May 4, 2013
For the first time in a decade, the Siena softball team has clinched a spot in the MAAC tournament. The Saints swept Canisius (8-0; 2-1) for their tenth conference win, which ties a program record. Siena will have an opportunity tomorrow to win the regular season crown when they take on Marist in Poughkeepsie, the site of this year’s MAAC Championships.
It was only fitting to come on senior day. Mandy Ferro and Shannon Jones have been a part of more team wins than any other class in program history, and have now led their squad to the postseason for the first time since 2003.
Siena (19-24, 10-4 MAAC) received two terrific pitching performances by Jessika - Jo Sandrini and Antonia Edwards. The two hurlers would combine to give up just one run on just eight hits and struck out 11 hitters.
Sandrini fanned nine of those hitters in the opener, picking up two wins on the day, and has now tied the program record for career victories.
On the offensive side in Game One, Siena pounded out nine hits and scored eight runs, en-route to the mercy win.
Four different Saints drove in runs, starting in the third when Alyssa Lancaster drove in a run with the bases loaded, for the first run of the game. Megan Volz followed with a sacrifice fly to center which scored Shannon Jones to make it 2-0.
Siena added four to that lead in the next inning, capped off by a Jones two-run single.
That is all Sandrini needed, not allowing a single Canisius (22-25, 6-10 MAAC) runner to touch third base and striking out nine of the 25 batters she faced.
Abby Carpenter ended the game on a pop up to second, scoring Sandrini after the catcher misplayed the throw.
Seven different student athletes recorded at least one hit, with the top three hitters scoring half of the team’s eight runs.
With Iona losing to Saint Peter’s the Saints still needed one win to automatically clinch a spot in the tournament. And they would have to come from behind to do so.
Valerie Nappo singled in the game’s first run to give the Griffs their first lead of the afternoon. Edwards would settle down allowing just two more hits in her four and two-thirds innings.
Sandrini came in relief and made the last out in the fifth and would get the win.
Jones would tally the game tying hit with a single up the middle scoring her senior teammate Ferro. Siena would take the lead for good when Lancaster hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Melanie Kalesse.
Sandrini would retire every batter she faced in picking up her second win of the day and the 34th of her career, tying the program record set by Tara Campbell.
Jones and Sandrini recorded a pair of hits in the closing game.
Siena will now close out the regular season taking on Marist in Poughkeepsie, with a regular season championship at stake. Siena would need to win both contests to take home the crown for the first time in program history.