By Mike Ferraro
NIAGARA UNIVERSITY – The Marist softball team clinched the #1 seed in next week’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship, and a share of the MAAC regular-season title on Sunday. After dropping their first game at Niagara, 1-0, the Red Foxes earned an 11-1 triumph in five innings in game two.
By virtue of the #1 seed, the Red Foxes will host the MAAC Championship at Gartland Field, which will run from Wednesday, May 8 through Saturday, May 11, with Sunday, May 12 as a rain date.
Game One – Niagara 1, Marist 0
* The game’s lone run came in the bottom of the fourth, when Jennifer Timm’s RBI double brought home Kendall Watkins.
* Marist had runners on base in every inning, but the Red Foxes were unable to score.
* Freshman Calista Phippen (18-4) pitched a complete game with nine strikeouts.
* Senior Casey Page and junior Ali Milam each went 2-for-4.
* Karsen Cotton pitched a six-hitter with eight strikeouts for Niagara.
Game Two – Marist 11, Niagara 1 (5 inn.)
* Marist opened the scoring with a five-run third, with all of the runs coming with two outs. Sophomore Caroline Baratta scored on an error. Red-shirt junior Claire Oberdorf and freshman Kaley Coltrain had RBI singles, and freshman Morgan Gianelle had a two-run single.
* Milam’s three-run homer in the fourth staked Marist to an 8-0 lead.
* Niagara scored a run on an error in its half of the fourth, but the Red Foxes answered with a three-run fifth. Page had a two-run single, and senior Brandi Coon had an RBI single as Marist closed out the game in five innings.
* Marist pounded out 13 hits in game two. Coon went 3-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Milam homered, tripled, and drove and three.
* Senior Megan Beiermeister (8-4) scattered five hits as she earned a complete game victory.
* Maria Gabriele and Tara Driver had two hits apiece for Niagara.