Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Year In Review

Another year ends and Canisius Softball enters its fourth decade of competition. Time for a brief look back.

Favorites to win the MAAC again, the Griffs open their season in Norfolk, VA on the 15th and sweep the Spartans. The 18-1 victory in game 2 was in the nation's top 10 for margin of victory. Freshman Lizzy Gatto hits a double her first at bat and freshman Katie Lancellotti hits a homer her first collegiate start.

The Griffs travel to Raleigh, NC on the 27th to take part in the North Carolina St. Wolfpack challenge. Canisius and Buffalo meet for the first of 4 games in 2009 with the Bulls winning 2-1 in 8 innings. The Griffs then lose to the host Wolfpack and the final 2 days of the tournament are rained out.

The busy month March begins with a trip to Huntington, WV and the Marshall tournament. The Griffs open against Buffalo and this time win 3-0 behind a 15 strikeout performance by senior pitcher Mallory Aldred. Sophomore Lauren Hope hits the first of 3 triples she would produce in the tournament. The Griffs finish 2-3, also beating Delaware 11-1.

On the 10th, the MAAC honors Lauren Hope as Player Of The Week; and Mallory Aldred as Pitcher Of The Week.

The Golden Griffins head west to California for a 10 day road trip that begins on the 13th in San Jose, CA at the National Invitational Tournament. The Griffs go 2-3 at the NIT, beating host San Jose St. in the bottom of the 7th with a Cameron Norton single; but also suffering their worst loss of the season, a 14-0 spanking at the hands of Long Beach St.

The Griffs play a doubleheader at St. Mary's College on the 18th, the second game of which is a marathon 13 inning 7-4 victory over the Gaels. Lizzy Gatto drives in the winning run in the top of the 13th, but the big story is the pitching of freshman Caroline Main, who in relief of Mallory Aldred pitches 11 innings allowing only 1 run in the longest game in Canisius softball history.

The Griffs stay in Moraga, CA for the St. Mary's tournament, in which they go 3-2. On the 21st the Griffs defeat Idaho St. 6-0 to give Head Coach Mike Rappl his 700th win at Canisius.
During the stay in Moraga, sophomore Paige Freiberger, from nearby Hercules, CA, wins 2 games (against Central Connecticut and Idaho St.) on the final at bat of the game.

On the 26th the Golden Griffins return to the cozy confines of the Demske Sports Complex for their home opener against Youngstown St. On a chilly, drizzly day Mallory Aldred pitches her first career no-hitter with 8 strikeouts and with the help of a 2 run Katie Lancellotti homer.

The Griffs close out March by opening MAAC play at Rider on the 28th. The teams split with Mallory Aldred getting the win in the second game with the help of Michelle Fridey's 3 for 3 performance.

After a week filled with rain delays, the Griffs open the home portion of their MAAC schedule by sweeping St. Peter's on the 5th with shutouts by seniors Juliette Bowers and Mallory Aldred. Katie Lancellotti knocks a grand slam homer in the second game.

The next day Canisius does the same thing to Manhattan, beating the Lady Jaspers 10-0 and 9-2, giving the Griffs a 5-1 MAAC record. Mallory Aldred pitched a total of 8 shutout innings, and senior Cameron Norton drove in the 100th run of her career as Canisius extend their home winning streak to 17 games, third longest in the nation.

Niagara pays a visit to the Demske on the 9th for a crucial MAAC doubleheader and dominates the first game winning 6-1 on the strength of 3 homers. In game 2, the Purple Eagles enter the 7th inning winning 4-2 when the Griffs orchestrate a stirring comeback. Senior Rachelle Barrientos wins the game with a line drive 2 run double to the fence. This win would be crucial in the Griffs' championship 2009 season.

On the 13th the Griffs travel to Syracuse to play their cross state rival Orange, and are no-hit the only time in 2009, stymied by freshman Jenna Caira.

On the 14th the MAAC honors Hollister, CA native Lizzy Gatto as Rookie Of The Week.

On the weekend of the 18th the Griffs hit the road for a pair of MAAC doubleheaders at Fairfield and Iona. This was the low point of the season as they lose 3 0f 4 and put themselves in a difficult postition in the MAAC standings.

On the 19th at Iona, sophomore Lauren Hope steals the 54th base of her career which sets the all-time Canisius record breaking the mark held by Jacqueline Fusco.

On the 23rd, the Griffs bombard local rival St. Bonaventure at the Demske on dual shutouts by Juliette Bowers and Mallory Aldred winning 8-0 and 7-0.

Marist comes to town on the 26th for a crucial doubleheader. This senior day marks the final home game for Juliette Bowers, Mallory Aldred, Cameron Norton, Rachelle Barrientos and Angela Turrey. The Griffs win the first game 8-4 as Katie Lancellotti drives in 3 runs; but lose the second game 4-2. The loss means Canisius must win at Siena the next weekend.

On the 27th Lizzy Gatto is once again named MAAC Rookie Of The Week.

The Griffs play a rescheduled doubleheader at crosstown rival Buffalo on the 29th, splitting the games and the season series.

On the 2nd the Griffs travel to Loudonville, NY to play the Siena Saints in a must win situation. They get the job done, powered by Mallory Aldred's 11 strikeout shutout and qualify for the MAAC Tournament.

On the 7th, the All-MAAC team is announced with Mallory Aldred, Lauren Hope, Paige Freiberger and Cameron Norton all named to the second team.

The same day the Griffs open play at the 2009 MAAC Championship in Poughkeepsie, NY by crushing Manhattan 8-2. Cameron Norton opens the festivities with a 3 run homer; Lizzy Gatto, Katie Lancellotti and Rachelle Barrientos each contribute 3 hits to go along with 9 Mallory Aldred strikeouts.

The second day of the MAAC Championship begins with the winner's bracket showdown between Canisius and Niagara, and sees the powerful Purple Eagles claim a first inning 4-0 lead. But the Griffs will not be denied, and fueled by Cameron Norton's stellar 4 for 4 performance (including her second homer of the tournament), they come back to win 6-4 and are in the driver's seat for the final day of action.

On the 9th, The Golden Griffins win their third consecutive and twelfth overall MAAC Championship by splitting games with the Niagara Purple Eagles on the final day of the tournament. The day begins with a closely fought 2-0 victory by Niagara. Juliette Bowers pitches 5 shutout innings in her final MAAC game, but the Griffs lose after Mallory Aldred comes in to relieve her in the 6th inning.

The second championship game was all Canisius. The Griffs win 9-0 to claim the title in a game that was never in doubt. Mallory Aldred throws a shutout for her 19th victory of the season, and the Griffs pound out 15 hits. Freshman Lizzy Gatto hits her first career homer; Paige Freiberger, Katie Lancellotti, Michelle Fridey and Rachelle Barrientos all have 2 hits. Senior Cameron Norton caps off an incredible tournament by hitting 3 for 3 with her third homer of the weekend, and is named MAAC Championship Most Outstanding Player. She, Lizzy Gatto, Mallory Aldred, Rachelle Barrientos and Michelle Fridey are all named to the Tournament Team.

On the 10th the Griffs learn they are selected to play in the National Tournament at the Columbus Regional and will open against host Ohio St.

On the 14th Canisius plays the 11th ranked Ohio St. Buckeyes and lose a close game, 3-0. Mallory Aldred allows only 6 hits to the 44-9 team, and Rachelle Barrientos smashes 2 doubles, but the Griffs leave 10 runners on base and can't produce a run.

The next day the Griffs end their season losing to Kentucky 7-0, finishing with a record of 26-25.
Rachelle Barrientos closes out her career with her third hit of the National Tournament.

The rest of the year saw a summer trip to the Dominican Republic, then the arrival of newcomers Chloe Contreras, Brittany Wood, Amanda Baun, Stephanie Pfentner and Taylor Klun. The Griffs had a productive fall season, winning the Nan Harvey Tournament. Valorie Nappo was brought aboard during the national early signing period.

The new season begins in 6 weeks!! Happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 21, 2009

New Uniforms For The Griffs?

There's a rumor going around that the Canisius Softball team will have new uniforms for the 2010 season...ok, I'm starting the rumor! I know though that a lot of teams across the nation are switching to Adidas uniforms (including St. Bonaventure), and the Griffs did not wear uniforms this fall season (just tees and shorts), so who knows?
I have to talk about something in late December!

Some Canisius Uniforms From Past Years

Current Uniform

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mallory Holtman

I'm sure most of you have seen this before, but what you may not know is that Canisius coach Mike Rappl once recruited Mallory, and offered her a scholarship. She decided to stay close to home...

*Click button on player for full screen*

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kenmore's Gerace Leads Canisius Into NCAA Tournament

It's the middle of December, Canisius is on winter break and no one is playing any softball, so here's one from the archives courtesy of the Tonawanda News. It's about Griffs' star Jamie Gerace closing out her career and about to head to the NCAA Tournament against Virginia Tech and...Angela Tincher!

BUFFALO Pity Jamie Gerace. After four hard years working toward her history degree, the Kenmore native can’t take part in Canisius College’s graduation festivities Saturday.

“Most people, I think, would rather avoid commencement,” Gerace joked Wednesday. “It’s a four-hour event where you say goodbye to everybody. I can say goodbye today.”

Even a girl who can gab like Gerace doesn’t need four hours to do that.

Gerace has more important things on her agenda, anyway. She and her Golden Griffins softball teammates are returning to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in Gerace’s four years, having charged through last weekend’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships for the program’s 10th title since 1993.

Canisius will open against Virginia Tech, the No. 16 seed in the tournament, at 5 p.m. Friday in Columbus, Ohio. The Griffs originally thought they’d meet host Ohio State in the first game of the double-elimination regional, but the schedule was modified after the NCAA admitted to making a clerical error.

Gerace, a two-time Western New York player of the year for Kenmore West, is hitting .280 this season, fourth-best on the team. She leads the Griffs in walks with 28 and her 33 runs scored rank second on the squad behind North Tonawanda graduate Katie Miranto, who set a school record with 44.

“She’s playing first base this year as well as anybody we’ve ever had,” said coach Mike Rappl, who’s in his 28th season. “She’s really done a good job handling that position, whether it’s fielding bunts or getting back for pick-offs. Also, being a team leader in the infield, she’s got all the cut-offs coming in and she goes and settles the pitchers down in key spots.”

Gerace was a shortstop prior to shoulder surgery after her freshman season. Rehabbing her shoulder and switching positions delayed Gerace’s development, Rappl said, and affected her confidence up until the early part of this season.

“There’s growing pains that come with adjusting to college,” Rappl said. “And an injury just compounds that.”

“I was stressing out over little stuff,” Gerace said. “Coach likes to read to us from this book (“The Mind Gym”) and when he did that, it really hit me dead on. The book is kind of like a sports version of “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff.” ”

As Gerace gained confidence, so did her teammates. Canisius has won eight in a row and 17 of its last 19 as Gerace has emerged as the team’s most vocal presence.

“She’s a great leader,” Miranto said. “She has a personality that attracts people to her.”

Gerace counts Ken West assistant Joe Catalano among her greatest influences, and hopes to soon get into coaching. But once the tournament is over, she’s looking forward to some down time.

“Softball has consumed my life,” she said. “My family lives seven minutes away and I barely have time to go see them. I’m looking forward to just hanging and not having any responsibilities.”

PS: Angela Tincher no hit the Griffs in that game! Then the next year she did it to Team USA!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Buffalo Bulls Softball Fan Site Changed

We've decided we like the blogger format best, so you will find the UB page from now on here:

It will also be found in the blog roll on the right hand side of this site.
All the Buffalo posts have been exported there.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

2010 Syracuse Softball Schedule

The Orange will be hosting Buffalo for a doubleheader on March 24, and will be at the Demske Sports Complex for two against the Griffs on May 4.

Syracuse pitcher Jenna Caira (Richmond Hill, Ontario)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Michelle DelPrince

One of the players to watch the next two years is ECIC 1 First Teamer Michelle DelPrince. Michelle is in her junior year at Lancaster High. She also plays for a very talented New Era Diamond Girls team. Her positions are 3rd base and outfield. Watching Michelle play at last year's Aunt Rosie's tournament I noticed that she has all the tools: she's fast, has a good arm, a good bat. The one play she made that I noticed was a slide into 3rd base, and if I recall she was out but her slide was so hard that the third baseman did not enjoy making the play. Here's a view of Michelle, click the button on the player for full screen:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let It Snow

Before Lake Effect

After Lake Effect

What does this have to do with softball?
The first big storm means softball season is just around the corner!
And to the new California girls on the team, this is a very rare event around here.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Griffs Announce Val Nappo Signing

"Valorie is the type of player any coach would be happy to have on their team," (Coach Mike)Rappl said. "She has a true love and understanding of the game, along with the offensive and defensive skills to play at the Division I level. She is a fierce competitor with a slick glove and a constant bat, but she can also hit for power."


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Buffalo Player Profiles

The Buffalo Softball player profiles are being posted, and will be completed tonight.
Go here:

Canisius Softball All-Time Records

*UPDATED 5-18-13*

Batting (Season)
Average: .500 Debbie Cowell (1987)

Hits: 70 Jenny Maheu (2008)
Katie Miranto (2008)

Runs: 54 Katie Miranto (2008)

RBIs: 52 Michelle Fridey (2010)

Doubles: 22 Diana Calandra (2000)

Triples: 9 Jody Tassone (1995)

Homers: 11 Paige Freiberger (2010)

Stolen Bases: 40 Lauren Hope (2008)

Slugging %: .800 Debbie Cowell (1987)

Walks: 31 Paige Freiberger (2011)

Sacrifice Hits: 17 Tricia Andres (1994)

Hits By Pitch: 15 Michelle Fridey (2010)

Batting (Career)

Average: .448 Meg Thompson (1988-91)

Hits: 227 Katie Miranto (2005-08)

Runs: 161 Katie Miranto (2005-08)

RBIs: 144 Meg Thompson (1988-91)

Doubles: 46 Jody Tassone (1993-96)

Triples: 26 Jody Tassone (1993-96)

Homers: 19 Jess Martin (2005-07)

Stolen Bases: 118 Lauren Hope (2008-11)

Sacrifice Hits: 49 Tricia Andres (1992-94)

Walks: 83 Paige Freiberger (2008-11)

Pitching (Season)
Wins: 21 Veronica Maher (2000)

Saves: 15 Mallory Aldred (2008) *

Complete Games: 20 Michelle Corrigan (1992)
Kristin Spak (1995)
Caroline Main (2010)
Jen Consaul (2013)

Strikeouts: 238 Andrea Bunten (2004)

ERA: 0.57 Michelle Corrigan (1993)

Appearances: 41 Mallory Aldred (2008)

Shutouts: 12 Kristin Spak (1995)

No Hitters: 2 Michelle Corrigan (1994)
Natalie Kelterborn (1994)
Andrea Bunten (2004)

Starts: 29 Veronica Maher (2000)
Juliette Bowers (2008)

* NCAA Division 1 Record

Pitching (Career)
Wins: 74 Michelle Corrigan (1991-94)

Saves: 21 Mallory Aldred (2006-09)

Complete Games: 74 Michelle Corrigan (1991-94)

Strikeouts: 663 Andrea Bunten (2002-05)

ERA: 0.84 Michelle Corrigan (1991-94)

Appearances: 113 Genevieve Garcia (1999-02)
Lindsay Morris (2004-08)

Shutouts: 31 Michelle Corrigan (1991-94)

No Hitters: 5 Michelle Corrigan (1991-94)

Starts: 97 Michelle Corrigan (1991-94)

Andrea Bunten

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Is The Rest Of The Big 4 Catching Up To Canisius?

Our 4 Division 1 softball teams are preparing for the upcoming season. How do they stack up against one another?

Canisius, Buffalo, Niagara, and St. Bonaventure comprise what is unofficially known as the "Big 4". Historically, Canisius has dominated play, as noted by the Griffs' all-time record vs. these schools:

vs. Buffalo 23-15
vs. Niagara 81-18-1
vs. St. Bona 47-11

Last season wasn't all that much different. The Griffs and Buffalo split four games; the Bulls winning their two in extra innings with both winning runs coming off very strange bounces of the ball.
Niagara showed well splitting at Canisius; in fact they were two outs away from sweeping the Griffs. But Canisius took two of three from the Purple Eagles in the MAAC Tournament, including a 9-0 victory in the Championship game.
St. Bonaventure was overwhelmed in their two games at Canisus.

I think things are beginning to change.

Niagara has been yipping at the Griffs' heels the past few seasons, and have a very talented team. They just need to get over the MAAC hump. I was impressed by their determination when they visited the Demske last April for that doubleheader. And frankly, they were the better team for 13 innings until the Griffs exploded in the bottom of the 7th of the second game to save their season.
I think all they need is to taste success at the tournament level. The Griffs' experience showed in the MAAC Championship game. Niagara returns a talented team this season and may get their chance to gain that experience.

Buffalo had a Division 1 team in the olden days, but only returned at the beginning of this decade and have had some tough seasons. Last year, they had a lot of difficulty in MAC play, including at home. But changes are happening fast. Coach Jennifer Teague has had what I believe are two very good recruiting seasons. I was very impressed by her new players this fall. I expect the Bulls to make the MAC Tournament this year, and for years to come. But, the rumors going around are that the Bulls are looking to move one day to the Big East Conference. Or possibly the Atlantic 10. At any rate, there's no reason why the Bulls shouldn't be a dominant force in the MAC.

St. Bonaventure plays in a difficult conference, which includes schools such as powerful UMass, Charlotte, and Fordham. They have done well in the past, but I think they are gearing up to compete with these schools on a more regular basis. Coach Threehouse just finished recruiting what I believe are going to be key components in this upgrade. Especially pitcher Jen Sansano, who was heavily recruited. He's already projecting her to be the best pitcher in Bonnies history; in fact he goes so far as to speculate if she may end up as the greatest pitcher in Atlantic 10 history! He's coached against Brandice Balschmiter, so I guess he knows what he's talking about!
I was impressed by the Bonnies in fall ball---they all seemed to be on the same page as they say.

The game of College Softball is evolving so fast. If you just started watching now, you don't know. The game has exploded amongst girls all over the country, and the young women who make it to Division 1 were all outstanding youth players. There are more players to go around, so I see a shift coming in the Big 4. Which is good for Western New York Softball fans. Canisius blazed the trail, the others are catching up. I like and root for the other three teams, except when they play Canisius!

Come out and watch them play. They're getting better every year.

Jen Sansano signing National Letter Of Intent

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Valorie Nappo Signs With Canisius

Valorie Nappo of Clarence (NY) has signed a National Letter Of Intent to play softball with Canisius College beginning with the 2011 season, this according to the LaNova website.
More information if and when it becomes available.

I'm guessing this will be the Griffs' only signing this year. Once again, congratulations Val!

More about Valorie here:

Monday, November 30, 2009

November Was A Record Month!

With one day left in November, this little blog just set a record for monthly unique visitors with over 1100! Wow, thanks! To tell the truth, when I started I thought there would be 3 visitors---me, Riley, and one other person! I appreciate everyone who visits. It's nice to know I'm not writing to thin air.

We're heading into December now, which is the slowest softball month of all. But stay tuned anyway please!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Megan Smith Signs With Mercyhurst

Megan Smith holds virtually every pitching record at Immaculata Academy before even hurling that first softball of her senior season.
There is no doubt that the Hamburg resident will leave a legacy at the school, but before soaking in any of that glory, the three-year starter hopes first and foremost that her record-breaking career will be inspiration for future players at the school.
“It’s been an awesome experience to be the starter at Immaculata since being a freshman,” said Smith, who also carries a 91.03 overall grade point average. “I just hope what I’ve done pushes the younger girls to do better themselves.”
Smith will now also become an inspiration for those who hope to one day themselves play at the next level. She sparked the interest of prospective colleges with her school-record setting 52 wins and 525 strikeouts, to go along with four no-hitters. Smith has also shown plenty of ability to hit, racking up over the past three seasons a .491 average, 61 runs scored and 71 RBIs.
After making an official visit to Mercyhurst College this fall, Smith decided that the school in Erie, Pa. and its Division II softball program would be the best fit for her.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

St. Bonaventure Sign Six

Six players have signed National Letters Of Intent this November to play for the Bonnies of St. Bonaventure beginning with the 2011 season.

I have already informed you of Jen Sansano and Ashley Snider. The other four signees are:

Kelli Gleiser of Maryvale High and the WNY Elite;
Lindsay Stowell (Rochester, NY) who plays for the Rochester Lady Lions;
Christine Watson (Marlton, NJ) who plays for the New Jersey Mystics Gold;
Kaci Strong (Victor, NY).

Congratulations to all of them!

Kelli Gleiser:

Lindsay Stowell:

Corrin Genovese Chooses Missouri

Williamsville North's super infielder Corrin Genovese has decided to play her college softball at the University of Missouri, beginning in 2012. Corrin was heavily recruited by Arizona, but decided against going there after her visit left her with the feeling that it "wasn't what (she) expected". She was also recruited by Oklahoma, Notre Dame, UCLA, Louisville and of course Canisius.

You'll remember we saw Corrin and North upset highly touted Clarence High in the Section VI Championship game this last spring.

Congratulations to Corrin, we'll be following her career closely!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

*NEW* Buffalo Softball Bulls Fan Site

We've decided that this site is getting a bit crowded so we have a brand new site dedicated to the Buffalo Bulls softball program.

We'll have articles, news. game coverage and more.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Coming Soon...

We're working on player profile pages for Buffalo and Niagara. When they are finished, the links will appear on the right hand side of this page.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Newest Niagara Recruits

Finally some news from Monteagle Ridge! Not one, but two players from the Toledo Buckeye Heat will be on the Niagara roster beginning in the 2011 season. On the left is Brittany Richberg, a shortstop out of Holland, OH. On the right is Kim Bryson, a pitcher out of Perrysburg, OH.

Brittany also plays at Springfield High School, where she has been a .400 hitter; and Kim pitches for Perrysburg High where she has shown to be a strikeout queen.

Brittany and Kim are highly touted both having been invited to the prestigious Queen Of Diamonds Showcase. What is interesting is that they play in the same High School Division that current Purple Eagle Kristin Sito played in.

Congratulations girls!

Monday, November 16, 2009

State Champions 2006

On this cold November night I present a warm memory---the 2006 New York State Champion Williamsville South softball team. The first photo shows New York State Class "A" Coach Of The Year Gerry Gentner flanked by his two stars. On his right is current Griff and 2006 Class "A" All-State First Teamer Michelle Fridey. On his left is 2006 New York State Class "A" Player Of The Year Chelsea Plimpton (Fordham). BTW, in the Championship game Chelsea pitched a one-hit shutout with 14 strikeouts AND hit a single, a double, and a triple!

The second photo captures the whole South team including the girl in the back row first from the left, current Griff Lauren Falzone.

The third photo shows Lauren Falzone, who played second base in high school, throwing out a runner at first.

Michelle has gone onto to win two MAAC Championships and Lauren one. Hopefully Chelsea will earn an Atlantic 10 title in her next two years with Fordham.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Holly Luciano Joins The Buffalo Bulls

Holly Luciano of Toms River East High School in Toms River, New Jersey will be signing a National Letter Of Intent to play with the Buffalo Softball Bulls.

The senior shortstop is blazing fast, in keeping with Coach Teague's recent recruitment priority. Luciano is so fast that she led the Shore Conference in triples and stolen bases. She was also third in runs scored. She will join the Bulls in time for the 2011 season. Luciano says she chose Buffalo over Virginia Tech and Maryland.


Friday, November 13, 2009

How Not To Park At A Softball Game!

Nicole Hudson of Warriors '93 (CO) admires the work of one of her homers before, I presume, running away! Never park with your windshield facing a softball field!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

2010 Canisius Softball Schedule

Highlights of the 2010 schedule include a game against national power Florida. The Griffs will also be tested against Georgia Tech and DePaul. Syracuse pays a visit to the Demske in May. And of course, the 2010 MAAC Softball Championship will be held on the Canisius campus.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

National Letter Of Intent Week

The early signing period for the class of 2010 begins in about a half hour and will end November 18.
We already know Valorie Nappo will be signing with Canisius this week, but will there be any others? I really don't know. The Griffs have only one senior this season (Michelle Fridey) so they may not be signing anyone else. Stay tuned.

Lauryn Chris signing her letter of intent November 2007

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mike Rappl To Be Inducted Into Canisius Sports Hall Of Fame

Congratulations to Coach Rappl for a much deserved honor!

The most veteran member of the school's athletic department, Rappl is the first active head coach in Canisius College history to be inducted into the College's Sports Hall of Fame...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tori Speckman Chooses Buffalo

The Buffalo Softball Bulls have come to a verbal agreement with Alvin, Texas native Tori Speckman to join the team beginning next season.

The 5'6" pitcher currently plays for the Houston Power Gold and the Yellowjackets of Alvin High. With Sharon Barr graduating after this season, Speckman should see considerable action her freshman year.

Coach Teague seems to have established a pipeline into Texas.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jen Silata Joins Iona Coaching Staff

Former Canisius Softball star Jen Silata will be joining the Iona Gaels this season as an assistant to Head Coach Jaime Wohlbach. Jen had been the Head Coach at Troy High School (PA) since 2001, winning championships in 2003, '04, '07 and '08 as well as Coach Of The Year in 2004.

When Jen was hitting homers at Canisius (1995-98), she was a 4 time All-MAAC selection, 2 time All-MAAC Tournament selction, MAAC Player of the Year, ECAC Division 1 Player Of The Year, and Mid-Atlantic All American. She was pretty good!!

Congratulations to Jen who we will see at the Demske Sports Complex this season when her Gaels pay a visit.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Griffs To Play In 2010 Colonial Classic

Another piece of the Canisius 2010 softball schedule shows the Griffs traveling to Washington, D.C. on March 6&7 to take part in the Colonial Classic hosted by George Washington University.

Also participating will be Binghamton and Army.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Caroline Main 2009

Caroline Main will play an important role this season. The sophomore will be the oldest pitcher on the team. How well she pitches may determine how successful the Griffs will be in the MAAC.

So here's a look at her from last season at Syracuse. She gets into a little trouble in the beginning of the inning, then pitches her way out of it.

(Click box on player for full screen.)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

1999 Canisius Softball Preview

It's November, so here's one from the archives. It's a preview of the 1999 Golden Griffins. This article was originally published January 29, 1999 at the old Canisius website.
It's getting to be that time of the year

For the first time in six years, the Canisius College softball team last season failed to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship. The Griffs "struggled" to a 22-18 record and played the most grueling schedule in school history. This year's club is out to recapture the league title despite facing another slate full of nationally competitive programs.

Ten letterwinners return to Mike Rappl's (410-172-2 in 19 years) roster plus an array of freshmen that has the Griffs veteran coach optimistic about his club's chances come conference tournament time. In addition he can count on a veteran pitching staff that has experience against top-level talent.

"We should be stronger this year, because we have more depth in the pitching department," said the Griffs mentor, a 1977 Canisius College graduate. "Erin (Crowley) is back for her senior year, and Sarah (Skorupa) has gained a lot of confidence and pitched very well in the fall. We also have two freshmen, Gen Garcia and Veronica Maher (Gatorade New York State High School Player of the Year), who can help us immediately."

Crowley went 13-4 last year with a 1.26 ERA and only 13 walks in 105 innings of work. She went undefeated in conference play with three of her losses coming against South Carolina, Arizona and Florida. Included were a pair of two hit shutouts over Marist and Siena.

Rappl also has plenty of firepower among his eight regulars in spite of losing Sue Raiport, who hit .366, and one of the school's all-time great sluggers in Jen Silata. Joy Judski, a .388 hitter as a junior who missed the MAAC tourney due to a broken leg, leads the way at first base with catcher Jesse Rosenhahn (.364 with six homers) and third baseman Tracy Horvath (.328) also expected to contribute.

"Joy and Jesse (both seniors) are strong leaders," added Rappl, "plus I think we have increased our depth across the board."

New to the roster will be the Dodd twins (Amy and Charlene) out of Conklin, NY, the aformentioned Garcia and Maher on the mound and outfielder Jill Iacona. Freshman Diana Calandra, who was expected to bat lead-off, withdrew from school in January. Amy Dodd, a high school all-American at shortstop, will be part of Rappl's revamped outfield, which also includes Iacona and Jackie Fusco (.264). That unit will back up an experienced and defensive-minded infield.

Judski, the slugger, will be at first, with junior Raquel Alvarez at second and sophomores Lynn Stoczynski (SS) and Horvath (3B) on the left side of the infield. The Canisius fan base, which has grown proportionate to the team's level of play, will see another year of
exciting ball on the Demske turf.

"The game has changed so much in the past few years," noted the 45 year-old Rappl. "No team has any weak spots in the batting order any more, and the pitching has improved so that teams have more depth and faster pitchers. Fans who come to watch us for the first time are impressed with the quality of play, skill level of the game and find it enjoyable to watch."

The Griffs failure to win the MAAC last season did not signify a drop-off in the Canisius program, but rather signaled an improvement of play around the conference. The days of undefeated and one-loss seasons are over and now that the MAAC has an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament the quest for the title will become even more competitive.

"The MAAC has been getting stronger each year gaining in RPI ratings," added Rappl. "More quality players are coming into the league and at any time any team can beat another MAAC team."

Canisius begins its season with a month of road games. The Griffs open the campaign February 26 at East Carolina's Pirate Classic. During the first month of the season, Canisius will play against the likes of Kentucky, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Northwestern and UNC-Charlotte before coming back to Buffalo for the home opener, March 31 versus St. Francis, Pa.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Ashley Snider Verbally Commits To St. Bonaventure

Lancaster High School (NY) star shortstop Ashley Snider has verbally committed to play softball at St. Bonaventure beginning with the 2011 season.

Ashley, who was named All-ECIC in 2009 (which BTW was a very talented group), enters her senior season at Lancaster this coming spring having been honored as an All-ECIC player since she was in 8th grade. She hits for high averages with plenty of doubles and triples. She has played for the WNY Sting, and is currently on the LaNova roster.

Once again, Bonnies Coach Mike Threehouse is building a talented squad down there in the southern tier.
Congratulations Ashley!

Canisius Softball's Secret Weapon

Canisius College’s softball program currently has seven players on its roster who had their skills honed as members of the Amherst Lightning Travel Softball Summer program, under the guidance of travel coordinator John Tripi.
Amherst Bee

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Griffs To Play At Norfolk State In 2010

Another sneak peek at the 2010 Canisius Softball schedule shows the Golden Griffins traveling to Norfolk, Virginia the second weekend of the season for a doubleheader against the Spartans on February 20.

The Griffs swept Norfolk State down there last season 6-1; 18-0.

Stars Of Spring

Now that sophomore Lauryn Chris is poised to move into the starting role at second base for the Griffs, let's take a look back at her sophomore season at Gilroy High School when she became the Mustangs' lead off hitter and led the team with a .425 batting average. She hadn't played much her freshman season, but her hard work forced her coach's hand:

Very effective as a lead-off hitter...speed and quickness made Chris a threat in the basepaths...Batting average of .425 led the team...Played outfield last season but her range in the infield allowed Chris to make a seamless transition to second this year..."All year she was able to start us off and able to advance to second and third...She's very consistent as a batter as well," said Gilroy softball head coach Catherine Hallada. "From her attitude and hard work within the first week (of the season) or so, I knew she'd be great. Every day after practice, she stays after and does her own running...Even though she's young, it doesn't mean anything. Her talent and motivation are very accelerated."

I remember in the 2008 fall season, Coach Rappl used her in the lead off position in the batting order. Will she be the Griffs' lead off hitter in 2010? I don't know, but I expect her to play a more prominent role on the team in the coming season (and beyond). I noticed this fall that her swing seemed to be stronger; and she was as fast as ever. As a regular player, Lauryn generally led her teams in runs scored. We had a taste of her ability last season; it will be very interesting to watch her evolve into a regular player.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Girls In Sports Clinic

Michelle Fridey, 21, senior catcher on the Canisius College softball team said, “It’s nice to be a role model for these girls and show them how they can get out and play more, make lots of friends and use sports as an alternative to help them stay out of trouble.” Fridey went to high school locally at Williamsville South and in addition to her stellar softball career, she played soccer and basketball in high school and is majoring in health and physical education at Canisius.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Tags Completed

All the posts have now been labeled.
A tag cloud is on the left hand side of this page for your convenience.

Sammi Gallardo Verbals With Buffalo

San Diego Renegade infielder Sammi Gallardo will be joining the Bulls for the 2011 season.

Gallardo is a former teammate of current Buffalo pitcher Terese Diaz and plays softball for Otay Ranch High School, where she also plays basketball and volleyball.

Gallardo is versatile and capable at all infield positions. She has good speed and hits with power.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

GoGriffs Twitter Added

Check out the official Canisius College athletics tweets. I 've added the feed to the blog list found on the right hand side of this page.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kyle Plimpton

Does softball talent run in the family? Apparently in the Plimpton family it does! Chelsea's younger sister Kyle is a pitcher at Williamsville South ('11) and Team New Era. Kyle has twice been named South pitcher of the year, has been a first and second team ECIC honoree, and has the same style in the circle as her sister. She will be in demand next year.

Thanks to former Griffs star Jesse Rosenhahn for another great look at a local player.

Visit Jesse's site at:

Click the box on video for full screen.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ashley Fillmore

Ashley is an outfielder and catcher for Section 6 Champion Williamsville North where she earned a spot on the All-ECIC First Team. She graduates in 2011. She also plays for Team New Era Gold.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Robert Morris To Visit Canisius In 2010

Robert Morris University will be paying a visit to the Demske Sports Complex on April 5 to play a doubleheader against the Griffs. The two teams will be familiar to each other by then as they are also playing in the Miami Tournament on March 21.

The Colonials were scheduled to visit Canisius in 2009, but had to cancel due to a conference makeup.

The complete 2010 Canisius softball schedule should be released within a month.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Clarence, NY native Val Nappo is the newest Golden Griffin.

The NFCA All East Region 2nd Teamer has verbally committed to play softball for Canisius College beginning with the 2011 season. Val is a first baseman who currently plays for LaNova and Clarence High School where she was a teammate of current Griffs Katie Lancellotti and Stephanie Pfentner. Val is a strong hitter and great fielder, and will fill a need for the Griffs who will lose two first basemen to graduation after the 2011 season.

Congratulations Val!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Buffalo Schedule Update

The "TBA's" are filling in on the UB 2010 softball schedule.
The Bulls season is becoming even more formidable than previously reported.

Notre Dame
Cal Poly

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Griffs To Open 2010 Season In Clearwater, Florida

The Canisius College Golden Griffins will open the 2010 Softball season on February 12 in Clearwater, Florida playing in the University of South Florida DeMarini Tournament.

A challenging tournament it will be for the defending MAAC Champions. Other teams in the tournament include the nation's #2 team in 2009, the Florida Gators. Also competing that weekend will be Georgia Tech, with former Niagara standout Jen Yee; Long Island University; Florida Gulf Coast, which finished 47-9 in 2009; East Carolina; and Illinois State.

The Griffs will open play on the 12th against Florida Gulf Coast and host South Florida. On the 13th they will play East Carolina and Georgia Tech. They will close play on the 14th against Florida.

This tournament is the kind that Coach Rappl likes to play in, keeping to his philosophy of "playing the best to be the best".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Andrea Bunten Article From 2004

I found this article on All-Time Canisius strikeout Queen Andrea Bunten published by the Gilroy Dispatch on May 13, 2004. Andrea was from the same hometown as current Griff Lauryn Chris.

The article is about Andrea setting the Canisius record for strikeouts in a game, 17 vs. Rider on May 2, 2004. I believe the record still stands. She pitched three no hitters that season. Andrea struck out 663 during her career at Canisius.

To read the article CLICK HERE

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Griffs Close Fall Season With A Win

*Paige Freiberger was not with the team today because she returned home due to the passing of her father.
My sincere condolences to Paige and her family; my prayers are with you.*

The Canisius College Golden Griffins closed their 2009 Fall Softball schedule with a 3-1 win in a five inning game/scrimmage against Buffalo at Nan Harvey Field on the UB campus.

Even though it rained right up to early this morning, Nan Harvey Field was in good enough shape for the Griffs and Bulls to get another workout in live action before the winter sets in. BTW, southern California native Chloe Contreras looked a little cold out there today---I hate to tell you this Chloe, but it's going to get a lot colder :(

Once the field was raked into shape, the game began. I mentioned after the previous scrimmage that Buffalo's top two pitchers did not play, I found out today why. Terese Diaz had a gall bladder operation, she didn't play again today, but she looks fine. Sharon Barr had pulled a muscle that day, she was back in action today and pitched well. Caroline Main started the game for the Griffs, and pitched a couple shutout innings. The Canisius bats were quiet until Katie Medina smashed a double, however she ended up stranded at second base.

Amanda Baun came in to pitch an inning, and when facing Buffalo's Taylor Franich the same thing happened as last game. The super fast Taylor hit a grounder to Katie Lancellotti and beat the throw to first. Katie didn't do anything wrong---Taylor can fly. She proved it by immediately stealing second, and then third. She scored on a sacrifice fly, which was actually a very difficult catch made by Chloe Contreras in right field. Because of the wet field, Chloe slipped when she caught the ball and her throw home was late. But I have to say that Chloe has a very strong arm.

Brittany Wood then came in to pitch the final two innings, and was very impressive allowing only one hit and holding the Bulls scoreless. She struck out two, both times freezing the batter at the plate.

The Griffs finally scored when Lauren Hope hit a triple to left field and made it home on a wild pitch. Later Michelle Fridey doubled, and Katie Lancellotti moved her to third. Then Katie made an unbelievable play that had the Canisius bench in stitches. Katie was heading to second base, and she was out by a mile. she got there, the second baseman swooped her glove down to make the tag, however there was only air there because Katie simply faked the slide and headed back to first base! It was a very good improvisation because Michelle scored and Katie ended up on third! And then she scored the Griffs' third run with a very hard slide at the plate.

After the five inning game the teams had a controlled scrimmage, such as did they did last time. A lot of running and sliding again. Once more Lizzy Gatto showed what a strong arm she has, throwing out a runner at the plate.

So ends the fall portion of the 2009-10 season. The Griffs did finish 6-1 (counting the short games), but more importantly the freshmen got their feet wet and the team got in a lot of good work. Now the concentration is on the upcoming season in February. I will take a detailed look at the 2010 team later next week (through my amateur eyes) and I also will make sure the blog stays active throughout the dreadful winter months. Winter...ugh. It's been a great 2009 softball year!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Griffs Close Fall Ball Saturday

Canisius travels to the Buffalo campus for another controlled scrimmage this Saturday; the start time is 10am. It looks as if the weather will cooperate. There is a football game right next door being played later in the day, so parking might be a problem. But you can always park at the Pepsi Center, and then go watch the Showcase there!

This will be it for the Griffs until February when they begin defense of their MAAC title.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tori Pettine Verbally Commits To Buffalo

Infielder Tori Pettine has verbally committed to play softball at the University at Buffalo. Pettine will join the Bulls for the 2011 season, and is currently playing for the Witches Elite Gold out of New Jersey. She is very fast with a strong arm. She also led her high school team last year with a .437 average.


Homerun Softball College Showcase

The 2009 Homerun Softball College Showcase is scheduled to be held this weekend, October 3&4, at the Pepsi Center in Amherst. This is a 16U/18U Showcase.

Participating teams:

Amherst Lightning Elite Leonard
WNY Elite
Palmerston Marlins
CNY Wildcats
Rochester Lady Lions
New Era Diamonds Girls Malicki
Amherst Lightning Koshofer
Renegade Gold
Whitby Eagles
WNY Diamond Girls Smith
WNY Sting
Amherst Lightning Gold
New Era Del Prince

Coaches from many colleges will be there, including Canisius, Niagara, and Buffalo. Canisius and Buffalo are scheduled for a controlled scrimmage across the street at Nan Harvey Field on the UB Campus (10am according to Canisius, 11am according to UB) on Saturday---so it will be a full weekend of softball, if the weather cooperates.

See the full schedule by clicking HERE

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

2010 Empire State Games

The 2010 Empire State Games will be held held in Buffalo, which means an extra Softball tournament next summer!

Who will play for the Western team? Chelsea Plimpton and Michelle Fridey were members of the 2008 team (there were no games in 2009). Likely they will be on next year's squad. Katie Lancellotti seems to be a probable choice.

The entire Games will be spread out over many local campuses, including Canisius. I'm guessing the softball will be played at the Pepsi Center. More on this next year.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Buffalo Bulls 2010 Schedule

The Buffalo Bulls have released their 2010 Softball schedule. Although there are still a number of tournament dates to be filled in with opponents, you can see they have a very challenging season ahead.

The Bulls will open their season on February 19 playing in the first of five tournaments in Denton, Texas. They also will participate in tournaments in California, including pitcher Terese Diaz's hometown of San Diego. They will be facing some top notch schools including: Fresno St., Arkansas, Long Beach St., and Syracuse. Wonder who the "TBAs" are?

The Bulls first home game is March 27 against arch rival Canisius. They will also host local rivals Niagara and St. Bonaventure. They open MAC play on April 2 in Kalamazoo, Michigan against Western Michigan. They will play host to six MAC schools, with the regular season ending at home against Toledo on May 9.

Buffalo is hopeful of reaching the MAC tournament which will be held in Akron, Ohio beginning May 12.

The Bulls have a lot of young players for 2010, and they will receive their baptism of fire with this difficult schedule. Should be a very interesting season.

I am looking to expand my coverage this coming season, as time permits.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

No Game At McCarthy Field Today

*UPDATE--The game today was rained out*

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paige Freiberger Is The New Cameron Norton

A very nice crowd showed up at the cloud blanketed Demske Sports Complex to watch a 9 inning fall ball game between Canisius and Mercyhurst won by the Griffs 9-0.

Once again I have to highlight the play of third baseman Paige Freiberger (I'm running out of her photos!). She is having a fabulous fall season as she makes the transition to third base replacing the graduated Cameron Norton. For the second consecutive game, Paige blasted a three run homer, this time deep over the left field fence. She is hitting with Cameron Norton like power so far in her junior season. She also hit two singles, and walked, and scored another run. She was perfect in the field, including a great catch in foul territory up against the Mercyhurst dugout. I can't say enough about how well she's playing---she looks like she's been at third her whole life. I wrote a couple months ago in the profiles not to be surprised if she made another dramatic jump in her play. So far she looks on target.

The Griffs received shutout pitching from Caroline Main and Amanda Baun. Caroline pitched five innings, and was generally in control. Amanda pitched four innings, and although she had some control trouble again with a number of walks, she also struck out five I believe.

Lauren Falzone continued her solid fall play, and solidified her claim to right field starting status, by making a fantastic catch over the right field fence and robbing Mercyhurst of a homer. Her defensive play this fall has been stellar, she has great range and an eye for the ball.

Lauren Hope had a great day at the plate hitting for a bunt single, a double, and a triple. She also stole two bases.

Katie Medina smashed a double today. Katie Lancellotti made a great catch at shortstop that stopped a couple runs from scoring. Michelle Fridey had a hit and a couple stolen bases. Lauryn Chris stole a base as well. Amanda Cannizzo got an infield hit and scored a run. Lizzy Gatto, Brittany Wood, and Kerry Ulmer did not play today. Apparently there is a bug going around Canisius.

At the end of the game, the rains came and it did feel like a spring game to the spectators! Tomorrow's game at McCarthy Field is up in the air right now, we'll have to see what the weather does. Game time is set for noon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Griffs Play Two This Weekend

Saturday at the Demske Sports Complex, the Canisius Golden Griffins play host to Mercyhurst College. The Division 2 Lakers are from Erie, PA . Griffs' assistant coach Kim Griffin played at Mercyhurst, and led the team in hitting in 2006. She did some pitching as well. Game begins at 2pm.

On Sunday Canisius will host Monroe County Community College, but this time at McCarthy Field in Buffalo, which is located off of Amherst St. between Main and Bailey. It's about 2 miles from the Demske. Last fall I told you that MCCC were 3-time NJCAA Division 3 National Champions. They didn't win it all last season, but they were in the National Finals once more. They finished the 2009 season 38-11 and ranked third in the nation. Game begins at noon.

There's a chance of rain both days, mostly Saturday.

McCarthy Field

Val Nappo Of Clarence

With whom will Clarence's Val Nappo, NFCA East Region 2nd Teamer and 2010 graduate, sign to play college softball. She is a very talented first baseman, and a very strong hitter. Anyone with inside info may write me!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Transition Completed

It's looks like the transition to the new URL is complete. Hopefully there will be no more glitches!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I think we were offline for a few minutes. As I wrote a few days ago, we are transitioning to the new URL, so there may have been a glitch.
FYI, the old URL will always redirect to the new one after the transition is complete.

Griffs To Play St. Francis (PA) In 2010

Another piece of the Canisius Softball 2010 schedule finds the Griffs traveling to Loretto, PA on April 14 for a doubleheader against the Red Flash. St. Francis competes in the Northeast Conference, and finished the 2009 season with a 21-30 record. The Griffs are 17-2 all time vs. the Red Flash. The last time the teams met was in 2008 at Canisius with the Griffs sweeping.