April 28, 2012
The road to the 2012 MAAC Tournament just got tougher for Siena softball. The Saints were swept in the first of two crucial road doubleheaders Saturday, falling 4-3 and 2-1 to Rider in Lawrenceville, N.J., despite a history-making afternoon by Shannon Jones.
Siena (18-24, 6-4 MAAC) fell behind early in game one, as the Broncs scored a pair of unearned runs in their first turn at bat. The Saints, though, pecked away, using a solo home run by Shannon Jones in the fourth and a two-run shot by Jessika - Jo Sandrini in the sixth to forge ahead 3-2.
Rider, though, came right back in the seventh. Down to their last out, the Broncs got a game-tying RBI single to leftfield, and extended the game to extra innings. Neither team scored in the eighth, but the home team scored the game-winner in the ninth on an infield single. Sandrini allowed just two earned runs in 8 2/3 innings, but was saddled with the loss.
The nightcap also saw the Broncs jump out to a 2-0 lead, as they scored in both the second and fourth innings. Siena starter Amanda Filippazzo pitched well, allowing just five hits in six innings, but the Green and Gold's offense was largely held in check.
The lone exception was in the top of the sixth, when Jones connected on her second solo homer of the day. With the two four-baggers, the junior now has 13 in 2012, a new single-season program record with eight regular-season games still left on the schedule. However, the Saints couldn't muster more offense than that, and Rider completed the sweep.
Siena doesn't have long to dwell on their misfortunes in the Garden State. The Saints meet Iona in another twin bill on Sunday in New Rochelle, N.Y., one that could have huge MAAC Tournament implications.