FAIRFIELD, CT - The Iona College softball team advanced to the championship round of the 2014 MAAC Softball Championship with a 6-2 victory over Marist Friday afternoon at Fairfield's Alumni Softball Field.
Junior pitcher Carly Argyle earned her 14th win of the season for the Gaels, scattering four hits and four walks over six innings while striking out four. Offensively, graduate outfielder Eileen McCann led the Maroon & Gold with two hits, two runs batted in and two runs scored. McCann was one of three players with a mutli-hit performace, along with Argyle and junior outfielder Allison Hand.
Unable to score after loading the bases in the first inning, the Gaels broke through with four runs in the second. Junior Brianna Schauer led off the frame with a lead-off single before Argyle reached on a Marist error. The two moved into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Katie Newton before freshman Kelsey Long reached after working out a nine pitch walk.
McCann then delivered the biggest hit of the contest, a two-run single to right field. An overthrow from the Marist outfield allowed Long to come in with a third run on the play. The two runs batted in moved McCann's career total to 104, moving her into second all-time in the category behind former standout Liz Hammel '05. Freshman Kristen Turner followed with a double off the left field fence to score McCann with the fourth run of the frame.
The Red Foxes trimmed the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the sixth inning. With the bases loaded, Rebecca Freeman drove in two with a single through the left side to cut the Iona advantage to 4-2.
The Gaels answered with two insurance runs in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded, Marist induced a force out at home. An overthrow on an attempt to get the batter out at first allowed Long to score her second run of the game. Later in the frame, McCann came in from third later in the frame on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Jordan Courage was summoned from the bullpen in the seventh and delivered a scoreless frame to complete Iona's 23rd win of the year.
The Gaels begin championship play Saturday, against an opponent to be determined. Log on to ICGaels.com or follow @ICGaels on twitter to find out opponent and game times.