POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - The top-seeded Iona College softball team earned its third consecutive to the NCAA Division I Softball Championship with two consecutive wins over second-seeded Fairfield University Saturday afternoon in the title round of the 2012 MAAC Softball Championship at Softball Park at Gartland Field.
Iona forced a deciding game with a 3-1 win over Fairfield in the opener. The Gaels scored one run in the top of the third inning when senior Deanne Algeo doubled to left field, scoring freshman Allison Hand.
Fairfield tied the game in the sixth inning when Kristen Filicia scored on a single by Alli Wigand. Iona put the winning runs across in the top of the seventh. Junior Eileen McCann scored on a wild pitch and redshirt senior Alyssa Maiese score on an RBI single by senior Chelsea Sheen in the top of the seventh inning. Maiese pitched a complete game for Iona, striking out seven batters while improving her record to 17-10.
Iona then claimed the title with a 2-0 victory in game two of the day. The Gaels got both of their runs in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Jodi Petersen scored on a wild pitch and Hand crossed home plate after Maiese grounded out to second. Senior Sarah Jackson pitched a complete game for the Gaels, improving to 17-12 on the season, striking out eight in seven innings.
Maiese was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Championship after batting .375 in the five Iona games, with three runs batted in and two runs scored. In the circle, Maiese went 2-0, allowing just one run in 23.0 innings of work for an earned run average of 0.30. Joining Maiese on the All-Tournament Team were Jackson, Algeo and freshman Brianna Schauer.
Iona will find out where it is headed for NCAA Regionals tomorrow evening at 10:00 pm when the 2012 NCAA Selection Show is aired live on ESPNU.