Saturday, May 29, 2010

Michelle Fridey Named ECAC Division 1 First Team All-Star

The ECAC has announced its annual All-Star Team and has named Michelle Fridey as first team catcher. Michelle is in the company of elite eastern players such as pitchers Sarah Plourde of UMass and Jen Mineau of Fordham.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Section 6 Quarterfinals Scores

Class AA
Clarence 5 Frontier 1
17 strikeouts by Jen Sansano

Williamsville North 10 Hamburg 1
Robin Kennery 3 RBIs

Lancaster 12 Sweet Home 0
NO HITTER by Kelly Leonard
Elise Porreca 4 for 4, 3 RBIs
Allie Opera 4 for 4, 3 RBIs

Niagara-Wheatfield 7 Niagara Falls 1
Laura Crooks 4 RBIs

Class A
Williamsville South 1 Lewiston-Porter 0
14 strikeouts by Kyle Plimpton

W. Seneca East 9 Lake Shore 0
Corinne Christie 4 RBIs

Williamsville East 4 Maryvale 0
10 strikeouts by Jenna Allers

Amherst 8 Cheektowaga 1

Class B
Falconer 8 Dunkirk 2
10 strikeouts by Cherise Gunnell
Sadie Stuart 3 RBIs

East Aurora 10 Roy-Hart 7

Olean 2 Cleveland Hill 1

Depew 12 Eden 6
Sarah Gorski 4 RBIs

Class C
Cassadaga Valley 9 Cattaraugus-Little Valley 0

Frewsburg 14 Holland 3

Randolph 9 Barker 8
Roxanne Finch 4 for 4

Westfield 10 Chautauqua Lake 2
Sarah Fotchman 3 RBIs
Rachel Quagliana 3 RBIs

Class D
Panama 9 Maple Grove 8
Melissa Rensel 4 for 4, 3 RBIs

Hinsdale 2 Forestville 1

North Collins 4 Ripley 2

Pine Valley 3 Franklinville 2

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tioga Opens Section 4 Playoffs With A Win

Soon to be Canisius freshman Marissa Miller and her Lady Tigers of Tioga began their quest to return to the New York State Championship game with a 7-2 win over Walton Thursday afternoon in Tioga Center, NY.

"Walton's lead-off hitter in the (fifth) reached base on a single, but Tioga catcher Marissa Miller gunned her down attempting to steal second on a strikeout-throw out double play to silence the threat..."

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday's Section 6 Tournament Scores

Monsignor Martin
St. Mary's 3 Immaculata 0
RBIs by Sam Poules and Kelsey Rademecher

Class AA
Hamburg 2 W. Seneca West 0
No Hitter by Bridget Hogan

Lancaster 11 Orchard Park 3
4 RBIs each by Kaleigh Blersch and Elise Porreca

Sweet Home 7 Kenmore West 3

Niagara-Wheatfield 11 Jamestown 0
Caitlin Attfield 4 for 4, 3 stolen bases;
Michelle Maggard 4 for 4, 3 RBIs

Frontier 6 N. Tonawanda 1
Homer by Amanda Serafini

Williamsville North and Clarence had byes.

Class A
Lewiston-Porter 2 Iroquois 0

Lake Shore 5 Albion 2

W. Seneca East 5 Grand Island 4 (8)
Game winning RBI by Erin Barrett

Amherst 7 Starpoint 0
One hitter by Erin Dixson with 11 strikeouts

Cheektowaga 17 Hutch-Tech 0
Danielle Szymkowiak homer, 3 for 4, 3 RBIs

Maryvale 4 Pioneer 1
15 strikeouts by Brittany Koshofer;
Deb Gueth 3 RBIs

Williamsville East 10 Kenmore East 0
Stephanie Aichenger 3 RBIs

Williamsville South had a bye.

Class B
East Aurora 13 City Honors 2
Kayley Sebastian homer, 3 for 4, 4 RBIs

Roy-Hart 8 Wilson 4
Megan Corrieri 3 RBIs

Olean 3 Fredonia 2

Cleveland Hill 7 Medina 0
12 strikeouts by Kim Rohe

Eden 12 Lackawana 2
Hannah Herc 3 RBIs

Depew 7 Springville 0
PERFECT GAME by Nicole Gulisano;
Stephanie Novo 5 RBIs

Dunkirk 17 JFK 2

Falconer 5 Allegany-Limestone 1
11 strikeouts by Cherise Gunnell

Michelle Fridey Named Academic All-American

Michelle Fridey topped off a memorable senior season with her greatest accomplishment of all when she was selected by ESPN The Magazine as Third Team Academic All-American.

Michelle is one of only 33 players in all of Division 1 Softball to be so honored, and the first Griff since Katie Miranto in 2008.

Michelle just graduated from Canisius after giving her all on the field and in the classroom.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jen Consaul Wins First Section 5 Playoff Game

Future Griff and Churchville-Chili senior Jen Consaul helped her Saints to a first round 5-2 victory over Rush-Henrietta today in the Section 5 Class AA playoffs.

Jen threw a one hitter while striking out 16 in the win. In her last 3 games, she has allowed a total of 2 hits.

Section 6 Tournament Begins This Week

The local high schools begin their playoffs this week. The "AA" and "A" championships are to be held at Niagara Falls on June 4. The "B", "C" and "D" championships are to be held at Dunkirk on June 5. The Monsignor Martin championship will be held at Sunshine Park in West Seneca this Wednesday. Here are the seedings for the various classes:

Class AA
1. Williamsville North
2. Clarence
3. Niagara-Wheatfield
4. Lancaster

Class A
1. Williamsville South
2. Williamsville East
3. Amherst
4. Albion

Class B
1. City Honors
2. Falconer
3. Eden
4. Cleveland Hill

Class C
1. Cassadaga Valley
2. Westfield
3. Frewsburg
4. Randolph

Class D
1. Panama
2. North Collins
3. Pine Valley
4. Hinsdale

Monsignor Martin
1. St. Mary's
2. Immaculata
3. Sacred Heart
4. Mount Mercy

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jen Consaul Radio Interview

On May 22, (soon to be) Canisius freshman Jen Consaul did a radio interview on the Canadaigua High School Sports Show. The topic was protective face gear. Jen recounts how as a freshman she was hit in the face with a line drive and suffered a broken orbital bone. Her interview in its entirety is below.

BTW, Jen pitched another no hitter recently for Churchville-Chili. Her team begins sectionals Tuesday.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Final 2010 MAAC Statistics

Michelle Fridey
Average: 3rd (.395)
RBIs: 2nd (52)
Hits: 1st (64)
Runs: 1st: (47)
Doubles: 1st (18)
Total Bases: 1st (105)
Stolen Bases: 4th (17)
Slugging %: 4th (.648)

Emily Helbig
Average: 4th (.378)

Lizzy Gatto
Average: 8th (.348)
Runs: 4th (36)
Stolen Bases: 4th (17)

Lauren Hope
Hits: 3rd (61)
Runs: 2nd (40)
Triples: 1st (6)
Stolen Bases: 1st (33)

Paige Freiberger
Home Runs: 1st (11)
RBIs: 3rd (46)
Triples: 2nd (5)
Total Bases: 5th (96)
Slugging %: 3rd (.711)
Walks: 2nd (28)

Katie Lancellotti
RBIs: 5th (42)

Amanda Baun
Wins: 1st (18)
ERA: 2nd (1.98)
Strikeouts: 2nd (187)

Caroline Main
Wins: 3rd (16)
ERA: 4th (2.62)
Saves: 1st (2)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Nationally Ranked Golden Griffins

Out of approximately 300 Division 1 Schools.

Lauren Hope
Triples: 7th
Triples/Game: 14th
Stolen Bases: 20th

Michelle Fridey
Batting Average: 60th
RBIs/Game: 41st
Doubles/Game: 20th
Runs/Game: 56th
HBP/Game: 28th
Triples: 43rd
Sac Flies: 52nd

Paige Freiberger
RBIs/Game: 51st
Triples: 18th
Triples/Game: 22nd
Walks: 90th
Slugging %: 58th

Amanda Baun
ERA: 70th
Strikeouts/7 Innings: 69th
Strikeouts: 81st
Wins: 78th
Hits Allowed/7 Innings: 86th
Shutouts: 41st

Caroline Main
Saves: 65th
Walks/7 Innings: 68th

The Team
Batting Average: 34th
ERA: 47th
Doubles/Game: 34th
Triples/Game: 5th
Stolen Bases/Game: 21st
Slugging %: 44th

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Let's Hear It For Coach Hopkins!

Mary Ann Hopkins served on the Griffs' staff during the 2010 season as a pitching coach. A former pitcher herself, she has been on the Canisius staff previously. She coached when Michelle Corrigan was setting records I believe. She was with the team on a voluntary basis in 2010, so obviously she loves the sport.

I'm not going to pretend to know what she did to help the pitchers this season, but the results are obvious for anyone to see. The two young pitchers, a sophomore and a freshman, sure had a lot of pressure on them. That pressure was increased when another freshman pitcher was not able to be on the team.

Caroline Main struggled her freshman season with a 2-5 record and a 4.71 ERA. Merely from a fan's viewpoint, it seemed that the hitters were guessing what pitches she would be throwing. The Griffs needed Caroline to progress---she did, probably beyond expectation. Her record for 2010 was 16-7 with a 2.62 ERA. She was 9-1 in MAAC play. She had great control, allowing only 1.66 walks per 7 innings, and she no longer gave up hits in clusters. I think she will be dominant in the MAAC her next two seasons.

Amanda Baun was a freshman and who can ever tell how a freshman will perform? She finished with a record of 18-12 and an ERA of 1.98. I'm pretty sure 18 wins is a Canisius record for freshman pitchers. She also had 7 shutouts. Amanda did seem to slump right around the game she pitched against St. Bonaventure. She seemed suddenly uncomfortable in the circle. She was removed from the game she pitched against Fairfield. But she was back on track against Iona the next day, and after the game I saw Coach Hopkins embracing her. She went on to pitch a one hitter in the MAAC tournament.

Without the fine pitching they received in 2010, the Griffs would have gone nowhere. I think we have Coach Hopkins to thank for that. Here's hoping she returns for 2011!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Empire State Games Update

The Softball competition at the Empire State Games will be held July 22-24 at the Audubon Complex (formerly known as the Pepsi Center).
It's a good bet that Michelle Fridey will be playing for the Western team.

All the information you'll need is here:

The link will also be on the left side of this page.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Caitlin Attfield

It's that time of year to begin focusing more on young local players.

I'll begin with a real good one:
Niagara-Wheatfield's sophomore Caitlin Attfield recently made her 100th varsity hit. Her average in 2009 was .506. She was the NFL Player Of The Year in 2009, and named All-Western New York as a freshman. She was named 3rd team All-New York State as a freshman.
Caitlin is described as having a "rocket arm", and she is extremely fast. She has also played for the Diamond Girls.

Video courtesy of Jesse at:

Broken Fingers

I didn't want to mention this during the tournament, but Lauren Hope (left) and Lizzy Gatto (right) both were playing with broken fingers. Lizzy was hitting at about .400 when she was hit by a pitch. You can see in the photo her index finger off the bat. I also heard, but could not confirm, that pitcher Caroline Main was injured during the tournament, and that she was not available to pitch on the final day. Apparently Katie Medina also played the tournament injured. And of course, you know what happened to Paige. BTW, I had thought Coach Rappl might move Lizzy to third base after Paige's injury because it was a position she played in high school, but as you can see, her throwing hand was still injured after getting hit by Fairfield's hard throwing Sarah Minice. Coach Rappl had no choice but to put a freshman catcher at third. Lizzy's average dropped 50 points after she broke her finger. Lauren was injured in the first regular season game vs. Iona; she was forced to come off the field and play as designated player for a number of games. But she toughed it out for the tournament, catching fly balls with a broken finger.

We're left to ponder what could have been, but injuries are part of the game and this past season the Griffs had more than their share.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Canisius Record Book Updated

You know that Paige Freiberger set the Canisius single season home run record. She also tied the single season walks record.

You know that Michelle Fridey set the Canisius single season RBI record. She also set the single season record for getting hit by pitches. She came very close to the doubles and hits records as well.

Caroline Main tied the Canisius single season record for complete games.

And of course, Lauren Hope added to her record for career stolen bases. She has another season to add to her legacy.

Link to record book is on the left hand side of this page.

Marissa Miller To Play At Aunt Rosie's Tourney

Marissa Miller, who will be joining Canisius in August, and her STPS Ponies will be participating in the great annual Aunt Rosie's Tournament. Marissa will be in town during the 18U portion of the tournament, which will be held July 2-5 at the Audubon Complex (formerly known as the Pepsi Center). Marissa is having an excellent senior season with Tioga High, who made it to the State Championships last year and are looking to return. She was an All-New York State selection in 2009.

All three of the Griffs' incoming freshmen will be playing: Valorie Nappo with LaNova, and Jen Consaul with the Rochester Lady Lions.

Love the Aunt Rosie's time of the year! Link to the tournament site is on the left hand side of this page.

Positive Spin

An interesting story out of Nanticoke, PA today. Hannah Rubasky is a sophomore at Nanticoke Area High School. She also pitched last summer for Nanticoke-Newport and led them to a 6th place finish at the Junior Little League Softball World Series. This photo shows you what is interesting about this young lady. A freak accident caused her to lose part of the index finger on her pitching hand, which she says has actually improved the spin on her pitches. What's also interesting, to us, is that Hannah lists Canisius College as a school she may want to attend to continue her softball career.

Hannah Rubasky is a natural in the circle, but her ability as a pitcher and her determination as a player were put to the to test one November afternoon three years ago.

On a causal walk with four friends and her two dogs, Rubasky was the victim of a freak accident. She was holding the leash of her German Sheperd/Huskie mix when the dog became distracted by a squirrel and quickly took off. Rubasky had no time to react and, as the dog bolted, the leash became wrapped tightly around the index finger on her right hand - her pitching hand.

"It all happened so quickly," Rubasky said. "At first I didn't know what happened or feel pain, but I was bleeding and one of my friends said it was my finger."

A portion of Rubasky's finger was severed. Two friends ran a few blocks to her home to get her parents, while two others stayed with her at Patriot Square in Nanticoke.

"I was crying and the first thing I thought about was softball and not being able to pitch or play again," Rubasky said...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Captain Paige

I began this season, last September, writing about Paige Freiberger; now I shall end this season writing about her.

I wrote last September to expect a dramatic improvement in her play. I now think that was an understatement. It wasn't just that her numbers improved dramatically, for instance she had never hit a college home run before this past season when she set the all-time Canisius single season record for homers, but that her leadership qualities emerged. In September I named her "The New Cameron Norton" in reference to the pressing need the Griffs had to replace the graduated captain third baseman. You'll remember that Cameron elevated her play in the 2009 MAACs and led the Griffs to the title. But now I'll just name her "Captain Paige".

When Paige suffered her unfortunate injury the day before the MAAC Tournament, it left a gaping hole in the Canisius lineup. True that no part is greater than the whole; but also true is that every ship has its captain. Watching the team this season it was plain to me that everything on the field is centered around Paige. She seems to be that calming influence out there.

The Griffs lost the MAAC Tournament because Paige was not there. Plain and simple. Her physical skills were missed, to be sure, but it was a lot more than that. They were not the same team they had been throughout the season. Anyone who watched them all year knows this. When I first saw her on the bench injured, my heart sank, and I don't even play on the team. It was too traumatic. If her injury had happened two weeks ago, the shock may have passed. But team sports are mostly played on a wave of emotion, I believe. Why else would Michelle Fridey cry when she realized she was playing in her last game for Canisius College? Paige stayed with her team, and did all she could.

(I love this photo! Chloe Contreras is warming up Amanda Baun between innings, while one-handed Paige is helping Michelle Fridey get her catcher's equipment back on!)

That was Paige's ball in the winner's bracket game. It wasn't Caroline Main's fault, and it wasn't Stephanie Pfentner's fault. That was Paige's ball.

Which brings me to my other point: I claimed in my tournament preview that Paige Freiberger was the true MAAC Player Of The Year. And I feel I've been vindicated after being in direct conflict with the MAAC's coaches. The recent tournament proved that Paige is most valuable to her team. Because the better team did not win.

So why do things like freak injuries happen? I don't know. But I bet they bring teams closer together. Losing isn't always bad. Emotion rules the game.
Paige will escalate her play once again next season.
And I'll remind you of my prediction!

Syracuse Wins The Big East

The Syracuse Orange, who were here a few weeks ago and split a doubleheader with the Griffs, won the Big East Championship today. Jenna Caira threw a 4 hitter in the Orange's 2-1 win over Louisville.
This makes five New York State teams in the NCAA Tournament, with a probable six if/when Chelsea Plimpton's Fordham Rams are invited. The NYS teams receiving automatic bids: Iona, Cornell, Syracuse, Hofstra and Long Island.

Box Score

Game 53 Griffs' Season Comes To An End

Iona 4
Canisius 1

The Golden Griffins simply could not overcome the shocking loss of their co-captain. Paige Freiberger was accidentally spiked in the Griffs' last practice before the tournament. She required 21 stitches.

The Griffs certainly missed the bat of the MAAC home run co-leader. They certainly missed her clutch at bats. They certainly missed her at third base, which is something Iona repeatedly took advantage of; in fact this directly won them the winner's bracket game.The Griffs' missed all those elements in Paige's game, but it probably went deeper than that. I think it was an emotional blow that they could not get over. Can't blame them. It was a frightful injury that could have been worse. Get well soon Paige!! You'll be back and even better in 2011!

The Griffs had fallen behind early in this one, and you can't do that against Sarah Jackson, who was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The Griffs had recorded two outs in the third inning when Eileen McCann singled. The throw home by Lauren Hope was close, it would have ended the inning, but Chelsea Sheehan evaded the throw to score. Allyssa James then singled home two runs. The Griffs would score on a Lizzy Gatto sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. Amanda Baun gave it her all; the freshman struck out 11 batters.

Michelle Fridey, Lauren Hope, Emily Helbig and Caroline Main were named to the All-Tournament Team. Michelle played her last game for Canisius College, getting one last hit. She had a memorable senior season. Thank you Michelle for three great years!!

I'll write more about this soon, but I think the Griffs had a fantastic season and surpassed expectations. And let me tell you, the team is going to be great next season. I'll explain more later.

Thank you Griffs for a great and fun season! Have a great summer!
Congratulations to the Iona Gaels for winning the MAAC Championship.
11 strikeouts for Amanda. last chance coming up for the Griffs
quick 1-2-3 means the griffs will have one more chance in the 7th
amanda just walked 3 in a row. 4-1 going to be very difficult now
3-1 after 4 emily helbig is 2 for 2
Lizzy Gatto drives one home 3-1
close play at the plate would have been the 3rd out instead iona scores 3 times to go up 3-0
emily helbig gets the griffs' 1st hit but no score after 2 innings emily was at .371 coming into this game
4 strikeouts for amanda the #1 and #2 pitchers in the maac are in this game meeting for the first time. scoreless
2 strikeouts for Amanda in the 1st
Griffs are the home team for this game Amanda Baun will pitch

Championship Saturday

Canisius must win the first game to force a second game, which they must also win. Weather will cooperate, but the temperature will only get to 60.
Good luck Griffs!!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mallory Aldred's Record Is Safe!!

When Tennessee-Chattanooga was surprisingly eliminated from the Southern Conference Tournament on the first day, also eliminated was any chance that Lady Moc Kandice Irwin would break former Griffs' pitcher Mallory Aldred's national record for saves in a season.

Mallory stays in the record book!

BTW, I saw Mallory Aldred at the games today.

Thank You

Wow, 300-400 of you are visiting daily.

As I told someone from the College recently, I'm just a fan. This is all just my opinion.
I love the team, and I love softball. It doesn't matter much to me if they win. I'm happy for them when they do.

Please don't write me complaining about outcomes and umpires...that doesn't have anything to do with me. I'm just a fan.

BTW, when I got home today there was a beautiful email in my inbox from a player's parents (not from CC) who expressed appreciation for the attention the players get.
Let's keep it that way!

Games 51 & 52 Griffs Live To Fight Another Day

Iona 6
Canisius 2

Canisius 4
Niagara o

Amanda Baun came within one strike of tossing a MAAC Championship no hitter. She had to settle for a one hitter and a dominant shutout victory over the Purple Eagles. I got superstitious and didn't send any texts during the game...but then I sent one and Niagara got a hit. Sorry Amanda! Amanda earned her 18th win of the season---her freshman season. She totally shut down the powerful Niagara attack right from the first pitch. She struck out 9 and allowed only Jenna Baker's 2 out single in the 7th. So the Griffs have two pitchers ready to go Saturday.

The Griffs scored all their runs in the 4th inning. Katie Lancellotti and Emily Helbig both doubled in a pair. Lauren Hope had 3 hits in the game; Michelle Fridey had 2.

To tell the truth, I'm still upset about the Iona game. I never say this about defeats---but...THEY GOT LUCKY. But as I texted, the Griffs beat themselves in this game. A couple bad throws and a slip in the outfield. Those are the breaks. Caroline Main was pitching a great game when she made one of those throws where you think too much about it...that's how I saw it. An easy out turned into 2 unearned runs. Caroline and the Griffs were dominating the Gaels right up until that point. Stephanie Pfentner made an error too, but an awful lot of pressure has been put on the freshman catcher's shoulders after Paige's injury. Stephanie did drive home a run with a perfect suicide squeeze bunt earlier in the game. Canisius will have to overcome and beat Iona twice Saturday which will not be an easy task. But...they are the only team in the MAAC to have ever emerged out of the loser's bracket as Champions. They've done it 3 times.

BTW, Jenna Baker played her last collegiate game today for Niagara. Jenna has been a great player; she came out of West Seneca West. It was nice to see her launch a homer against Manhattan in the previous game.
1 hitter by Amanda Baun! griffs play on! more later
I don't want to jinx amanda so I will tell you that Rachelle Barrientos is here!
Niagara wins on a bases loaded walk in the 8th will play the griffs shortly
Griffs beat themselves in this one. 3 errors 4 unearned runs gives Iona the 6-2 win. The griffs will now play at 3pm a loss will end their season. A win means they will have to beat Iona twice on saturday. I'm going to lunch be back later!
tough 5th inning for the griffs now down 4-2
Iona scores twice on a throwing error to take a 3-2 lead
caroline threw a great pitch to strike out jodi petersen just froze her to the ground! 4 complete 2-0 griffs
lauren falzone tripled she was left at third but the griffs are rattling sarah jackson. Still 2-0 griffs
Caroline looks so confident right now
caroline strikes out the side!!
sarah jackson looked a bit shaken up
2-0 griffs!!
caroline strikes out eileen mccann!
BTW canisius is the "visiting" team
FYI Paige is still out game about to begin

Friday's Weather

It's going to be a lot nicer today. Less than 10% chance of rain the rest of the tournament, with temps in the mid 60s today. Not as warm as May ought to be, but after yesterday it will seem nice. Bit of a breeze today, getting up to 24 mph.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Seven Griffs Named As ALL-MAAC

Caroline Main
1st Team
Paige Freiberger
1st Team
Lauren Hope
1st Team
Lizzy Gatto
1st Team

Michelle Fridey
1st Team
Emily Helbig
2nd Team
Amanda Baun
2nd Team

Congratulations to all for well deserved honors!!



Box Score

Amanda Cannizzo (pictured) drove home the tying and winning runs in an emotional 7th inning comeback.

The public address announcer made a mistake when before the game he said "playing second base, number 4 Kerry Ulmer"...Katie Medina trotted out to her usual position. So when he said "playing third base, number 18 Stephanie Pfentner", I had to look twice to see that he hadn't been mistaken that time. Paige Freiberger was on the bench with her hand bandaged up (a reader just told me she has 20 stitches in her hand). I'm assuming this injury happened right before the game, or very recently, because the Griffs seemed stunned when they took the field for what turned out to be a nightmarish first inning. It was as if they "weren't there"...Manhattan got all of their 3 hits and all of their 4 runs and were aided by 2 Canisius errors and a passed ball in the first inning. Obviously something wasn't right. Caroline Main no hit the Lady Jaspers for the final 6 innings, but she too seemed shook up in the first. That's when I got a look at Paige on the bench with her hair down and her hand up. It's a real shame, but the Griffs are going to have to tighten their belts and go on without her. Which is what they did...

Slowly the Griffs got their equilibrium restored beginning with Caroline Main who held the fort heroically until her team could fight their way back. Caroline was perfect after the first---retiring Manhattan 1-2-3 every inning from 2 to 7. Lauren Falzone made a great running grab of a Jaci Rahey sinking liner to right field; Katie Lancellotti made some sparkling plays at shortstop.

Then the other captain took over, like she has done so often. In the 5th inning, Amanda Cannizzo walked, and was sacrificed to second base by Stephanie Pfentner, then driven home by a Lauren Falzone single. Michelle Fridey stepped up and drove a ground rule double to center field that just missed being a homer. Lauren Falzone scored to cut the Manhattan lead to 4-2.

The Griffs came up in the 7th inning with a lot on the line; a loss would send them to the loser's bracket on Friday. Katie Medina opened the inning with a crucial single that set up Michelle Fridey. Michelle smacked another double to center, scoring Katie all the way from first and trimming the Lady Jaspers' lead to one. Lizzy Gatto grounded out, and Katie Lancellotti was struck in the head by a pitch. Emily Helbig then stepped up and singled, but Coach Rappl held Michelle at third loading the bases. Amanda Cannizzo then delivered the biggest hit of her career thus far, a looping single to center that scored Michelle and brought a desperate throw home that was too late---Katie Lancellotti scored the winning run. The Griffs' bench erupted in jubilation, maybe even more in relief. Let me reiterate how fabulous Caroline Main was in this game after the stunning first inning, she gave Canisius a chance to win.

It was the strangest game of the season, and the most exhilarating. But the Griffs have done it many times this season, they never give up. I knew they could do it too, but seeing Paige on the bench was distressing! I think that feeling has passed for her teammates, and they will have to go on without her I believe. If anyone cares to tell me exactly what happened to her, please write.
Strange game the griffs really seemed stunned for a while what happened to paige? More later
Paige is on the bench with her hand wrapped up. Seems to be affecting the griffs
Paige isnt playing?
Griffs and Lady Jaspers are warming up
Jodi Petersen ends it with a towering drive to left. Kristin Sito crashed through the fence trying to get it. great game. raining again
Playing again
Rain is slowing down but I don't think it will go away today
Iona will not pitch to Teresa Healy.
Niagara and Iona are tied at 1 after 6 but it's been raining most of the game
Rain delay
There is seating in the outfield
If you are coming down here be advised that the main parking lot is closed

Following The MAAC Championship

Live Video Here ($24.95 fee):

Live Audio Here (Canisius vs. Manhattan, free):

Live Audio Here (Iona vs. Niagara):

Live Stats Here:

Good Luck Griffs!

No matter what happens the next few days, it's been a great season!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Their Girl Fridey

"It's easy to get caught up in her numbers. Her hitting prowess is impressive, but Michelle Fridey is so much more than her batting average and RBIs.

As the lone senior on the Canisius softball team, she sets the tone and an example for the program. So far, so good..."

MAAC Championship Weather

It's going to be more like April than May. Right now Thursday's forecast is calling for rain, but after 4pm which would be after the first day of games is complete, or close. It's supposed to rain all Thursday night, then ease off by game time Friday. Saturday looks to be mostly sunny. The temps though will be no higher than 61.

Going For Four In A Row

"We hope that we're in the MAAC Tournament every year, that's one of our team goals from the start," he said. "This year is no different, and we don't feel any extra pressure for us just because we are the host school. Like it is for every team in every season, you need a lot of good fortune and you need to stay healthy to qualify, but I believe we have the depth to be in the mix."

Canisius vs. MAAC schools at the Demske Sports Complex since 2006.

The above quote is from Coach Rappl this past February right before the Griffs began play down in Clearwater where they lost their first five games. Since then they've gone 32-12. I mention that because I wrote earlier this year that the Coach knows how to get his team rolling and then peaking by MAAC Tournament time. And that's what would scare me if I was from one of the other teams in town this week.

The big question this season, as far as I a fan was concerned, was how would the young pitchers perform and would the team give them the needed support. The answer to both those questions was answered quite a while ago. The team improved their offensive output markedly from last season. They raised their batting average by 40 points. Last season, Katie Lancellotti led the team in RBIs with 28. This year she had 40---and was third on the team! But the young pitchers really came through. Amanda Baun won 17 games and had an ERA under 2.00. Caroline Main improved rapidly throughout the course of the season, and finished 8-0 in MAAC play (the only MAAC pitcher to do so).

Coach stated there was no extra pressure to qualify for the tournament this year just because it was being played at Canisius. Well...OK. It's moot now, because the Griffs easily qualified. But maybe Coach never had to worry, because his team has performed at a top notch level most of the season. Can they win their fourth in a row? As last year, the team I worry about the most is Niagara. They lost last week to Iona's Sarah Jackson, 3-2, but they committed a bunch of errors and all of the Gaels' runs were unearned. Then they run ruled Iona in the second game 10-1.

At last year's Championship, the Griffs came alive because they wanted it. They'll have to have the same attitude against a talented field. Should be some great softball coming up!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Niagara Purple Eagles

Niagara and the Griffs met three times during last season's MAAC Championship; the local rivals may have a few more showdowns.

Teresa Healy (pictured) after a slow start, has catapulted to the top of the MAAC in hitting. She finished the regular season with a whopping .455 average which included 10 home runs, 44 RBIs, and a .765 slugging percentage. She even stole 10 bases. She leads a dangerous offensive team that can explode in any given inning. The Purple Eagles lead the MAAC with a .314 team batting average, and feature other great hitters such as Kristin Kill (.350), Jenna Baker (.347, 30 RBIs), Kristin Sito (.320, 7 homers) and a recently rejuvenated Kayla Hines (.301).

In the circle will be Julie DiMatteo who is currently 14-5 with a 3.45 ERA. Julie has done very well against Canisius her first two seasons. In her last three starts against the Griffs, she has won 1-0, 2-0 (in last year's MAACs), and 6-1 (2009 @ Canisius). One run against in three complete games. That would give Canisius two things to worry about. The Griffs however did beat Niagara in the 2009 MAAC Championship game 9-0.

The Iona Gaels

If you can't solve Sarah Jackson (pictured), you won't beat the Iona Gaels. Fortunately for the Griffs, last week Paige Freiberger solved her to the tune of a triple that essentially gave Canisius the first seed in the upcoming Tournament. But the Griffs needed great pitching from Caroline Main to get away with a 1-0 win. Although Paige hit that triple with no outs, she never got off third base.

We're not sure yet if the Griffs will meet the Gaels again this week, but if they do they will be facing the #1 pitcher in the MAAC. A pitcher who has three no hitters and a perfect game on her resume this season.

Sarah Jackson had a very good season in 2009, but did not have the offensive support to help her along. That has changed this season. The Gaels have two freshmen who have been in the top 5 of MAAC hitters all season: Eileen McCann, who is tied with Paige Freiberger for the MAAC lead in homers, and Jodi Petersen. Allyssa James has also been a force. Tessa Earley is a good leadoff batter who has stolen 18 bases.

I know for a fact that Iona came here last week (when they were undefeated in the MAAC) determined to knock off Canisius. It didn't happen, but they want another chance. They may get it.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Manhattan Lady Jaspers

Canisius will open defense of their MAAC Championship against the Manhattan Lady Jaspers Thursday at 2pm EDT. The LJs finished strongly after a slow start to the season, and come into the tournament with a 25-21-1 record. They were regular season co-champions in 2009.

Watch out for that Jaci Rahey! Tall (6'0), athletic, strong and a two sport star (she plays volleyball for the LJs), the junior is the most dangerous hitter in the MAAC next to Teresa Healy. Jaci finished the regular season at .424, and hit 10 homers and a MAAC leading 57 RBIs. She also added 12 doubles. In conference only games she hit .512. Don't want her up with runners on base.

Nicole Michel is another one to worry about; she's been red hot down the stretch. She's at .353 with 8 homers. Kristina Walraven, a preseason All MAAC selection, had a very slow start to her 2010 season. However, she has come on strong in the last few weeks, raising her average to .320 with 5 homers and 12 doubles. Kristina may be the main reason Manhattan made a late season push to qualify for the Championship.

On April 17 in Riverdale, NY, Erika Sullivan 3 hit the Griffs and beat them 5-1. She is not a strikeout pitcher, but she probably has the best control in the MAAC. She walked only 22 batters all season. However, I have watched carefully and have noticed that since that weekend when she beat the Griffs and Niagara (she held them to one run also), she has not been pitching all that much. The next two MAAC weekends after that she pitched a total of 5 innings, not pitching at all in the doubleheader against Siena. When she has pitched, she doesn't get through the games. She started the LJs crucial game against Fairfield, but did not make it through. Don't know if there is a physical problem there. Melissa Donnelly and Ashley Rampino are good pitchers, but not on the level of Erika Sullivan.

The Griffs beat Manhattan in the first game of the 2009 tournament 8-2, but will be facing a more seasoned team this time around.

Griffs Will Open Tournament vs. Manhattan

Rider has just eliminated Fairfield by defeating them 2-0 in 8 innings.
The Griffs will open the MAAC Championship against the Manhattan Lady Jaspers at 2 pm. The teams split their regular season doubleheader at Manhattan earlier this season.

Niagara Is In

The Purple Eagles just defeated Marist to qualify for the tournament. They are locked in at #3, and will open against Iona.
Fairfield must win both of their games against Rider today to qualify. If they do not, Manhattan will be the #4 team.

Still A Fight Left In The MAAC

#1 Canisius and #2 Iona are locked in, but three teams are still fighting for the remaining two spots in the MAAC Championship.

Personally, I think Niagara is a lock. If they win once Sunday at Marist, the Griffs will open the Tournament against either Fairfield or Manhattan. Also, one Niagara win would set up a matchup between the Purple Eagles and Iona. Teresa Healy with her .452 average vs. Sarah Jackson who pitched a perfect game Saturday.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

St. Bona @ Fordham Live Video

St. Bonaventure closes out their Atlantic 10 season Sunday at Fordham, game time is noon. You can watch the doubleheader for free, and see former Williamsville South pitcher Chelsea Plimpton in the circle for the Rams. Chelsea is 10-2 with a 1.69 ERA this season. Fordham is 43-8 this year, so it's a tough task for the Bonnies who did win two at LaSalle this weekend.

Griffs Share Regular Season Title With Iona

Congratulations to Head Coach Mike Rappl, his staff and players for winning the MAAC Regular Season title for the 13th time!

But I'm sure they want more than that!

Game 49 @ Marist

Marist 3
Canisius 2

Griffs end up tied with Iona for the MAAC regular season title, but will be the top seed for the tournament.

7th inning
Michelle Fridey doubles, but is left on 2nd base.
6th inning
Emily Helbig gets her third hit of the day, but that's it for the Griffs in the 6th.

Marist gets a walk, but that's all. Last chance coming up for the Griffs.

5th inning
Griffs loaded the bases on a Lauren Hope single and two walks, but for the second consecutive inning a double play retires the Griffs.

Marist goes down 1-2-3

4th inning
Emily Helbig singled, but a double play ended the inning for the Griffs.

Red Foxes go down 1-2-3

3rd inning
Griffs loaded the bases when Katie Medina reached on an error, Michelle Fridey singled and Paige Freiberger walked. Katie Lancellotti drove home Katie Medina with a sacrifice fly. Michelle Fridey scored on a wild pitch to give the Griffs a 2-0 lead.

Marist loaded the bases with a single, a catcher's interference, and a hit batter. Nicole DiVirgilio hit a 2 out double to clear the bases and give Marist the lead.

2nd inning
Griffs loaded the bases with a Katie Lancellotti single and a couple of walks, but stranded all 3 runners.

1-2-3 go the Red Foxes

1st inning
Griffs go down 1-2-3 to begin game two. Danielle Koltz is the starter for Marist; Amanda Baun for Canisius.

Katie Malloy singled for the Red Foxes, but that's all. Fairfield, who lost game one to Manhattan, has taken a 1-0 lead early in game two.

Game will begin shortly, will update in this post.

Game 48 @ Marist

Canisius 2
Marist 0

GRIFFS CLINCH TOP SEED IN TOURNAMENT...Caroline Main--3 hit shutout, 7 strikeouts...Lauren Hope--2 for 4, triple, RBI...Katie Lancellotti--RBI...Michelle Fridey--2 for 4...Win in game 2 clinches outright MAAC Regular Season Title

7th inning
Over in Riverdale, NY, Jaci Rahey hit her 2nd homer of the day to give Manhattan a 7-3 lead over Fairfield. Jaci now has 56 RBIs, 6 more than Michelle Fridey in 2nd place on the MAAC list. Fairfield removed Sarah Minice from the game to save her for game 2. Fairfield is in danger of not qualifying.
Lauren Hope just hit her MAAC leading 6th triple for the Griffs. But she is stranded.
Headed to the bottom of the 7th. A win gives the Griffs the top seed in the tournament.

6th inning
1-2-3 go the Griffs.

Caroline retired 15 in a row before Megan Lamoureaux doubled, but she is stranded. Fast moving game.

5th inning
Katie Medina gets the Griffs' 7th hit, but that's all.
Fairfield has cut Manhattan's lead to 6-3.

Caroline Main has retired 14 Red Foxes in a row.

4th inning
Griffs get their 6th hit, a single by Amanda Cannizzo, but are retired with no scoring.
The UB game has been postponed, and will be made up as part of a doubleheader Sunday.

1-2-3 go the Red Foxes.

3rd inning
Michelle Fridey got her 2nd hit of the game, but that's all for the Griffs. No word yet on the status of the UB game, but it is not nice here right now. Manhattan leads Fairfield, still in the 4th.

Red Foxes go down 1-2-3.

2nd inning
BTW, if this post stops updating, it'll be because the wind knocked out my power!
Emily Helbig singled, Amanda Cannizzo walked. Lauren Hope's single drives home pinch runner Lauryn Chris to give the Griffs a 2 run lead. Fairfield scored twice; Manhattan leads that game 4-2 in the 4th inning. Now Kristina Walraven has homered for Manhattan to give them a 5-2 lead over Fairfield. A sweep by them clinches a spot in the tournament.

Caroline struck out the side in the bottom of the inning.

1st inning
Michelle Fridey singled, then stole second. Paige Freiberger was intentionally walked (that's respect!). Katie Lancellotti singled Michelle home to give the Griffs a 1-0 lead. Manhattan has taken a 2-0 lead over Fairfield in game one of their doubleheader. Caroline Main will pitch this game for the Griffs. Jaci Rahey has homered to give Manhattan a 4-0 lead over Fairfield.

Caroline gets out of a bases loaded jam after 2 hits by Marist.

I will update in this post.

Weather Delay

The Griffs' doubleheader at Marist today, scheduled for a noon start, is in delay. Looks like a 1pm EDT start. It is lightly raining in Poughkeepsie right now (10:30am EDT). The rain is forecast to move out of the area by noon, with the possibility of scattered showers after that time. Thanks to Jesse for the heads up.

Val Nappo Breaks Hits Record

Nappo sets hits record

Val Nappo broke the Clarence record for career hits during the Red Devils' 9-2 win over Lancaster in ECIC I softball. Clarence improved to a perfect 12-0 as Nappo collected three hits, including a home run, giving her 106 for her career. The previous mark was held by Kristen McMullen (2001).
~Courtesy of The Buffalo News

Val joins the Griffs this fall.

Statistics: MAAC Games Only

Michelle Fridey .400
Katie Medina .400
Lizzy Gatto .378
Emily Helbig .364
Lauren Hope .333
Paige Freiberger .308

Caroline Main 1.60 ERA; 7-0
Amanda Baun 1.84 ERA 5-2

Friday, May 7, 2010

Upcoming Opponents---Marist

  • 2010 Record: 2-10 (8-33)
  • All Time vs. Canisius: 8-22
  • Last Meeting: 2009 @Canisius (Split-Griffs 8-2 Marist 4-4)
  • Leading Hitter: Katie Malloy (.295)
  • Leading Pitcher: Danielle Koltz (2-8; 4.43 ERA)

Unless St. Peter intercedes on behalf of the Peahens (who play Iona Saturday), Canisius will need to sweep Marist to win the MAAC regular season title outright. A single win gives the Griffs the #1 seed for the MAAC Tournament. The Red Foxes have had a difficult season after losing 2009 MAAC Player Of The Year Melissa Giordano to graduation, plus two other All MAAC players. Marist's only two MAAC wins have come against St. Peter's.
This doubleheader closes out the Griffs' regular season.

Mallory Aldred Watch

Former Griffs' pitcher Mallory Aldred holds the national record for saves in a season (15), but there is a pitcher who is in pursuit of the mark. Kandice Irwin of Tennessee-Chattanooga currently has 11 saves this season*:

During the month, the junior set the SoCon single-season and UTC career save mark against Tennessee State. At that point, Irwin passed the SoCon mark at nine, while topping teammate Brooke Loudermilk with her 11th career save. The next mark for Irwin to pass is the NCAA record held by Mallory Aldred from Canisius with 15 in 2008.

Chattanooga is in first place in the Southern Conference with a 37-14 record. They close out their regular season this weekend. They have at least 5 games left to play, maybe more depending on how they do in their conference's tournament. I'll keep an eye on this development.
*Kandice Irwin did not go on to break Mallory's record!

Jen Consaul Strikes Out 18

"Senior Saints Softball Player Jen Consaul broke her own school record from earlier this season by recording 18 strikeouts this past Friday April 30th vs. the Gates-Chili Spartans The previous school record was 17 which Jen set 2 weeks ago. In that game she fanned 17 batters vs. Brockport. The Saints won the contest vs. the Spartans 6-0 and Offensively Jen led the Saints by going 4 for 4 with a double, triple, 2 runs scored and 2 Runs batted in. The team record is 6-2."
~Couretesy of Churchville-Chili Central School News

Jen will be joining the Griffs this fall.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

MAAC Season Coming To Furious Finish

Should be a wild last weekend of MAAC play as teams try to qualify and/or jockey for position. Here's where the teams stand (only 4 teams qualify for the tournament).

Qualified. They close out MAAC play at Marist. One win clinches top seed in the tournament. Two wins clinches regular season title.

Qualified. They close out MAAC play vs. St. Peter's. Can finish no lower than 2nd place (OK, they can if they lose to St. Peter's and Niagara wins 4, but they are not going to lose twice to St. Peter's!)---need help from Marist to get to first.

They close MAAC play on road at Manhattan and Rider. Will need to win at least 2, maybe 3 times to qualify.

They close out MAAC play on road at Siena and Marist. Would qualify with 3 wins. May qualify with 2 wins and help.

They close out MAAC play by hosting Fairfield. A sweep would qualify them. A split and some help from Rider would qualify them.

They close out MAAC play by hosting Fairfield. Need to sweep the Stags and get a lot of help to qualify.

They close out MAAC play by hosting Niagara and St. Peter's. Need to sweep the Purple Eagles and St. Peter's and get help to qualify.

Marist and St. Peter's can not qualify.

It's possible that every MAAC game this weekend will have meaning.

MAAC Stats---Conference Games Only

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Katie Medina's Last 20 Games

.447 average
21 for 47
11 walks
7 stolen bases
20 runs scored

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Games 46 & 47 NEW HOME RUN QUEEN

Paige Freiberger set a new Canisius single season home run record Tuesday at the Demske Sports Complex.

Syracuse 4
Canisius 3

Canisius 3
Syracuse 2

Game 1 Box Score
Game 2 Box Score

Amanda Baun won her 17th game giving the Griffs a split of their non conference doubleheader with Syracuse Tuesday.

I like to keep a close watch on how teams react to situational occurrences during the course of a game, and this doubleheader was very interesting. Syracuse's fabulous pitcher Jenna Caira, who no hit the Griffs last season, was masterful in the circle today. She began the game by striking out the first 10 Griffs she faced. Her pitching was awesome. She has power, but she has great movement, her off speed pitches are extremely deceptive, and she mixes her pitches very well. She had the Griffs in knots! In the meantime, the powerful Orange lineup produced four runs to take the early lead. The Syracuse players were supremely confident, they felt a no hit run rule game was inevitable. The Griffs' players were stunned and quiet. Then the bottom of the fourth inning came.

After Jenna's 10th strikeout, Katie Medina finally put a ball in play for the Griffs by laying down a perfect bunt and easily beating the throw. Michelle Fridey drew a walk. And then Paige Freiberger stepped up to the plate. Call me a liar, but I knew she was going to hit a homer. Why? Because it had to be hit. Not so much to try to win this game, but to break the spell of a top notch big conference pitcher. Paige makes the hits that have to be made. The wind was blowing strongly in from right field. The left handed hitting junior smashed a towering drive to left center field. I laughed out loud! Three run homer, and Paige broke Jess Martin's 2005 record.

Let me tell you, that homer was huge. It stunned Jenna Caira and the Orange and from then on the Griffs were the better team the rest of the day. No, the Griffs did not win game one (although they came very close with good chances in the 6th and 7th), but the homer had an effect on everyone. Caroline Main did not allow any further Syracuse hits. In fact, Syracuse would not get another hit until the 4th inning of game two; they would not score again until there were two outs in the 7th inning of game two. The Griffs got three more hits in game one. The inning before it looked like a perfect game for Jenna Caira.

The Griffs then stormed out of the gate in the second game, scoring three times before recording an out. Paige got her 4th RBI of the day. Amanda Baun pitched a fantastic game, striking out 8, allowing the Orange only 2 hits until they finally did score 2 unearned runs after 2 outs in the 7th inning. She has now won 17 games. I can't find a Canisius freshman who has ever won that many.

If I had a vote, it would be a no brainer: Paige Freiberger is the MAAC Player Of The Year, in my opinion. She turned everything around today against an excellent Big East school, who BTW beat #19 Ohio State 11-3. A team that thought they were going to kick the Griffs all over the Demske. Didn't happen. Paige has done it all season long. If you were there today, you saw that the whole atmosphere changed when she hit that home run. The Griffs are going to be tough to beat in the MAAC Championship.

Katie Medina had an excellent day. She got 2 hits off Jenna Caira, and and finished 4 for 6 with 2 runs scored. She got the Griffs going in game one. Her level of play has risen dramatically over the last month, and she has given the already potent offense of the Griffs another weapon. Caroline Main had a rough start against a strong team, giving up 6 hits in the first 2 innings. But she then dug down deep and surrendered one more hit the rest of the way. Katie Lancellotti made some outstanding plays at shortstop, Lauren Hope had 2 hits and stole her 31st base. Lizzy Gatto made a great catch in center.

The Griffs close out MAAC play Saturday at Marist. A win gives them first seed. They will need 2 wins to win the MAAC outright, because Iona is playing St. Peter's and the poor Peahens get beat 13-0 every game.