FAIRFIELD, CT - Sophomore Sydney Dimon delivered a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to lead the third seeded Iona College softball team to a 6-5 victory over Manhattan College in the opening contest of the 2014 MAAC Softball Championship.
Trailing 5-3 entering the final inning, the Gaels evened the score at five when junior Brianna Schauer drove in graduate outfielder Eileen McCann and freshman pinch runner Ashlyn Morris with a bases loaded RBI double to right field.
McCann collected two hits in the contest, moving her into a first place tie all-time in the category, matching the 199 picked up by former teammate Jodi Petersen. Freshman Kristen Turner picked up a team high three hits, while junior Allison Hand also had two hits in the win.
The Gaels jumped to a 3-0 lead with three runs in the fourth inning. Senior Katie Jansson led off the inning with an infield single and was promplty bunted to second by Schauer. A single to center by junior Carly Argyle put runners on the corners with one out. Hand followed with an RBI infield single to second base, putting Iona ahead 1-0. Freshman Kelsey Long then delivered the big hit of the frame, a two run double to left center driving in Argyle and Hand.
Two runs by the Jaspers in the fifth inning trimmed the Iona advantage to one, 3-2. Jenn Vasquez picked up a bases loaded walk before Andi Stallard delivered a sacrifice fly to left field.
In the sixth inning, Manhattan went ahead with a three run two out rally. Argyle, the Iona starter, loaded the bases before sophomore Jordan Courage was summoned from the bullpen. Amanda Paxson was hit by a pitch to even the score at three before Vasquez plated two with a double to right field, giving the Jaspers a two run lead.
Courage settled down to retire the final batter of the inning before she kept the Jaspers off the scoreboard in the seventh inning to earn her seventh win of the season. Manhattan starter Kate Bowen (11-7) took the loss for the Jaspers, allowing 10 hits and six runs in six innings. Manhattan reliever Danielle Gabriel came in with the bases loaded and surrendered the hits to Schauer and Schutz.
The Gaels are back in action tomorrow at 9:00 am when they take on No. 2 seed Fairfield. A win would move Iona into the semifinal round on Friday while a loss would put the Maroon & Gold in an elimination game Thursday at 2:00 pm.