POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - Fairfield sophomore Kristen Filicia's walk-off homer with one out in the bottom of the seventh helped lift the No. 2 seed Stags to a 4-3 win over Canisius College Thursday afternoon in the first game of the 2012 MAAC Softball Championship at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The loss snapped the Golden Griffins' five-game win streak and moved the team into Friday's elimination round.
Canisius (19-29) trailed 3-0 through the first two innings of the game, but scored single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh to knot the game at 3-3. Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Canisius junior Stephanie Pfentner took a 3-0 offering from Fairfield starter Rebecca Trott over the fence in straight-away center to make it a 3-3 game. Fairfield answered however, as Filicia took an 0-1 pitcher from Canisius reliever Caroline Main over the fence in left to lift Fairfield to the victory.
Fairfield scored two unearned runs in bottom of the first off Canisius starter Jen Consaul, who allowed three runs on four hits while walking four in 2.0 innings of work. With two runners on and two outs in the bottom of the first, Fairfield designated player Rae Ball drove a pitch down the left field line that allowed the first two runs to score. In the second, the Stags (30-25) added another run when catcher Lauren Liseth drew a two-out bases loaded walk. The score would remain 3-0 until the fifth when the Griffs got on the board with a single run.
That run came off the bat of sophomore Valorie Nappo, who drilled her second career homer over the fence in left center to give the Blue and Gold a tally. Canisius made it a one-run game in the sixth thanks to a double by junior Katie Medina. Senior Lizzy Gatto got on base after an error by the Fairfield left fielder, and she scored moments later when Medina took a pitch from Trott back up the middle into center.
Trott improved to 17-13 on the year after she allowed three runs, two of which were earned, on six hits to go with eight strikeouts and one walk. Main took the loss in relief for the Blue and Gold after she allowed one run on one hit - Filicia's walkoff homer - while fanning eight and walking one in 4.1 innings of action. Medina and Pfentner each had two hits for the Griffs in the loss, while Fairfield outfielder Sammy Ruffolo had two hits in the win for the Stags.
Canisius will Marist game at 1 p.m. on Friday in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. The host Red Foxes lost to top-seeded Iona by a score of 3-0 in the tournament's second game Thursday afternoon. The winner of that elimination game will advance to the elimination round championship game, while the loser will see its season come to an end.
Game Notes: This is the Griffs' 21st all-time appearance in the MAAC Softball Championships... Canisius is 35-29 all-time against Fairfield, however the Stags have won five straight in the series... Thursday's game marked the 21st time Canisius and Fairfield have met in the MAAC Softball Championship, with Canisius leading that portion of the series by a 13-8 count... Five different Canisius players made their first career start in the MAAC Tournament on Thursday... Main made her 97th career appearance, and her eight strikeouts are the most for her in her last seven outings, dating back to April 21... Pfentner's last two home runs have come at Marist's Gartland Field - she also had a homer against Marist in the regular season April 28.