the top of Canisius’ batting order in both games, marking the first time Cuda had not hit leadoff all season… Sophomore Marissa Miller served as Canisius’ catcher in both games because of injuries… She had not caught an inning all season prior to Saturday… The games at Siena marked the end of the careers of seniors Medina, Pfentner, Amanda Baun and Chloe Contreras.