Sunday, February 28, 2010

Very Good Weekend For The Griffs

The Golden Griffins finished the Coastal Carolina Tournament 3-2, and they gave #33 DePaul a good game today, but the encouraging sign was the continuing emergence of their offense. Nine home runs (2 grand slams), 39 hits (that's with three 5 inning games), and 31 runs are what the Griffs need with two young pitchers. Well, maybe it's more than they need. The Griffs are hitting .287 as a team, 26 points above last year's final number. Opponents are hitting .248 against them.

I'm wondering how good sophomore Lizzy Gatto is going to be. The DePaul coach insisted that her home run against the Blue Demons was the result of a "bad pitch". Well, then don't go throwing Lizzy "bad pitches" or else she'll blast it out of the park! Lizzy is currently hitting .400.

Michelle Fridey is hitting .390 with 16 RBIs, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers. Emily Helbig is at .359 which is scary because historically her average rises once she gets to MAAC play. Lauren Hope is at .313 with 11 runs and 9 RBIs.

But moreover, the Griffs seem to be gelling as an offensive unit. Last season they would go long spells with cold bats, relying on the arm of Mallory Aldred, but we're not seeing that this season. And I think they are steps ahead of the rest of the MAAC after watching them closely, although Fairfield's Sarah Minice beat Pittsburgh in 11 innings and will be a challenge.

I thought the most impressive win this weekend was against Jacksonville, a team that was ranked 37th in the nation and beat Virginia Tech and gave Florida a good game. The Griffs shut them down, 5-0. The Canisius pitchers got good innings in, and need more, but at this point last season, the Griffs were 6-7 so they are on target, and with a tougher schedule.

Next weekend the Griffs are scheduled to play at George Washington U., where I believe they can win all four games. However, they had an awful lot of snow recently, so maybe it's in doubt. We'll see.

St. Bona Completes First Tourney

St. Bonaventure finished 2-3 at the Seahawk Classic in Wilmington, NC this weekend, beating the host UNC Wilmington today 8-2 to wrap up the tournament. The Bonnies 3 losses were all very close, including a 10 inning struggle with Gardner-Webb (5-3 loss). The Bonnies won their first game of 2010 Saturday, a 3-2 victory over Wilmongton.

Stephanie Narde is off to a great start. The senior shortstop is hitting .400 with a double and 4 RBIs in her 5 games.

St. Bona stays down south (lucky them) for three doubleheaders: Tuesday at Campbell; Wednesday at the College of Charleston; and Friday at North Carolina A&T. Then Saturday and Sunday they will be at Norfolk St. (along with Niagara, who they won't play) for the Spartan Clash. That's 10 games in a week! Good luck Bonnies!

Game 14 vs. DePaul (@ Conway, SC)

DePaul 6
Canisius 2

...Lizzy Gatto, 2 run homer...Griffs hit 9 homers at Kickin' Chicken Classic...3-2 at tournament...Colonial Classic next on Saturday

10am Start Time

Today's game vs. DePaul will start at 10am EST, not 9am as I previously posted.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Griffs Bomb South Carolina, Part 2

Lizzy Gatto Had To Take Her Time Getting Home Because Of All The Traffic In Front Of Her

What is Coach Rappl feeding his players?
The Griffs' offense has exploded this season: another grand slammer (by Lizzy Gatto), another run rule game victory (third in last six games), homers by Katie Lancellotti, Paige Freiberger (again) and Michelle Fridey (again). Michelle was 3 for 3 in the 10-1 win over Coastal Carolina, and she's on pace to smash the Canisius single season RBI record (which she almost broke in 2008). She's not letting her foot off the gas this season.

Wow, the Griffs have 8 homers this weekend (so far). Paige has 2 of them, she also had a triple against DePaul (a game which the Griffs lost 8-0 in 5 innings, but were really in the game until a tough 5th). Canisius is suddenly getting the offense they lacked in 2009 (when they had no .300 hitters). The Griffs had the Coastal Carolina pitchers dizzy in a second inning that lasted for what seemed 2 hours. After that, they went into cruise control led by freshman pitcher Amanda Baun who seems to me to be getting better each game. She seems to have conquered the walking problem she had, issuing only 1 in her last 2 starts. Her ERA is down to 2.17 now; she's only started 6 college games in her life (4-2). Caroline Main had the tough assignment of going against a very good DePaul team, and was doing quite well holding down the fort (2-0) until a difficult 5th inning where I think she was shaken up a bit by a home run. This was a great team she pitched against, and she gave the Griffs a chance. Offensively a number of chances were there, but they couldn't cash in.

The Griffs are now 3-1 in this tournament; and will leave with at least a .500 record after beginning the season 0-5. They will face that tough DePaul team before coming home, at 9am ET Sunday morning.

Buffalo Bulls Live Blog

The Bulls are playing 2 now at:

Game 13 @ Coastal Carolina

Canisius 10
Coastal Carolina 1 (5)

...2nd "bombing of South Carolina"...Lizzy Gatto, grand slammer...Michelle Fridey, 3 for 3 homer...Paige Freiberger, 2 run homer...Katie Lancellotti, 2 for 3, 2 run homer...Amanda Baun, 2 hitter 7 strikeouts...Lauren Hope RBI...Griffs 7-6; 3-1 in Tourney...summary to follow

Game 12 vs. DePaul (@ Conway, SC)

#33 DePaul 8
Canisius 0 (5)

DePaul scores 6 in 5th inning to end game...Paige Freiberger, 2 for 3 w/ a triple...Emily Helbig 2 for 2...Griffs now 6-6

Upcoming Opponents---Coastal Carolina

  • 2010 Record: 4-5
  • All Time vs. Canisius: 1-1
  • Last Meeting: 1996 (Canisius 5-2)
  • Leading Hitter: Michelle Evans .375
  • Leading Pitcher: Katelin Edwards 1.38 ERA

Upcoming Opponents---#33 DePaul

  • 2010 Record: 2-4
  • All Time vs. Canisius: 1-0
  • Last Meeting: 2004 NCAA Regional (DePaul 8-0)
  • Leading Hitter: Becca Heteniak .438
  • Leading Pitcher: Lindsey Dean 0.64 ERA

Amanda Baun Shutout 37th Ranked Team In The Nation

In all the fun, I forgot to mention that the team that freshman Amanda Baun shutout 5-0, Jacksonville, is ranked #37 in the nation. Not bad for her 5th start ever.

St. Bonaventure Opens 2010 Season

St. Bonaventure opened their 2010 season with a pair of very close losses at the Seahawk Classic in Wilmington, NC.
The Bonnies lost a 10 inning game to Gardner-Webb, and then lost 6-5 to Mount St. Mary's.
Read more here:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Griffs Bomb South Carolina

The Golden Griffins have now won six games in a row in dominant fashion. Actually I take that back. Eastern Kentucky took a 3-0 lead in the top half of the first inning of their game with the Griffs. But then Canisius came to bat and out scored them 14-3 the rest of the game!

The Griffs walloped a total of 4 homers on the day, maybe none bigger than Paige Freiberger's grand slammer in the bottom of the second inning that gave Canisius a 7-3 lead on Eastern Kentucky after spotting them those three runs.

Kerry Ulmer had the day of her career (thus far) hitting 4 for 7 with two homers, three RBIs and three runs. How great it is to witness her emergence into an every day player on the team, and a valuable one at that.

Michelle Fridey simply continued her red hot streak, hitting a homer and driving home six runs. A couple years ago, Michelle came within one of the Canisius single season RBI record---she may get it this season.

Lauren Hope is playing out of her mind, 4 for 9, two RBIs, four runs, a stolen base. Every time Lauren steals a base, it's a new all time Canisius record.

Amanda Cannizzo's bat is coming alive recently---she had three hits today. Emily Helbig got a big 2 out RBI to put the game against Jacksonville out of reach. I could go on, everyone played splendidly. Katie Medina scored three runs, got two hits, made some very nice plays in the field. Caroline Main had a tough first inning against EKU, but shut the door at the end.

Freshman Amanda Baun pitched a wonderful game against Jacksonville, a 5-0 shutout. She only struck out three (as opposed to her recent double digit performances), but did not walk a batter. That has been a bit of a problem for her, but today she was in total control. She allowed four hits, two of them infield singles. Jacksonville didn't come close to scoring until the 7th inning, when the game was pretty much out of reach.

The Griffs had a great day, but get right back at it Saturday, first against a very good DePaul team, and then against host Coastal Carolina.

Paige Cleared The Bases With Her Powerful Swing!

Game 11 vs. Jacksonville (@ Conway, SC)

Canisius 5
Jacksonville 0

...Griffs win 6th straight...Kerry Ulmer hits 2nd homer of day...Amanda Baun, 2nd shutout of season...Michelle Fridey, 2 more RBIs...Lauren Hope, 2 hits, 2 runs...Emily Helbig, 2 hits RBI...Amanda Cannizzo, RBI...summary to follow

Game 10 vs. Eastern Kentucky (@ Conway, SC)

Canisius 14
E. Kentucky 6 (5)

...Paige Freiberger, grand slam homer...Michelle Fridey, homer 4 RBIs...Kerry Ulmer, homer 2 RBIs...Katie Medina, 3 runs...Lauren Hope 2 hits, steal, 2 RBIs...Amanda Cannizzo, 2 hits 2 runs...5th straight win...summary to follow.

Live Blogging This Weekend

I'll be live blogging all the Griffs' games this weekend (schedule with start times on right hand side of page), and also will be updating Niagara's games this weekend in Greensboro during the live blogs when able.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upcoming Opponents---Jacksonville

  • 2010 Record: 7-2
  • All Time vs. Canisius: 1-1
  • Last Meeting: 2008 (Split--Canisius 2-2, Jacksonville 0-3)
  • Leading Hitter: Katie Kelly .348
  • Leading Pitcher: Brittany Abbott 0.00 ERA

Computer Crash!

I woke up today and discovered that my pc crashed! Bought a new one, and i am currently customizing it. Everything should be fine by Friday's game, which I will live blog.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weather Forecast For Coastal Carolina Tournament

Upcoming Opponents---Eastern Kentucky

  • 2010 Record: 0-4
  • All Time vs. Canisius 0-1
  • Last Meeting: 2007 (Canisius 8-5)
  • Leading Hitter: Cheyanne Pounds, .429
  • Leading Pitcher: Stacye Toups, 4.34 ERA

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Niagara To Open Season Friday

Another local softball team opens their 2010 season this weekend. The Purple Eagles will be in Greensboro, NC. Follow them all season here:

Preparing For MAAC Play

It's interesting to see how Coach Rappl is preparing his team for this year's MAAC season, a season at the end of which Canisius College will host the MAAC Softball Championship. Anyone who follows Canisius Softball knows what an intimidating place the Demske Sports Complex is for opposing MAAC teams. What an advantage it would be for the Griffs to sleep in their own beds and play on their own field in front of family and fans...but they have to get there first.

When I first looked at the 2010 schedule, I thought it was quite grueling for a team with only one senior and four juniors. But so far, it's played out perfectly. The Griffs opened this season on the earliest date ever in their history, against some very good teams; teams that had been practicing outdoors. The Griffs lost all five games, they could have won four of them but were a bit rusty. They might have spent that week practicing in a gym, but instead they got thrown head first into the season. Iona played a few games, but the other MAAC teams were still in the gym.

Then the next weekend became interesting, because the Griffs played two teams from the MEAC, a conference I judge to be slightly lower in level from the MAAC, but not that much lower. And the Griffs simply overpowered these two teams by a total score of 32-2. In the 12-1 victory over Hampton, Canisius left 11 runners on base! The two young pitchers were outstanding in these games---Caroline Main gave up a total of four hits and one walk in her two starts; Amanda Baun struck out 24 in her two starts. Offensively, Lauren Hope hit and ran like mad; Emily Helbig had a 4 for 4, Michelle Fridey drove in four runs in one game...I could mention every player. The team looks to be in shape. Six of the MAAC teams were still in the gym.

This coming weekend, the Griffs have some real toughies. DePaul, who were earlier ranked 20th in the nation, and Jacksonville with their 7-1 record are very good teams. So now the Griffs go back in the grinder with serious challenges---not even so much to win, but to push themselves. Two more tournaments follow, with a break in between. Then the team begins home and MAAC play. The pitchers will have a lot of challenging innings under their belts; the hitters will have faced a lot of great pitching. And by the time May comes, the team may not seem so young as they were in February.

Lizzy Gatto Steals Second Surrounded By MAAC Title Banners At The Demske

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lizzy Gatto Leads MAAC In Hitting

9 Games, 21 AB

.476 Batting Average

.607 On Base Percentage

.571 Slugging Percentage

4 RBIs

5 for 5 Stolen Bases

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Canisius Pitchers Through 2/21/10

Caroline Main

27 innings pitched
2.85 ERA
20 strikeouts

Amanda Baun

30 innings pitched
2.80 ERA
41 strikeouts

Games 8 & 9 @ Hampton

Canisius 12
Hampton 1 (5)

Canisius 5
Hampton 1

...Griffs now 4-5...Michelle Fridey continues hot streak...Lizzy Gatto 3 for 4 game 1...Stephanie Pfentner, first collegiate hit...Amanda Baun 10 strikeouts...Caroline Main 3 hitter...Lauren Hope 2 doubles a triple 4 RBIs...Emily Helbig 4 for 4 in game 1...Paige Freiberger RBI...Katie Lancellotti, RBI double

Unfortunately, there is no coverage of this game coming out of Hampton. I will update as soon as possible.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Griffs Sweep Norfolk State

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

The Golden Griffins won for the first time this young season and in a big way, shutting out Norfolk State twice, 7-0 and 8-0.

Michelle Fridey continued her great start in game 1, hitting 2 for 2 with another double, a sacrifice fly, and 4 RBIs. She really has come to play her senior season, and I don't see her slowing down. Lizzy Gatto also continued her hot play, hitting 3 for 7 for the day with 2 RBIs and a stolen base. Emily Helbig hit 3 for 6 on the day. I said yesterday that I had confidence that Katie Lancelloti would break out of her mini slump; I was correct. She got 2 hits, one of them being a 3 run homer in game 2, her first of the season. Lauren Hope, Paige Freberger, and Amanda Cannizzo all had multiple hit days. Kerry Ulmer had a hit and an RBI. Chloe Contreras did see her first action as a Griff, entering each game in the late innings.

But for all the offensive firepower, the big story of the day was the Griffs' pitching. Sophomore Caroline Main started the first game, and was virtually unhittable. In fact, she only gave up one hit, plus one walk the whole game. She was pitching a perfect game until Norfolk St. finally got a hit with 2 outs in the 5th ininng. She was in control from start to finish to pick up her first win of the season.

So the question for game 2 was could freshman Amanda Baun match Caroline's great performance? She very nearly did! In the 2nd shutout, Amanda struck out 14 batters, while only allowing 3 hits. Maybe more importantly, she only walked 2 (she had walked 17 in 16 innings previously). Not only did Amanda strike out the side to begin the game, but Norfolk State didn't even put the ball into play until the 4th inning! She struck out 7 of the first 8 batters, and breezed to the first victory of her collegiate career.

A 15-0 day was just what the Griffs needed after starting the season 0-5, but they're right back at it Sunday against Hampton. First pitch is at 11:00am EST.

Amanda Baun

Game 7 @ Norfolk State

Canisus 8
Norfolk St. 0

Amanda Baun, 14 strikeouts...Katie Lancellotti clubs 3 run homer...summary to follow

Missed your last comment Rick, sorry! Well, she still had a great game no matter where she's from!
*UPDATE 4:48*
Katie Lancellotti hit a 3 run homer in the top of the 7th to make it 8-0 Griffs!
*UPDATE 4:40*
Top of the 7th, still 4-0 Griffs. Amanda Baun has 12 strikeouts.

Game 6 @ Norfolk State

Canisius 7
Norfolk St. 0

Caroline Main, 1 hitter...Michelle Fridey, 4 RBIs...
summary to follow

New Wardrobe For St. Bonaventure

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weather In Norfolk/Hampton

The weather forecast for Norfolk and Hampton this weekend calls for sunny skies, temps in the low 50s, and no threat of rain.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Upcoming Opponents---Norfolk St.

The Griffs travel to Norfolk, VA for a doubleheader against the Spartans on Saturday. Canisius opened their 2009 season in Norfolk, and very successfully, sweeping the Spartans 6-1 and 18-0. In Lizzy Gatto's first at bat ever, she hit a double. In fact, she started at shortstop that game, the only time she's played there thus far. In the 2nd game, Caroline Main made her first ever start and 2 hit Norfolk St. in 5 innings.

Maybe the Spartans will have revenge on their minds this year for that 18-0 drubbing. They are led by senior catcher/3rd baseman Rebecca Barnes who hit for a .322 average in 2009 to go along with 7 homers and 33 RBIs. Seniors Jamie Raab and Meghan Ramsey also hit over .300 last season. In the circle, junior Alyssa Velazquez was 17-14 with a 1.88 ERA in 2009.

The Griffs will look to rebound from their 0-5 start. First pitch is at 1:00pm EST Saturday, and will be live blogged right here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

By The Numbers 2/17/10

Michelle Fridey has started her senior season with a bang, leading the Griffs with a .462 average and a .846 slugging percentage. Lizzy Gatto rebounded from a slow start to post a .375 average and leads the team in runs scored with 3. Add her 5 walks and she has a .615 on base percentage. Junior Kerry Ulmer, seeing the first sustained action of her Canisius career, has responded by hitting for a .300 average with 2 RBIs.

The Griffs' young pitchers have had a rocky start, as may have been expected. Sophomore Caroline Main has a 0-3 record with a 4.67 ERA; this includes a game against national powerhouse Gerogia Tech. Freshman Amanda Baun is 0-2 with a 4.81 ERA. She has 17 strikeouts in 17 innings pitched, but also 17 walks.

The surprise is that sophomore Katie Lancellotti has gone hitless in her first 5 games. Without her bat, the Griffs are in serious trouble. She'll have a chance to break out of her mini slump this weekend in Virginia. I have confidence that she will do just that.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Buffalo Bulls Open Season Friday

Follow the season here:

The Buffalo Softball Bulls travel to Denton, Texas to play in the Sleep Inn Classic hosted by North Texas beginning friday.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Game 5 vs. Long Island @ Clearwater, FL

Long Island 5
Canisius 1

The Golden Griffins certainly had their chances in this one, loading the bases twice---once in the 4th inning when they were down 1-0; and once in the 6th inning when they were down 3-1. But both times they left all 3 runners stranded. They left 8 runners on base for the game.

Caroline Main started the game, and gave up 3 runs on 7 hits. She got into trouble with the first 3 batters in the 5th inning, and was relieved by Amanda Baun. Amanda got out of that inning unscathed, but would allow 2 unearned runs in the top of the 7th.

The Griffs did have 7 hits on the day, but could have used a few more timely ones. Lizzy Gatto drove in the team's only run with a single in the 6th. She was 1 for 1 today and has 3 hits in her last 2 games. Michelle Fridey continued her hot streak with a single; Kerry Ulmer got her 3rd hit of the season, she has played well. Lauren Hope, Lauren Falzone, Amanda Cannizzo, and Paige Freiberger got the other hits.

The Griffs end their Florida trip 0-5. They were in every game but one (Georgia Tech), but have thus far had trouble closing the deal. They certainly need to support their 2 young pitchers. The losses sting, but the benefits will come later, in MAAC play. This early start against quality non conference opponents is preparing the team for what lies ahead. They do need a confidence boost though, and will have a good opportunity for that when they play a pair of doubleheaders this weekend in Virginia against Norfolk St. and Hampton.

Have a safe flight home ladies!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Great Day For Michelle Fridey

Even though the Griffs lost both games today, the senior catcher had a great day with 3 doubles, a triple, and an RBI. She also threw a runner out at second base and made a great catch on a foul ball. She comes out of the USF Tournament with a .500 batting average. She has begun her senior season with a bang.

Game 4 Canisius @ South Florida

@ the commenters---sorry I closed the chat before I saw your comments.
I think Emily hurt her leg diving to first. More than that I do not know.
Let's hope she's OK.

South Florida 6
Canisius 1

Well, I said this would be the toughest part of the schedule.
Michelle Fridey had a super game, hitting 2 doubles and a stand up triple---problem was she was stranded every time. The Griffs just couldn't uncork their bats in this one. I'm not going to make excuses for them, but this is their earliest start to a season ever, and coming out of the snow and cold they did look a bit rusty at times in this tournament. But it's a long season.

Amanda Baun pitched well enough to win until she seemed to run out of gas in the 7th inning---no wonder considering she threw well over a 100 pitches. It's a learn on the job process for her with the Griffs down to 2 pitchers (Amanda Cannizzo being a sort of "emergency" pitcher). She kept the Griffs in the game against a team that minutes before scored 8 earned runs against #3 Florida's All-American pitcher. It was a very long day for Canisius with the rescheduling then the long delay, so by the 7th she may not have had much left. She just got some great experience.

Emily Helbig limped off the field in the 7th inning after beating a throw to first base for a single.

The USF Tournament is over, but the Griffs stay in Clearwater for a President's Day game against Long Island at 10am EST.

On a side note, this little blog broke the record for readers with 301---thank you very much for reading!

Griffs vs. USF Starting Time

We're probably looking at a 4pm or later start time as USF and Florida are still on the field. Florida is winning 8-0 in the 4th, so the game may end shortly.
*UPDATE 3:38pm*
USF is losing 8-0 in the top of the 5th. If it ends in a run rule game, I would expect a start for the Canisius game at about 4:30 EST.
*UPDATE 3:55pm*
South Florida just scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 5th, so the run rule is off for now.
Now we're looking at around 5pm EST for a starting time.

*UPDATE 4:30pm*
The Canisius-USF game won't start until at least 5:15

*UPDATE 4:45*
It's the bottom of the 7th and Florida is up by 4, so unless USF comes back, look for the Canisius-USF game to start about 5:30pm EST
Wow...USF has been on the field almost 3 hours and have used all their pitchers, one of them twice! Will that be to the advantage of the Griffs?

Upoming Opponents---South Florida

The Bulls of South Florida finished with a 34-22 record in 2009 and got to the semi-finals of the Big East Tournament. Senior catcher Cat Olnick hit .364 in 2009 including 11 doubles. Sophomore outfielder Janine Richardson had a good rookie season hitting .320 and stealing 10 bases. In the circle, South Florida pitches by committee, last year they had 5 who got significant innings in.

This will be the 6th meeting between Canisius and the Bulls with South Florida leading the overall series 4-1.

Game 3 vs. Illinois St. @ Clearwater, FL

Illinois St. 4
Canisius 1

Some tough breaks again for the Griffs as they drop their third game of the 2010 season. Michelle Fridey drove home Katie Medina with a 3rd inning double to give the Griffs a 1-0 lead, but they would only get one other hit. Lauren Hope got that hit in the same inning, and made it to 3rd base when she attempted to score on a wild pitch but was thrown out. The Griffs' coaches claimed the Redbird catcher was too far out of the box and blocking Lauren from scoring, but the umps weren't listening. That was a turning point because it would have given the Griffs a 2-0 lead and put Michelle Fridey on 3rd with one out. Instead the Griffs had to settle for one run.

Illinois State scored twice in the 3rd inning with two outs after Michelle Henderson reached first when Caroline Main could not handle a ground ball back to the circle (it was not scored an error). The next batter, Jhavon Hamilton, then hit a triple to tie the game. A wild pitch by Caroline gave the Redbirds a lead they would not relinquish. A 2 out 2 run homer in the 6th gave Illinois State the final margin of victory.

It was a mixed bag for Caroline today---she had 6 strikeouts and walked only 2, but again was stung by the Griffs not being able to get a third out when they needed it. Illinois St. scored all their runs with 2 outs on the board.

Next up a game against host South Florida later today at 3:30pm EST. I'll be live blogging.

New Uniforms

The "rumor"I started when I was bored in December turned out to be true---the Griffs do have new uniforms. You can see the road uniforms in this photograph of Amanda Baun about to strike out one of 12 Florida Gulf Coast players yesterday. Mainly blue with white sleeves and a gold, gothic "C" and number on the front.

Media For Sunday's Games

I'll be live blogging both games; there are also a few media options:

Both games will be streamed live (for a fee) here:

The video is not so hot, and they only announce for their own team. But you can watch.

The game against Illinois St. will be broadcast (audio only) for free here:

Be ready to turn the volume down, it's internet radio so it's a little raw. Game time 9am EST.

By the way, Georgia Tech went on to shutout #3 Florida after they beat Canisius. They broke Florida All-American pitcher Stephanie Brombacher's 42 game winning streak. In fact, she had been 42-0.
Gerogia Tech is a threat to win the National Championship.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Upcoming Opponents---Illinois State

The Griffs will face off against another school they have never played when they meet Illinois State sunday at the USF Tournament.

The Redbirds play in the Missouri Valley Conference and had a 24-26 record in 2009. They are similar to Canisius in that they have a long time Coach, Melinda Fischer, who has led the team since 1986 and owns 784 career victories.

On the field, the Redbirds are led by 5'10" junior Abby Olson who hit for a .338 average and 11 homers last season. Senior shortstop Niki Stansell hit for a .322 average and 7 homers in 2009. In the circle, pitcher Jordan Birch had a good freshman season with her 10-9 record and 2.05 ERA plus 120 strikeouts in 105 innings pitched.

In their first 2 games in Clearwater, the Redbirds lost to Long Island 11-4; and South Florida 4-3 (10 innings).

Sorry For The Missed Comments!

I'm new at Cover It Live, I overlooked some comments and they didn't get published. I'll try harder tomorrow!

Game 2 vs. Florida Gulf Coast @ Clearwater, FL

Florida Gulf Coast 6
Canisius 3

Amanda Baun and the Griffs got into a bit of trouble in the 6th inning, but for a freshman making her first ever start and against a very good team she did quite well. Amanda had 12 strikeouts in her debut, including striking out the side in the 5th inning. She got a little shaken up in the 6th when the Eagles scored 3 times, but she'll be OK. She struck out 12 batters on a team that was 47-9 last sesaon, and a lot of them didn't even come close to hitting her. This is very encouraging looking down the road to MAAC play.

Paige Freiberger had a good game---she was 2 for 4 including a line drive double, but she got called out in the 4th for leaving 3rd base too early on a sacrifice fly. I think she would have been out if she didn't leave early because it was a very close play. That run would have put the Griffs ahead. Kerry Ulmer had a huge pinch hit double in the 6th to cut the score to 3-2---good to see her in there at a crucial point. Michelle Fridey also had an RBI; Lauren Hope had a hit as did Katie Medina. Lauren Falzone hit a double in the 7th.

It was a very entertaining game. Next up are 2 games tomorrow starting at 9am EST.

BTW, not very impressed with USF's coverage of this tournament. I had to keep all the stats myself, they didn't even show any shots of the scoreboard, and they had people talking in the microphones, but never about the game. But I got it all down!

Game 1 vs. Georgia Tech @ Clearwater, FL

Georgia Tech 9
Canisius 0 (5)

The Griffs end up losing in 5 against the #13 team in the nation. Caroline Main gave up 3 homers on 7 hits---however, she did pitch well during the game against a top ranked opponent. She had 4 strikeouts. Offensively, the Griffs' had a chance with the bases loaded in the 5th, but stalled.
Next up----Florida gulf Coast at noon.

Upcoming Opponents---Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets begin the 2010 season ranked 13th in the nation after finishing with a 46-15 record in 2009. Georgia Tech's season ended only when they lost the NCAA Super Regional to eventual National Champion Washington.

The Yellow Jackets are led by red shirt senior and former Niagara player Jen Yee. Although Jen transferred to Georgia Tech after her freshman season, she still holds the Purple Eagles records for batting average in a season (.466), hits (62), runs (39), and homers (11, tied with Teresa Healy)! Jen hit .415 in 2009 and is a third team All-American; she was a 2008 Olympian with the Canadian team.

Jen isn't the only great player on the Yellow Jackets---sophomore Kelsi Weseman hit .406 in 2009 and was named ACC Rookie Of The Year. In the circle Kristen Adkins in 2009 was 24-7 with a 1.69 ERA.

This will be the 5th meeting between Canisius and Georgia Tech; the teams have split their previous 4 games.

Jen Yee
Jen Yee
Georgia Tech

Friday, February 12, 2010

Live Video Streaming

Here is the link if you want to purchase access to live video streaming of this weekend's games:

I will live blog all the games.

Updated USF Tournament Schedule

The updated schedule has the Griffs' playing 2 games each on Saturday and Sunday. They will not be playing Florida or East Carolina, but will be playing Illinois State. All games will have live video streams (for a fee).

vs. Georgia Tech (10am)
vs. Florida Gulf Coast (noon)
vs. Illinois St. (9am)
vs. USF (3:30pm)

Friday's Games Canceled

USF has just announced that today's games have been canceled.
Updated schedule to follow.
Clearwater, Fl Today

USF Tournament In Rain Delay

The Griffs' first game of the 2010 season has been delayed for an hour and is now scheduled for 1:30 (ET). I will update in this post.
Rain delay to at least 1:30. This game will have no coverage, but I will update in this post as I am able.
If today's games are canceled, they will be rescheduled over the next 2 days. The weekend forecast is for sun and no rain. It looks like all the Griffs' games in this tournament, except for the FGCU game, will be streamed live.
*UPDATE 12:45*
It looks like no game will start before 4 pm, if at all today. USF will update situation around 2pm ET.
*UPDATE 2:05*
Tentative starting time for Canisius-Florida Gulf Coast is 4pm
From the NWS:

Media Coverage @ USF Tournament

Unfortunately, the game against Florida Gulf Coast is the only game today with no coverage at all. I will update as I am able.
The 4pm game against host USF will be streamed live, if played.
The 2 games tomorrow against East Carolina and Georgia Tech look to be streaming also, with the Georgia Tech game on Georgia Tech radio as well.
The game against Florida Sunday will be streamed, and will be carried on Florida radio.

Update On Clearwater Weather

Right now (10am) it's cloudy and the forecast is calling for occasional light showers over the next 5 hours, so it looks like the Griffs' game against Florida Gulf Coast at 12:30 will be played. After that, the forecast has changed from 100% chance of rain to 60% chance by the 4pm game against South Florida.

*Noon Update*
Light rain at the moment, but may stop by game time. Thunderstorms are now being forecast for 4pm which would put the game against USF in jeopardy.

Coach Rappl Previews The 2010 Season

Starting the season in a tournament field that boasts a combined 2009 record of 256-71 would scare most coaches, but Rappl sees the challenge as another calculated step in the continued effort of building a program that competes at the national level.

"We're going to see some of the country's best programs right off the bat, and our players understand that they'll need to be ready to go from day one," Rappl said. "This is the second-hardest schedule we've played, behind the 1998 schedule when we opened up playing half a dozen ranked teams. As a coaching staff, we decided that we're going to go play some of the best teams and we agreed that seeing top-level competition will not only be helpful this season, but down the road as well."

BTW, Coach confirms that sophomore outfielder Amanda Cannizzo will be used as a third pitcher this season.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

100% Chance Of Rain Clearwater, Fl. Looks like the first day of the season will be rained out. I'll post further details when available. The weekend forecast is for sunny skies.

National Season Begins Today!

The 2010 NCAA Division 1 Softball season begins today.
Locally, Canisius opens tomorrow; Buffalo the 19th; Niagara and St. Bonaventure the 26th.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Michelle Fridey And Paige Freiberger Named 2010 Captains

Coach Rappl has chosen senior Michelle Fridey and junior Paige Freiberger as his Captains for the 2010 season.

My opinion:
Michelle is a natural captain who always gives 100%. An easy choice. I think she will have a big senior season.
As I wrote in September, Paige looked fantastic in fall ball, taking over Cameron Norton's spot at 3rd base. Don't be surprised if she ends up leading the team in hitting. She's also a tough player. A very good choice.

Looks Like Rain Friday

The Friday forecast for Clearwater, FL calls for 70% chance of rain all day, the rest of the weekend looks clear so there may be some rescheduling. We'll have to wait and see.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Live Streaming From the USF Tournament

The University of South Florida has announced there will be live streaming from two fields during the tournament (there are five fields). For sure, the Griffs' game against host USF will be streamed, but there may be a couple more. All of this is for a fee of course.
For information:

Just read on the East Carolina site that the Griffs' game against the Pirates (Saturday at 10am) will be live streamed.
Also, the Griffs' game against Georgia Tech (Saturday at 12:30pm) will have an audio stream (free) available at the Georgia Tech site:CLICK HERE
however, that may be streamed live also.

Upcoming Opponents---Florida Gulf Coast

The Griffs will open their season Friday against Florida Gulf Coast at 12:30 pm. The Eagles are new to Division 1, and still are not eligible for post season play, but have immediately built a very good program. They play in the Atlantic Sun Conference, and with their 2009 record of 47-9 (15-5) would have easily qualified for it's tournament. Last year they defeated quality teams such as DePaul, Hawai'i, UMass, and Brigham Young. They are coached by David Deiros, who has led the program through it's transition from Division 2. In fact, the Eagles won 120 games in their last 2 seasons in Division 2.

On the field, the Eagles are led by junior outfielder Courtney Platt, who hit for a whopping .437 average with 10 homers and 50 RBIs in 2009. Senior outfielder Lauran Ziegler had a great 2009 season as well, hitting for a .388 average to go along with 26 stolen bases. The Eagles are just as good in the circle with senior Catherine McDaniel coming off a great 2009 season. She was 22-1 with a 1.85 ERA. She's not a strikeout pitcher, but has outstanding control walking only 36 batters in 143 innings pitched.

Friday's game will be the first meeting between the two schools.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 Season Begins This Week!

The 2010 Canisius Softball season begins this week down in Florida with 6 games scheduled. Upcoming games will be posted on the right hand side, and there's a link to the full schedule also. I'll be live blogging as many games as I can again this season; I'm going to try "Cover It Live" this time. I'll also write detailed accounts of the home and area games beginning in late March.

The first weekend of games will be very, very challenging. We may not have a good idea how the team has progressed until the end of the month. How will the 2 young pitchers perform? How far will last year's freshmen progress? It's a new season, and a new team, and it all begins Friday!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Griffs Softball On Twitter

This is the official Twitter for Canisius Softball, run by assistant coach Griffin I believe.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Canisius Favored To Win The MAAC

The Canisius College Golden Griffins and Fairfield Stags were the picks to finish first in the MAAC Conference according to the annual poll of MAAC Softball coaches. The Griffs and Stags each received 70 points. Niagara was picked to finish third; Marist fourth.

Senior Michelle Fridey and junior Lauren Hope were voted to the MAAC Softball preseason team.

The Griffs were favored last year as well, actually finished fourth but won the MAAC Tournament in Poughkeepsie. This season's tournament will be held on the Canisius campus.

You can follow the MAAC this season at our sister blog, the link to which can be found in the blog list on the right hand side of this page.

Amanda Baun's Fall Ball Numbers

I recently calculated freshman pitcher Amanda Baun's fall ball statistics, and I was a little surprised at how outstanding they were. Of course I knew she pitched very well, but I didn't realize how well. I have not included the 2 scrimmages against Buffalo (she pitched 2 innings and allowed no runs):

19 innings pitched;
24 strikeouts;
2 runs allowed;
0.73 ERA.

I could be slightly off (plus or minus). Granted, this was in fall ball. However, twice she opened a game by striking out the side; she one-hit powerful Niagara; she struck out 8 vs. St. Bonaventure in 4 innings. So I've been wondering how the Griffs will perform with 2 young pitchers. If Amanda keeps progressing like this, and Caroline Main as well, come MAAC play their pitching may be solid.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February Will Be Challenging

The month of February will be filled with difficult challenges for the Canisius softball team, consider their opponents:

Florida, ranked 3rd in the nation, participant in 2009 National Championship game;
Georgia Tech, ranked 13th in the nation, 2009 Super Regional team;
DePaul (twice), ranked 21st in the nation;
Florida Gulf Coast, 47 wins in 2009;
East Carolina, 40 wins in 2009;
South Florida, 34-22 in 2009;
Long Island, 33-17 in 2009.

That's a brutal schedule to begin the season. But I've seen it before (maybe not so difficult). Once the MAAC Tournament arrives, the team usually seems to be heads and shoulders above their rivals. I hear Coach Rappl is putting the ladies through their paces this preseason. The MAAC Tournament is being held at Canisius this year, what an advantage that would be for the Griffs. They have to get there first though. Once they get through this difficult month, everything may seem a lot easier.

It's February!

The Griffs open defense of their MAAC Championship and go for 4 in a row in just a few days!