NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- The Iona College softball program split a pair of games at Niagara Saturday afternoon. The Purple Eagles took game one 4-1, but the Maroon & Gold would bounce back in game two, earning a 6-1 victory. Head Coach Melissa Inouye now sees her team at 8-22 overall, and 2-4 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
GAME 1: Niagara 4, Iona 1
The Gaels dropped the opening game of Saturday’s doubleheader by a final score of 4-1. Between the duo of sophomore Bridget Hogan and freshman Sierra Bertrand, Niagara limited Iona to just two hits over the course of 24 team at-bats. Both base-knocks came off the bat of leadoff hitter, junior shortstop Katie Newton.
Senior Carly Argyle allowed seven hits over six innings, four of which were delivered by the Purple Eagles leadoff hitter, junior right fielder Sarah March. The corner outfielder drove in two runs; freshmen first basemen Jerri Orfano and leftfielder Jennifer Szilagyi each contributed in driving in the other two runs scored.
The home squad got on the board first when March crossed the plate in the first off of an RBI ground out to third basemen by Szilagyi. An error by Iona centerfielder Kelsey Long aided in the Purple Eagles getting runners into scoring position.
Iona’s lone run came in the top of the third inning. Sophomore catcher Tori Danner started off the inning with a walk, and after a Longs strikeout, Newton advanced her to second with a single. Junior leftfielder Ashlyn Morris hit one back to the pitcher, which was bobbled, loading the bases. Freshman right fielder Marisa Gergel stepped up; she’d hit into a fielder’s choice, granted Danner an opportunity to cross the plate.
Niagara tacked on one run in the top off the fourth, and capped it off with a solo homerun by Orfano in the bottom half of the sixth.
GAME 2: Iona 6, Niagara 1
The Iona base woke up for game two just as freshman Alana Evans and sophomore Jessica Harkness combined to throw seven innings of two-hit, one run ball. The rookie for the start, going five innings, allowing just one run on two hits and eight walks; Harkness came in relief and needed just 10 pitches to retire the last six Niagara batters.
Newton had two hits, two runs, and two runs batted in for the leadoff spot. Senior centerfielder Jordan Courage, junior first basemen, and Morris each had two hits as well; Danner chipped in with one hits, and two RBI.
The Gaels struck first in their opening at-bat when the sophomore catcher doubled home Turner and Courage to put the road-team up 2-0. The offense pounced again in the second with two more scores off of Newton’s third homerun of the season.
The Purple Eagles scored their lone run in the third inning on a pair of hits, otherwise it was a clean sheet for young Gaels pitching duo.
The remaining two Iona runs were driven in by senior catcher Brianna King and Courage in the third and sixth inning respectively.
Iona takes to the diamond, in a quick turnaround, on Sunday, Apr. 17 at Canisius College. The Gaels and Golden Griffs begin their MAAC doubleheader at 12:00 pm.