The Canisius softball team scored five times in the bottom of the third inning, highlighted by a three-run homer off the bat of sophomore Robin Kennery, and junior pitcher Jen Consaul allowed one run on five hits while striking out eight as the Golden Griffins bounced back to defeat Manhattan 6-1 in the second game of a MAAC doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex. In the first game, the visiting Jaspers (15-19, 7-3 MAAC) held off a late Canisius rally to post a 5-4 victory. The Griffs are now 19-16 overall and 4-4 in league play.
Kennery hit .500 (4-for-8) in the two games with the three-run homer and a total of five RBIs on the day. Senior Katie Medina had four hits, including two doubles, and freshman Meghan Cuda went a combined 4-for-7 with two doubles and three runs scored in the twinbill. Sophomore Marissa Miller had two hits on the day, a two-run home run in the first game and a double in game two.
Game Two - Canisius 6, Manhattan 1
Canisius broke the second game open with a five-run rally in the home half of the third. With one out, Cuda reached via an infield single and sophomore Michelle DelPrince followed with a base hit through the right side of the infield. With runners at first and second, Kennery stepped to the plate and smashed her third homer of the season over the fence in left center field to give the Blue and Gold a 3-0 lead. Medina followed Kennery’s home run with a double, and she scored moments later on an RBI-double by Miller. Miller advanced to third on a base hit by freshman Bethany DeMarco, and Canisius took a 5-0 lead when Consaul helped her own cause with a sacrifice squeeze-bunt that allowed Miller to cross the plate. The Griffs led 5-0 until the top of the sixth when Manhattan plated a run to make it 5-1, but the Blue and Gold pushed its cushion back to five runs in the home half of the sixth when Kennery singled to right, allowing Cuda to score from second base.
Consaul moved to 14-7 on the year after she allowed one run on five hits to go with eight strikeouts and no walks. Sophomore Amy Bright took the loss for the Jaspers after she allowed five runs on 10 hits in five innings of action.
Game One - Manhattan 5, Canisius 4
Manhattan scored three times in the top of the second and then plated two insurance runs in the top half of the fifth to take a 5-0 lead on Canisius in the first game of the doubleheader. With one out in the second frame, Manhattan’s Sydney Weedon hit her second home run of the season to start the rally for the Jaspers, and Manhattan starting pitcher Kate Bowen made the score 2-0 with an RBI-single to right. Manhattan had a 3-0 lead and the bases loaded in the second, but freshman Tori Nappo helped Canisius starter Amanda Baun get out of trouble with a diving catch in center to end the frame. The Jaspers pushed their lead to 5-0 in the fifth on the power of a two-run bomb by left fielder Andi Stallard. Those two runs proved to be key for Manhattan, as the Griffs rallied with two in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-2 game.
In Canisius’ half of the fifth, junior Valorie Nappo and Kennery had back-to-back RBI-singles to get the Griffs on the board. Trailing 5-2 in the sixth, Miller came on as a pinch hitter and pounded her third homer of the season over the fence in left to make the score 5-4. Canisius ended up leaving two runners on in the sixth and another run on base in the seventh as Manhattan scored just its second win at the Demske Sports Complex in its last 12 games, dating back to 2003.
Bowen improved to 7-5 on the year with the win in the circle for the Jaspers after she allowed four runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out one in 5.1 innings of work. Freshman Erin Hamm came on in relief for Manhattan and earned her first career save after she held Canisius hitless in 1.2 innings. Baun took the loss for the Griffs, allowing three runs on five hits while walking three and striking out one in two innings. Freshman Jenn Solis gave up two runs on two hits and fanned three in three innings of relief work for Canisius.
The Griffs will play host to Saint Peter’s on Sunday, April 21, with game one of the MAAC doubleheader set to begin at 12 p.m. After the second game, Canisius will honor its four seniors (Baun, Chloe Contreras, Stephanie Pfentner and Medina) who will be playing in their final league games at home.
Game Notes: Canisius has now played Manhattan 59 times in softball, with the Golden Griffins leading the series 49-10… The game two victory was the 810th career win for head coach Mike Rappl and it also stands as the 320th MAAC victory in program history… Kennery extended her hitting streak to nine games with hits in both contests on Saturday… Medina also had hits in both games against Manhattan to improve her hitting streak to six games… Cuda leads the Griffs with 16 multi-hit games this season… Consaul’s win in game two is the 31st in her collegiate career… Consaul leads the team’s pitching staff with 15 complete-games this season… She is the ninth pitcher in program history to record 15 or more complete-games in a single season.