NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College softball program dropped a pair of road Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference games to the Canisius College Golden Griffs on Sunday afternoon. Despite two homeruns for junior All-MAAC Preseason Team Member Kristen Turner, the Gaels could not out-muscle the bats of the victorious home squad.
GAME 1: Canisius 14, Iona 6 (5 innings)
The Golden Griffs recorded 10 hits, eight of which came off Gaels starting pitching, senior Carly Argyle. Combining the effectiveness with the bats with the drawing of seven walks, Iona had themselves a high hill to climb.
Despite an early 6-0 deficit after two innings, the Maroon & Gold mustered up gusto and put together a much needed five-run burst in the top of the third. Senior catcher Brianna King led off the inning with a double, and soon after junior centerfielder Kelsey Long reached base after being hit by a pitch. Junior Ashlyn Morris double to left center to drive in the first two runs, and Turner was able to bring home the final three with an opposite field blast on a contentious 1-2 pitch.
Argyle retired the Golden Griffs in order to maintain the Gaels momentum. However, after Iona didn’t score in its fourth inning at bat, Canisius woke up the lumber and put together a devastating eight-run inning.
At the conclusion of four innings, Iona trailed Canisius 14-5. Sophomore Tori Danner drove home Morris with a sacrifice fly in the fifth to put a cap on the Gaels scoring. The game ended in five innings, with Argyle taking her fourth loss of the season.
Junior centerfielder Jessica Berzins had six runs batted in from the leadoff spot for Canisius. Fellow junior outfielder Lindsey Silfer ended game one with three hits, three RBI, and two runs scored. Sophomore Madi Weathers earned the win, going the final 2.2 innings, allowing just one run on one hit.
GAME 2: Canisius 12, Iona 4 (5 innings)
Sophomore Jessica Harkness started game two for Iona, and was able to quell the hot Canisius bats at the start of the game. Neither the Gaels nor Golden Griffs scored in the opening two innings, but the home team found their footing come the third.
Having to answer Turner’s second home run of the day that came in the top half of the third, the top of the Golden Griffs order finally broke through against Harkness in the circle. Canisius scored four runs in the bottom of the frame, giving themselves a lead that they would not look back from.
Iona cut into the 4-2 deficit come their AB in the fourth; Long led the inning off with a double, and she was eventually driven in by a single to right center from Newton. Harkness began the fourth, but only recorded one out before freshman Alana Evans came in for relief. Using three hits and a pair of untimely walks, the Griffs saw four runs cross the plate, opening up a 6-3 lead.
The Maroon & Gold grit wouldn’t die as the Gaels clawed back into the game with a run in the top of the fifth via a RBI single off the bat of King.
The game would come to an end after five innings when Canisius scored the necessary six runs in the home half of the fifth. Freshman Denver Keller took a 2-2 pitch and single a show ball to center field, seeing the decisive foot of sophomore Moriah Harris touch the plate.
Iona’s next game will a non-conference double-header on the road against the Seahawks of Wagner on Wednesday, April 20.