May 5, 2013
The Siena softball team came into this season trying to make history. And no matter what happens in the MAAC tournament this weekend, they already did. The Saints swept Marist to earn their first-ever MAAC Regular Season Championship and the No. 1 seed in the upcoming MAAC Championships.
“This coaching staff felt from the beginning of the year we had the pieces in place to make a good run,” head coach Bill Lajeunesse said. “This team believes in each other, they never quit and they play to the last out.”
Finishing off the best regular season in school history, the Saints won their 11th and 12th conference games, which sets a new program record. Jessika - Jo Sandrini also became the new career wins leader in the clincher.
Abby Carpenter and Paige Lloyd added RBI hits in the eighth inning to break a 4-4 tie in the decisive second game.
Sandrini would work a perfect eighth, forcing Maureen Duddy to ground out to third to ignite the celebration.
Siena (21-24; 12-4 MAAC) scored the first four runs of the game, three of them coming in the third. Mandy Ferro and Lloyd hit back-to-back RBI singles and Sandrini capped off the inning with a sacrifice fly.
The Saints would add one more run in the sixth on Carpenter’s run scoring ground out. Carpenter and Lloyd combined for five of Siena’s seven hits in Game Two and scored two runs and drove in four.
Marist (27-24; 10-6 MAAC) figured out starter Antonia Edwards, scoring four runs in the bottom of the frame to tie the game.
Sandrini came in relief and got out of the inning stranding runners at second and third. Marist would actually get the winning run in scoring position in the seventh, but Sandrini forced a ground out to end the inning in picking up her record setting 35th
The Saints started off the afternoon in convincing fashion defeating Marist 15-5. Siena scored seven runs in the second. Carpenter and Megan Volz recorded RBI singles while Ferro added a two-run double later in the inning. Shannon Jones and Sandrini would add back-to-back sacrifice flies to end the scoring.
Siena would break the game open with another seven spot in the sixth highlighted by the first collegiate homerun from Jordan Sandrini.
Alyssa Lancaster had a team-high three hits with a RBI in the win. Sandrini came into relief and got the win with seven strikeouts.
Eight different student athletes recorded at least one RBI in the opener.
Siena will now be the top seed in the upcoming MAAC championships in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It is only the second tournament appearance for the Saints since the playoff system changed to a four team qualifier in 1995. The Saints have only won playoff game in their history, but this team has already re-written those records.
“They worked very hard to get here, and we’re very proud to win the regular season championship,” coach Lajeunesse said. “It’s a great accomplishment for this program.”