NEW ROCHELLE, NY - The Iona College softball team clinched its second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference regular season championship in the last three seasons with a 3-0 win in the second game of a doubleheader with Marist in its final MAAC games of the regular season. In game one, the Red Foxes prevailed 3-2 in eight innings.
In game one, the Gaels got their lone runs of the contest in the first inning. Junior Jodi Petersen singled to right center to start the inning before freshman Allison Hand reached with a single to left. After a sacrifice bunt by junior Eileen McCann, senior Alyssa Maiese was intentionally walked to load the bases. Senior Deanne Algeo would drive in the first Iona run after being hit by a pitch to plate Petersen. Senior Allyssa James followed with a single to left to drive in the second run of the inning and put Iona ahead 2-0.
Marist's offense was held to just two hits through the first six innings before breaking through for two runs in the seventh. With two outs, Alyssa Zahka began the game tying rally with a single to center field. Haley Birnbaum followed with another single to give Marist runners at first and second. Aly Klemmer drove in both with a single to centerfield.
Marist got another rally going in the eighth. Ashley Corriss opened the inning with a single to center field. Megan Lamoureux followed with another single. With runners on first and second, Nicole DiVirgilio singled in the game-winning run.
Emily Osterhaus got the win for Marist, allowing just the two early runs and eight hits over eight innings. Senior Sarah Jackson took the loss for Iona, allowing three runs, two earned, and eight hits over eight innings while striking out seven.
In the second game, Iona cracked the scoreboard in the third inning. With two outs, Hand walked. McCann followed with a single, and moved to second on the throw to third. With runners in scoring position, Maiese delivered a single to left field, driving in Hand, with McCann scoring on the play.
In the fourth, senior Chelsea Sheehan singled to left field with one out. Sheehan moved to second on a groundout before freshman Brianna Schauer reached with an infield single. Sheehan never broke stride on the play and scored from second with the third Iona run.
Maiese picked up her 15th win of the season for the Gaels, allowing just five hits while striking out nine. Osterhaus made the game two start for Marist, and allowed one run in 2.2 innings of work to pick up the loss. Paige Lewis pitched the final 3.1 innings of the game, allowing five hits and two earned runs.
The top-seeded Gaels and fourth-seeded Red Foxes will meet in the first round of the MAAC Championship Thursday at 2:00 pm at Softball Park at the Gartland Athletic Field on the campus of Marist in Poughkeepsie, NY. In the other first semifinal matchup, second-seeded Fairfield will take on third-seeded Canisius at 12:00 pm.
Further information regarding the championship, including ticket prices can be found here.