POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Canisius College softball team saw its 2012 season come to an end in the elimination final of the MAAC Softball Championship on Friday afternoon, as the Blue and Gold lost to Iona 5-0. The Golden Griffins end the season with a 20-30 overall record.
Canisius advanced to Friday afternoon's game against the top-seeded Gaels (33-24) after the Blue and Gold posted a 4-1 win over host Marist in the second game of the day. In that game, senior Caroline Main earned the win in the circle after she allowed one run on three hits while striking out two in five innings, and sophomore Valorie Nappo drove in two RBIs with a base hit to left as the Griffs scored three times in the top half of the fifth.
Against the Red Foxes, Canisius got on the board first in fourth inning when senior Lizzy Gatto singled to left and then stole second base. Gatto moved to third when Nappo reached base on a throwing error and the Hollister, Calif., native would later score on a perfectly executed squeeze bunt by junior Stephanie Pfentner, who dropped down a 2-0 offering inside the first-base line for her ninth RBI of the season.
In the fifth, the Blue and Gold scored three times as senior Lauren Falzone stroked an RBI-double to the gap in left center and Nappo drove in a pair with a single to left that allowed senior Katie Lancellotti and Gatto to score. Marist cut into Canisius' cushion with a solo homer to lead off the fifth making the score 4-1, but Main got out of bases-loaded danger by inducing a fly ball out to center to end the frame.
Sophomore Jen Consaul came on in the bottom of the sixth and allowed two base runners to reach while striking out two to earn her second save of the season, while Main moved to 8-14 on the year with the win, her second career MAAC Tournament victory. Marist starter Emily Osterhaus took the loss after she allowed four runs on four hits while walking three in 4.1 innings of action.
Against Iona, the Gaels scored four times in the first three innings, with two runs crossing the plate in the top half of the third. Those runs would be more than enough support for Iona starter Alyssa Maiese, who threw a complete-game five-hitter and struck out eight for her 16th win of the season in the circle. Falzone had two hits for the Blue and Gold in her final game as a Griff, while Nappo, Pfentner, and freshman Robin Kennery also reached base with hits in the losing effort.
The win allows Iona to advance to the MAAC Championship round, where the two-time defending conference champion will need to defeat Fairfield twice to earn the MAAC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Softball Championship next weekend. Fairfield is 2-0 in the tournament, having beaten Canisius on Thursday and Iona on Friday in the winner's bracket game. The Stags scored a single run in the top of the 15th inning to beat Iona 2-1.Game Notes: Canisius' game against Iona was the program's 70th MAAC Tournament game since 1990, where the team is 58-22 all-time... Falzone ended her senior year with a career-high 55 hits, which ranks tied for 14th in school history for hits in a year... She also led the team with 38 runs scored... Gatto ended the year with a team-high 19 steals and finished with 64 career stolen bases, which ranks second all-time in school history... Lancellotti ended her career in Blue and Gold with 104 career RBIs, which ranks fifth in program history... Main tied with Consaul for the team's lead in appearances in 2012 with 31, and her 99 career appearances ranks eighth in school history.