Sunday, October 31, 2010

Griffs Will Host St. Peter's In April

Another sneak peek at the Canisius 2011 softball schedule shows the Griffs' hosting St. Peter's for a MAAC doubleheader on April 9. You'll recall that last season Katie Lancellotti smashed a grand slam homer against the Peahens. As a matter of fact, Katie hit a grand slammer against St. Peter's in 2009 as well! Her streak will be on the line. I'm assuming at this time that Manhattan will be here on April 10.

Well, it's been kind of quiet in softball land, October always is, but the National Letter Of Intent day is coming; and we're still awaiting official release of the Griffs' 2011 schedule. And I'll try to get the 2011 player profiles completed before it snows!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Sonia Aguilar of Nuevo, CA became one of the newest Golden Griffins by verbally committing to play softball at Canisius College beginning with the 2012 season. She should be signing her National Letter Of Intent in a couple weeks.

Sonia is a first baseman and catcher; she has played third base as well. She is a captain of the Nuview Bridge Early College High School team where she was defensive player of the year and an All League CIF selection.

Sonia is a great defensive player, but check out these eye opening offensive statistics:
For her junior season at Nuview High, in 73 at bats, she hit for a .630 average which included 6 homers, 19 doubles and 4 triples. She also had 25 RBIs. Her slugging percentage was in quadruple astounding 1.247! Watch out MAAC pitchers, this girl hits for extra bases!

Sonia currently plays travel ball for the Newport Beach Riptide; she has also played for the San Diego Legacy and On Deck Fury.

Congratulations Sonia, look forward to seeing you play next September!

Sonia's Skills Video

Shaina Bunker Verbals With Mercyhurst

All New York State , All NFL, and Tonawanda News Player Of The Year Shaina Bunker has verbally committed to play softball at Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA beginning in the 2012 season.

Shaina is in her senior year at North Tonawanda, where in 2010 she hit for a whopping .625 average and a phenomenal .904 slugging percentage! In the field she is an outstanding catcher. She will be joining a division 2 program that seems to have deep roots in the Western New York softball scene.

Congratulations Shaina!

Photo courtesy of the Tonawanda News.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Anchor Of The Griffs' Defense

Junior Katie Lancellotti has started every game at shortstop (except her very first game) during her career at Canisius College, and with good reason---she gets to balls that no one else can. Possessing outstanding range at the key position in the infield, I sometimes think Katie could play shortstop and third base simultaneously. She's athletic, tall and tough as well. Runners do not like sliding into second base when she is protecting the bag.

Katie Lancellotti isn't only an excellent fielder; she's a power hitter too. After only two seasons, Katie is at 7th place for all time home runs at Canisius, and is well on her way to smashing the record if she maintains her pace. Same as far as RBIs go...Katie had 42 of them in 2010, improving by 17 her freshman total. And I'll tell you...I think her hitting is going to keep improving. She has a good shot at becoming the all time Golden Griffin power hitter by the time her career ends.

Katie Lancellotti was perhaps the greatest player ever at Clarence High School, an All-State selection and multiple sport athlete. And she receives personal batting help (no doubt) from her father Rick the former baseball player who owns the all time minor league home run record. It can't hurt!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Griffs Will Play At Fullerton In 2011

Another sneak peek at the Canisius College 2011 softball schedule shows the Golden Griffins playing a single game at Cal State Fullerton on March 26. The Titans play in the Big West Conference, and finished the 2010 season with a 14-39 record. The last time the two schools met was in the 2007 NCAA Regional at Columbus, OH.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tori Nappo Playing In Team New Jersey Fall Classic

Clarence High's Tori Nappo, sister of the Griffs' freshman Valorie, is playing for the New Jersey Intensity at the Team New Jersey Fall Classic. In fact, she is playing quite well, driving home the only run in a 1-0 Intensity win over the Texas Storm Saturday. Williamsville North's Corrin Genovese is also playing for the Intensity, and won a 1-0 game herself when she singled, stole second and third bases, and scored the only run in a game against the New Jersey Inferno.

We know that Corrin will be at Missouri next fall, but where will Tori (class of 2012) end up? Division 1 for sure because she's every bit as good as sister Val. I'm assuming the Griffs are going after her...but I also assume other schools are as well. We'll see how it plays out.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Griffs Will Play In Dawg Pound Invitational

Another piece of the Canisius 2011 Softball schedule:

The Griffs were originally scheduled to play on the weekend of March 11-13 at Miami, but the Red Hawks apparently canceled their own tournament in order to head out to Hawai'i. Instead Canisius will now travel down to Maryland and play in the Maryland-Baltimore County Dawg Pound Invitational. The Griffs will play 4 games against Brown, Seton Hall, Morgan State and host UMBC. Niagara will also participate in this tournament, but the Western New York rivals will not meet on the field.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Emily Helbig Rises To The Occasion

Senior first baseman Emily Helbig owns MAAC pitchers, of that there is no doubt. She has a career batting average of .405 in conference games. During the most important and intense portion of the season, Emily is clutch.

Not surprising considering that during her time at Santa Catalina High, Emily was a .500 career hitter. She made an immediate transition to division 1 college ball, hitting for a .314 average her freshman season and making the All-MAAC and MAAC Tournament teams while helping the Griffs to a championship. In 2010 she had her finest season, finishing fourth among MAAC hitters with a .378 average and once again being named to the Conference and Tournament teams.

Emily isn't just a great hitter however; it can be argued that she is the best defensive player in the MAAC. In 2009, she became the first Golden Griffin to achieve a perfect fielding percentage (with at least 70 chances). In the field she is very smart and aware; and as I've written before, if Emily didn't catch it, it wasn't catchable. She gives the appearance of being calm, almost blasé, on the field---I have seen her making fun of the other team's cheers on occasion! Don't be fooled, she's an intense competitor.

Emily Helbig had a very good 2010 fall season; it seemed that everything she hit was for extra bases. She is a key component to the Griffs' drive to reclaim their championship---look for her to have a big season.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Erin Dixson

Two days after her grandmother passed away, Erin Dixson joined her WNY Sting teammates at the Aunt Rosie's 16U Tournament. In a close game against the Diamond Girls (witnessed by yours truly who was unaware of the circumstances) Erin stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded feeling the presence of her grandmother and...

The Sting won the game.
She made a vow to herself that she would not leave the field without winning the first place trophy, which she had plans for. The WNY Sting did go on to win the championship, and two days later as her family prepared for her grandmother's wake, Erin presented the trophy to her grandfather.
You can imagine his reaction.

Not only is Erin Dixson a fine young woman, she is also a great softball player. In 2010 she led Amherst High School to their first Section VI title since 2001, beating rival Williamsville South. She had a record of 15-3 with an ERA of 0.94 to go along with 163 strikeouts. She also hit .390 with a .649 slugging percentage. She had 2 homers, 3 triples and 8 doubles. In the circle she is a flame thrower, achieving speeds of over 60 mph. She was ECIC Division III Pitcher Of The Year, and named to the All-New York State team. Erin will graduate in 2011; it will be interesting to see where she continues her career.

Video courtesy of Buffalo Recruit.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Rivalry Continues...

As we wait for Canisius to release their 2011 softball schedule, I can give you another piece of the puzzle:
The Griffs will host long time rival Niagara on April 27 for a MAAC doubleheader. Both schools will be making serious bids to win the conference so this could be a real barn burner! The two teams seem to always have intense matchups---last season's doubleheader at Niagara was an excellent display of softball and was very well attended.

Pictured: Lauren Hope sliding hard into third baseman Kayla Hines.

St. Bonaventure Closes Fall Season

Interesting reflections from Coach Threehouse at his blog:

Division I is so different from high school and summer ball that it sometimes takes players by surprise. Gone are the days of hitting .500 and striking out 12-17 batters every game. The new reality is that players are now playing against their equals on a daily basis for the first times in their lives. The goal now is to move to the top of the list again. It takes time and patience and most of all confidence and determination. If players think they can just keep doing what they did in high school or summer ball, they are in for a tough transition...

Watching the Bonnies play this fall showed me that they are a together and enthusiastic team. They have a very talented freshman class that needs time to develop.

In recruiting news, St. Bonaventure has received a verbal commitment from Kelli Rohan, an outfielder from McDowell High School in Erie, PA where she has been a .500 hitter.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Griffs End Fall Season With Rout Of Mercyhurst

Mother Nature cooperated in helping the Golden Griffins prepare for the upcoming spring season in that this final fall ball game resembled a typical April home game...cold and misty! Canisius College really has a great field for this part of the nation. Who cares if it rains 19 straight hours? I didn't see a single slip out there.

The Griffs closed the fall portion of the 2010-11 season with a 13-0 win over division 2 Mercyhurst. A very large crowd saw the Canisius bats explode today, beginning with Katie Medina who cranked a 2 run home run over the right field fence in the first inning. She has a smooth swing with deceptive power.

Freshman Val Nappo continued her hot hitting by creaming a pitch way over the left center field fence. As soon as it left her bat the crowd knew it was gone. Val finished with 4 RBIs on the day. Again, she hit the ball hard every time. She is forcing Coach Rappl's hand to play her in an already talented lineup.

Other Griffs had good games as well: Lauren Hope pitched in with a single and 2 RBIs; Lizzy Gatto had a pair of hits (including an outstanding bunt; she can do it all), a stolen base, and she made a double play while playing shortstop. Paige Freiberger drove home 2 runs, and made a number of outstanding plays at third base, including a catch against the wall in foul territory. Amanda Cannizzo and Lauryn Chris each chipped in with hits. Catcher Stephanie Pfentner threw out a runner attempting to steal.

Perhaps the most interesting hit of the day occurred when sophomore Chloe Contreras (pictured) stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. Chloe has always hit from the left side (as they seem to teach right handers to do in California), but this time she batted right handed and drove a line drive double to deep center field for 2 RBIs and to the delight of her teammates! She would later score herself. Her swing to me seemed far stronger from the right side. We'll see if she stays there.

Good news on the pitching front: Amanda Baun started this game and pitched 3 strong innings. Don't know what her injury was that caused her to miss last week's scheduled games, but she seemed just fine today. Jen Consaul finished up the game and pitched very well to preserve the shutout.

So that's the end of the fall college season, as well as the local season. The Griffs will next play in February. What can we take out of this fall season? I'll write more later, but it looks like the Griffs are going to be a heavy hitting team with an emphasis on speed. They will also be outstanding in the field at all positions. The senior class looks primed to have a great season. The junior class (counting redshirt Katie Medina) is loaded with talent. Certainly Caroline Main will be completely healed after 9 months off; Amanda Baun had a great fall in the circle. Jen Consaul will continue to receive college coaching and be eased into the rotation. All that remains to be seen is what their attitude will be come February---will they be on a mission to avenge last May's loss?

Next up: who will be the four newest Golden Griffins???

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Griffs Scheduled To Host Mercyhurst Sunday

The Griffs' final fall game is scheduled for 11am at the Demske Sports Complex against division 2 Mercyhurst; however it has been steadily raining all night. If anyone has information on the status of this game, please post a comment here.