NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College softball team came within three outs of a doubleheader sweep of Fairleigh Dickinson Wednesday afternoon at Rice Oval. The Knights struck for five runs in the top of the seventh to take game two 7-5 from the Gaels. Iona prevailed in the opener 4-2.
In the opener, the Gaels got on the board in the second. Senior Alyssa Maiese led off with a double down the right field line. Junior Eileen McCann followed with a single to second to put runners on the corners. After McCann stole second, freshman Brianna Schauer reached on an error by the FDU infield. The play allowed both Maiese and McCann to score and put Iona up 2-0.
In the third, sophomore Katie Jansson led off with a ground rule double to right center. Junior Jodi Petersen bunted Jansson over to third before senior Chelsea Sheehan perfectly executed a squeeze bunt down the third base line to score Jansson with Iona's third run.
An FDU home run in the top of the fourth by Maria Roney made the score 3-1 before Iona wrapped up its scoring in the bottom of the inning when Maiese launched her sixth home run of the season to left.
In the top of the seventh Lauren Hamliton reached base on a clean bunt and reached second base on an Iona error. A single from Paige Castro drove home Hamilton, but that was as close as the Knights would get.
Senior Sarah Jackson (10-7) earned the win, striking out nine over seven innings. Caitlin Bradac earned the loss for FDU. She allowed three earned runs on six hits through six innings of work. She struck out four and walked one batter.
In game two, Iona got a run in the first inning when senior Deanne Algeo drove in Sheehan with a single to left. FDU got two runs in the third inning on a single by Bradac to take a 2-1 lead.
The Gaels were able to tie the contest in the third on an RBI single by Maiese before scoring three runs in the fifth. Algeo recorded an RBI groundout before two FDU miscues allowed Sheehan and Maiese to score unearned runs.
Down but not out. the Knights struck for five runs in the seventh to shock the Gaels. A leadoff single by pinch hitter Cindy Zamudio sparked the rally. Bryana Dorado and Maire Shaughnessy reached base and a single from Kirsten Shreve drove in a run. Castro reached on an error in the next at-bat to drive in another run and bring the Knights within one run. A sacrifice fly from Bradac scored Shreve before a single by Jordan Needle drove home Castro to give the Knights a 6-5 lead. A single from Roney drove Needle home to give the Knights their final advantage, 7-5.
Iona is back inaction Saturday, when they take on Niagara in MAAC action on the road.