FAIRFIELD, CT - The third seeded Iona College softball team moved to 2-0 in 2014 MAAC Softball Championship play with a 6-3 victory over second seeded Fairfield University Thursday afternoon at Alumni Softball Field.
Trailing 3-1 after five innings, the Gaels tied the game in the top of the seventh inning on a two-run home run home run by junior Carly Argyle before plating three runs in the eighth inning following a 95 minute rain delay on RBI singles by freshman Katie Newton and junior Allison Hand.
Argyle and freshman Kristen Turner led the Gaels with two hits apiece. Seven Gaels collected hits in the contest, including graduate Eileen McCann who took sole possession of the Iona career hits record with her 200th career base knock.
After three innings of scoreless ball, the Gaels broke through with the game's first run in the top of the fourth. McCann opened the frame with her record breaking hit. After stealing second, McCann was able to get to third when the Fairfield throw got into the outfield. Turner then delivered the game's first RBI with a single up the middle.
Fairfield gained the advantage with a three-run fifth inning. With the bases loaded, Lauren Filicia plated Nicole Capra with a sacrifice fly to right to even the score. With runners now on second and third, Tori Reed delivered a first pitch double down the left field line, scoring Kristen Filica and Sammy Ruffolo with the go ahead runs.
Just as they did in yesterday's opening game, Iona used a late inning rally to continue the contest. With one out, junior Brianna Schauer laced a single up the middle. Argyle, inserted in the circle in the fifth, then belted the first pitch over the left field wall for her second home run of the season.
The Gaels plated the winning runs in the eighth inning after the weather halted the contest after Fairfield's seventh inning at bats. SophomoreSarah Schutz worked out a walk to lead off the inning. With one out, Schauer reached on an infield error by the Stags, putting runners on first and second. Argyle followed with a single to left to load the bases. Newton then plated the game winning runs, as Schutz scored on the single to left. An outfield error by Fairfield allowed Schauer to score a second run on the play. Hand followed with an RBI single that scored Argyle with Iona's sixth run.
Argyle retired the Stags in order to preserve the three run victory for the Maroon & Gold, earning her 13th win of the season. Argyle allowed one hit and two walks in 3.2 innings of relief. Fairfield hurler Rae Ball took the loss, allowing three runs and three hits over 0.2 innings of relief.
The Gaels will take on the winner of the matchup between No. 1 seed Marist and No. 5 Monmouth Friday morning with a berth in Saturday's championship round at stake.