Monday, February 28, 2011

Will Layoff Have A Negative Effect?

With weather and airplane troubles putting the Canisius softball season into a holding pattern, what effect will this have on the team's progress?
Much of the MAAC have their seasons going now, with Iona looking very strong again. Sarah Jackson looks particularly formidable in the circle for the Gaels this season. Farifield has a lot of great freshmen. Niagara begins play Wednesday.
It's still a long season ahead, but Canisius won't be playing again until March 11. I thought they did reasonably well their first weekend, but the pitchers definitely need to get their innings in. I'm not overly concerned about Caroline Main and her recovery from last season's injury, but she plainly needs the in game work now to get back into spring season form. And Lauren Hope has only played one game herself. I'm sure the team is working hard indoors, but it doesn't replicate the outdoor experience. So I think their next tournament, which will be at Maryland-Baltimore County, will be a very important weekend for them. And of course, these long gaps make for difficult blog writing!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Florida Trip Canceled

Unfortunately the Griffs were not able to get a flight out of Buffalo last night so their scheduled doubleheader in Tallahassee has been canceled.
The Griffs are at this time next slated to play on the weekend of March 11, but with their schedule now down to 44 games, perhaps there will be something added.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Florida Trip In Doubt?

I heard that the Griffs couldn't get out of the Buffalo Airport tonight. Tomorrow doesn't look good with a very bad snow storm moving in early in the morning.
This little trip replaced a tournament that replaced a tournament. And with Monday's rain out the Griffs would be many games short.
Anyway, if anyone has further information on this, please write me or leave a comment here.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chelsea Plimpton Named Atlantic 10 Pitcher Of The Week

Former Williamsville South pitcher Chelsea Plimpton continues her fine start to her senior season by being named the Atlantic 10's Pitcher Of The Week.

Plimpton went 3-2 in six starts, with wins over Florida Atlantic, ... Indiana and No. 25 DePaul. The senior from East Amherst, N.Y., posted a 1.23 ERA and allowed just five earned runs in 31 innings. She went 4.0 innings, allowing three runs while striking out three batters to pick up the win in a 9-3 victory over DePaul. Plimpton also recorded 26 strikeouts, including a career-high 11 in a 1-0 win over Florida Atlantic.

Although top ranked Fordham has been struggling at the plate early this season, Chelsea has been winning them games as her fellow pitcher Jen Mineau is battling an apparent injury. She's actually lost a few games where she pitched well enough to win, but got no support from the usually hard hitting Rams.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stephanie Pfentner Breaks Through

Fooled you!
That's not Stephanie, it's one of the all-time Golden Griffins Michelle Fridey.

But who can tell the difference with the numbers she's putting up thus far this season?

Here's Stephanie

It was a difficult position for Stephanie to be in as Michelle Fridey's replacement, but I'm getting the feeling it never worried her. She's come out of the gate ready to play as her statistics prove:

.333 batting average
2 home runs (leads team)
5 RBIs (leads team)
.867 slugging % (leads team)
13 total bases (leads team)
1 triple (leads team)

Behind the plate, she's thrown out a couple runners; tagged out a few.
I think back to that grand slam homer she hit against St. Bona in fall ball. It just felt at that moment that it all clicked in for her. So the game winning blast she hit against Charleston wasn't so much a surprise as it was a thrill. I'm sure she has more thrills in store for us.

I thought the whole team came out well this past weekend considering it was their first time playing outside. I think they may have spent a lot of energy on the Friday late night comeback games and came out flat Saturday. They came out strong Sunday though.I read where Coach Rappl said he was using this first part of the season to prepare for the western trip, and then he'll use that to prepare for the MAAC season. Sounds like a good plan. Caroline Main struggled a bit coming off her injury, but I'm not very concerned about it. She just needs the innings now.

Another note: Amanda Cannizzo has decided to end her Canisius softball career; we wish her well and will always remember her huge hit against Manhattan in the MAACs. Look for Canisius to sign another player this spring.

Rained Out

The doubleheader scheduled at Mount St. Mary's has been canceled and will not be made up.
The Griffs will next be in action Saturday in Florida.

Weather Report

No word yet on the status of today's scheduled doubleheader at Mount Saint Mary's. Right now it is drizzling down there, kind of chilly.
As for the forecast here, I'm going to shovel my driveway now :(

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Griffs Bounce Back



The Golden Griffins rebounded from a tough Saturday getting offensive and closing out the Cougar Classic with a 3-2 record.

The Griffs seemed determined from the start of this game to forget their poor showing of the day before. Lauren Hope was declared fit and able to play her first game of the season and wasted no time in getting rolling in the top of the first inning. In her customary lead off position, she opened the game with a single. After Lauren was moved to second base by Katie Medina, Paige Freiberger smashed a double to center that gave the Griffs a quick 1-0 lead. The Griffs had fallen behind in the previous four games they played this weekend; this game followed the pattern. Starter Caroline Main surrendered a two run homer in the bottom of the opening inning giving ETSU their only lead of the game.

The Griffs would not accept that and grabbed the lead right back. In the top of the second after a Lizzy Gatto walk, and with the aid of a pair of ETSU errors, Stephanie Pfentner hit a single to center for her team leading 5th RBI. Katie Lancellotti, who had reached base after a bad throw, also scored on the play courtesy of an error. The Canisius third was all Paige Freiberger. She drew a walk; was sacrificed to second by Emily Helbig; stole third base; and tagged up and scored on a long Lizzy Gatto foul ball past the left field line. Her great base running gave the Griffs a 4-2 lead.

Caroline Main got into some trouble in the third inning; allowing one run to cut the score to 4-3. She then found herself with runners at second and third with no outs. With the possibility of the game turning around, Caroline struck out a batter; threw a runner out at home; and struck out another to get out of the inning with her team still in the lead.

The red hot Stephanie Pfentner hit a triple to begin the 4th inning. Unfortunately she wound up stranded on third base, but she sure has come to play this season! She would gun down another attempted base stealer this day. The game quieted down a bit until ETSU tied it up in the bottom of the 5th inning with a sacrifice fly.

The Griffs really wanted this game though and would not be denied. In the top of the 6th Katie Lancellotti (pictured) broke her mini slump with a single to left getting her first hit of the young season. After Lauren Falzone singled, Katie was thrown out at third on a fielder's choice. Not to worry because Katie Medina stepped up and hit a solid single to center for what proved to be the game winning RBI. Lauren Falzone scored on the play.

Amanda Baun came in to relieve Caroline Main in the bottom of the 6th, and after walking the first two batters got out of the inning unscathed. The Griffs then exploded in the top of the 7th inning for three insurance runs. After another Paige Freiberger walk, Lizzy Gatto singled. Paige made it to third with Lizzy scampering to second on the throw. Katie Lancellotti then smashed a double to center scoring them both. Katie made it to third on the throw, and scored herself when ETSU committed their third error of the game trying to retire Lauren Falzone. Amanda Baun had little trouble in the bottom of the 7th inning and earned a save.

The Golden Griffins played a very determined game today. They had 10 hits, and did not commit an error after the 7 of Saturday. They moved their record to 3-2, and seem to be in much better shape than they were after last year's opening weekend, not only in record either. Canisius travels up to Emmitsburg, MD for a doubleheader against Mount Saint Mary's scheduled for 1:30pm Monday. Weather may be a problem for this one, so stay tuned.

Game 5 vs. E. Tennessee St.


Katie Lancellotti-2 for 3, Double, 2 RBIS, 2 Runs...Stephanie Pfentner-2 for 3, Triple, RBI...Paige Freiberger-1 for 2, RBI, 2 Runs, Stolen Base...Katie Medina-Game Winning RBI...Lauren Falzone-Single, Run...Val Nappo-Double, Stolen Base...Lauren Hope Returns-Single, Double Play, Assist...Lizzy Gatto-1 for 2, RBI, 2 Runs...Caroline Main-4 Strikeouts...Amanda Baun-Save In Relief

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tough Day For The Griffs

Nothing really went right for Canisius on the second day of the Cougar Classic. Lauren Hope was still not well enough to play today; Katie Medina is nursing a pulled hamstring. Committing 7 errors certainly did not help the cause. Canisius had plenty of chances against Akron (10-3 loss), loading the bases in two separate innings, but really could not capitalize much on these opportunities. Against Towson (5-1 loss) , they never got their offense going. Val Nappo had 3 hits on the day, including a pair of doubles; Emily Helbig, Paige Freiberger and Lauryn Chris each had RBIs. Chloe Contreras played only one inning (against Towson), but made the most of it. She made a double play in left field when she gunned down a runner at home plate. She also singled and drove home the Griffs' only run. Maybe it's time for her first start? Amanda Baun got past a rough first inning to strikeout 7 Towson batters, but by then it was too late. The Griffs played from behind all day. Maybe they used all their adrenaline on yesterday's late night comebacks.

Canisius will have a chance to leave South Carolina with a winning record when they play East Tennessee State Sunday morning at 10.

Game 4 vs. Towson


Chloe Contreras-single, RBI, Double Play, Assist...Amanda Baun-7 Strikeouts...Val Nappo- Double

Later Start

*UPDATE 4:34*
Charleston just finished their game. Canisius should take the field in about 20 minutes.

Charleston and ETSU are still on the field and in the 5th at the time of this post. The Griffs' game with Towson will be delayed at least 45 minutes.

Game 3 vs. Akron

Akron 10
Canisius 3

Val Nappo-2 for 4, Double, Run...Emily Helbig-Single, RBI...Lauryn Chris-Walk, RBI...Paige Freiberger-RBI

Griffs Sweep Opening Day

Stephanie Pfentner Has Monster Night!

Canisius 4
Charleston 3

Canisius 6
Morehead St. 4

I wrote last September about Stephanie Pfentner's "coming of age".
That was nothing compared to what the sophomore did Friday night in Charleston, SC!
Stephanie won the Charleston game for her Griffs with a dramatic late inning home run; and if that wasn't enough, she hit another in the Morehead State game and drove in half the team's runs. The Griffs were already a pretty powerful team; with Stephanie reaching her potential, they might be a scary team.

A lot of good things came out of the Griffs' opening day. It didn't start out so great when senior Lauren Hope came down with a bit of food poisoning and had to sit this night out in the hotel. But her teammates picked up the slack.

The first game against host College Of Charleston was interesting right from the start because it marked the return of Caroline Main, who had not pitched since she was injured against Iona in last season's MAAC Championship. She did surrender a home run that gave Charleston an early lead, but in general she was her old self. She finished with 6 strikeouts, including one that ended the game with Charleston runners on second and third base. It was a good start for her; she picks up the win and I'm sure some confidence that she is 100% mended.

The Griffs fell behind 3-0 in this one, but a little skill and a little luck saw them tie the game in the 5th inning. Kerry Ulmer and Lauren Falzone led off that inning with consecutive singles. Val Nappo then executed a simple sacrifice bunt that blew up in the Charleston pitcher's face as she threw the ball away and Kerry and Lauren scored unearned. Val ended up at third on the play, and was driven home by a Katie Medina sacrifice fly to complete the rally.

In the 6th inning, the Griffs needed a big hit, and Stephanie Pfentner delivered it when she drove a pitch over the left field fence. A huge game winning hit.

So when the second game against Morehead St. began, we were all looking forward to Stephanie's at-bats---and wouldn't you know it? She did it again! After a Paige Freiberger walk, Stephanie clubbed a homer over the right center field fence to give the Griffs the early lead. But it was much more than that. Let's face it---Stephanie had more pressure on her than any other player on the team simply because she takes over for the graduated great Michelle Fridey. It's not fair to expect her to be the "New Fridey"---she's her own player---but still, that's a gap that needs to be filled. And Stephanie is doing it. And BTW, she also gunned down a runner attempting to steal.

The Griffs fell behind in this one also, 4-2. Amanda Baun started, and was doing well until an error and an illegal pitch seemed to shake her up a bit. She gave up a 2 run homer after an error by Lauryn Chris who was in right field although she's a second baseman. Amanda was then called for an illegal pitch, and shortly thereafter threw a wild pitch that brought in another run. She struck out three in the game, and earned the win. But I wondered if the illegal pitch called against her threw her off her game for just a while.

The Griffs stormed back however in the top of the 5th inning. Katie Medina opened the inning with a single, then Lizzy Gatto followed by ripping a triple to center that scored Katie. Paige Freiberger immediately responded with a double that sent Lizzy trotting home. After an Emily Helbig ground out sent Paige to third, a passed ball allowed her free passage to home and the eventual winning run. These are veteran players coming through in the clutch.

Another interesting and positive development occurred in the Morehead St. 6th inning. Amanda Baun got into trouble with a couple of walks, and Coach Rappl brought freshman Jen Consaul in for her first ever appearance. You know Coach loves the idea of having a steady reliever. Jen immediately ended that threat with a ground out. In the 7th inning, after Canisius scored an insurance run thanks to a Paige Freiberger triple and Stephanie Pfentner's 3rd RBI of the game, Jen Consaul earned the save. She did give up a triple, but stranded that runner when she struck out the final two Morehead St. batters. A great job by Jen in her debut, and a great call by Coach to give her that responsibility. I imagine her confidence rose appreciably.

Coach Rappl spoke earlier of a "special season". Could be. You expect a snow bound team (especially this dreadful winter) to come out rusty. And maybe the Griffs are a bit rusty. But they looked a lot better than they did at this point last season. This may turn into a team that is hard to beat. One last thing I wanted to mention: Paige Freiberger and Katie Lancellotti were outstanding in the field.
Lauren Hope should be recovered enough to play Saturday.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Game 2 vs. Morehead State


Stephanie Pfentner-Homer, 3 RBIs...Paige Freiberger-Triple, Double, RBI, 3 Runs...Lizzy Gatto-2 for 4, Triple, RBI...Katie Medina-2 for 4, Run...Val Nappo-First Collegiate Hit...Jen Consaul-Save, 2 Strikouts In Relief...Amanda Baun-3 Strikeouts...Kerry Ulmer-Single, Stolen Base...more later

Game 1 @ Charleston


Stephanie Pfentner, Game Winning Homer...Caroline Main comes back strong with 6 strikeouts including one to end the game with the bases loaded...Emily Helbig, 2 for 4...Kerry Ulmer, 1 for 3, Run...Lauren Falzone, 1 for 3, Run...Katie Media, 2 Walks, RBI...Val Nappo, Run...Lauren Hope out with food poisoning, back tomorrow...more later.

Late Start

*6:30 UPDATE*
Charleston and Akron are currently in the 5th. Probably looking at about a 7:30 start time for the Griffs.


Charleston and Akron are currently playing and in the 2nd inning. Canisius will probably start some time after 7PM.

The 2:00 game in Charleston is running late and is in extra innings. Look for the Canisius-Charleston game to start around an hour later.

Coach Rappl Challenges The Griffs

You can read all about Mike Rappl's challenge to his team by visiting the Canisius site (link in the blog list). Coach Rappl is always one advantage the Griffs have no matter who is playing on the team in any particular season.

As we eagerly await the season to begin in a few hours, some thoughts. Caroline Main has not pitched in a game since she was injured against Iona in last season's MAAC tournament. She's healthy, but of course she may have to shake off some rust. Good chance that freshman Jen Consaul will see some innings in this tournament. I'm very intrigued to see how coach uses freshman Val Nappo this weekend. If you recall, she was murdering the ball all during this past fall season.

First pitch in a couple hours!!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

2010 Statistics

Canisius returns the whole 2010 team minus one.

2010 Record: 34-19

Emily Helbig: .378; 21 RBI

Lizzy Gatto: .348; 4 HR; 25 RBI; 17 SB

Lauren Hope: .343; 33 SB; 40 Runs

Paige Freiberger: .311; 11 HR; 46 RBI; .711 SLUG %

Katie Medina: .298; 13 SB; 34 Runs

Chloe Contreras: .286

Katie Lancellotti: .264; 6 HR; 42 RBI

Lauren Falzone: .233, 15 Runs

Amanda Cannizzo: .222; 12 RBI

Kerry Ulmer: .213; 2 HR

Stephanie Pfentner: .118

Lauryn Chris: .080; 8 Runs

Amanda Baun: 18-12; 1.98 ERA; 187 Strikeouts

Caroline Main: 16-7; 139 Strikeouts; 1.4 Walks per 7 Innings

Charleston Weather

The weather this weekend in Charleston, SC looks to be awesome. Daily highs of around 70 and no chance of rain all weekend.

A reminder:
The Canisius @ Charleston game Friday will be available on live video stream (for a fee):


Game time is 6:00pm EST

Upcoming Opponents---E. Tennessee State

2010 Record: 21-35
Leading Hitter: Katie Henderson (.274)
Leading Pitcher: Jessica Duncan: (9-8; 3.63 ERA)

This will be the first ever meeting between Canisius and East Tennessee State. The Bucs play in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

Upcoming Opponents---Towson Tigers

2010 Record: 33-23
Leading Hitter: Sammi DiPompo (.322; 43 RBIs)
Leading Pitcher: Katie Lingmai: (12-11; 1.85 ERA)
All-Time vs. Canisius: 4-5
Last Meeting: 2005 (Towson 2-1 [8], 3-1)

The Tigers play in the Colonial Conference.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Upcoming Opponents---Akron Zips

2011 Record: 3-2
Leading Hitter: Alex Feltes (.563)

Leading Pitcher: Heather Bauer (1-0; 3.00 ERA)

2010 Record: 20-34
All-Time vs. Canisius: 8-2
Last Meeting: 2008 (Canisius 5-0, Akron 2-3)

The Zips have already stolen 19 bases this young season.

Upcoming Opponents---Morehead St.

2011 Record: 0-4
Leading Hitter: Kayla Ashbrook (.455)
Leading Pitcher: Ashley Imperial (0-2; 6.56 ERA)
2010 Record: 27-24
All-Time vs. Canisius: 0-1
Last Meeting: 1993 (Canisius 6-0)

These two teams haven't met since 1993, the year the Griffs set a national record for consecutive wins (35, since broken) and had Hall Of Famers Jody Tassone, Leslie Samson, Kim Wilson, Amy Vredenburgh and Michelle Corrigan playing.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Upcoming Opponents---College Of Charleston

2010 Record: 24-27

Leading Hitter (2010): Amanda Lonergan (.310; 7 HR)

Leading Pitcher (2010): Alexa Datko (7-10; 2.62)

All-Time vs. Canisius: (1-0)
Last Meeting: 2004 (Charleston 6-4)

The two teams were scheduled to meet in the Wolfpack Challenge at North Carolina State in 2009, but were rained out.

The Cougars are coached by former Golden Griffin Shelly Lis Hoerner. Shelly played with Canisus in 1995-96 after transferring from Division 2 Barry University (where she played in the College World Series). The Griffs won the MAAC Championship both years, and Shelly was an All-MAAC selection. As a matter of fact, she still holds the all-time Canisius record for career fielding percentage (.993). Emily Helbig has a chance this season of breaking her record. As a High School player, she led North Tonawanda to a State Championship. As a coach, Shelly is 143-142 overall with Charleston, with a 63-44 conference record.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spring Season Begins This Week!


I'll be previewing the Griffs' opponents in the upcoming Cougar Classic.
BTW, the photo is of the softball field in Poughkeepsie, NY where the MAAC Championship will be held in three months.

...and, Good Luck Griffs :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Chelsea Plimpton Off To Great Start

Chelsea Plimpton, formerly of Williamsville South High School, began her senior season on a high note as she pitched #29 Fordham to a 1-0 win against Florida Atlantic at the Dot Richardson College Classic in Clermont, FL today.

Starting the Rams opening game of their 2011 season, Chelsea was dominant in striking out 11 batters while allowing only 3 hits. She showed great control in facing only 25 batters, 4 over the minimum. She retired the final 14 batters to seal the win.

Chelsea pitches behind the great All-American Jen Mineau; if she keeps producing like this Fordham will have a 1-2 punch that will be hard to beat.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

National Season Begins Today

The 2011 NCAA Softball season officially opens today!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Canisius @ Charleston Live Video

The Canisius at College Of Charleston game, scheduled for February 18 at the Cougar Classic, will be broadcast live online (for a fee). I think C of C will only be broadcasting their games in the tournament.
Bookmark this page:


This is the Griffs' opening day, they will also be playing after the Charleston game under the lights.

Schedule Change

Canisius College announced a schedule change to their 2011 softball season today.
The previously scheduled Wide World Of Sports Invitational has been canceled. Instead the Griffs will play a doubleheader on February 26 at Florida A&M in Tallahassee against the host school and Savannah State.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Atlantic 10 Softball

New blog (not published by us) covering St. Bonaventure and the Atlantic 10 Conference.
You'll find updates in the blog list on the right hand side of this page.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

MAAC Coaches Predict 2nd Place For Griffs

Above is a photo of Captain Paige Freiberger moments before she tripled to beat Iona last season. Unfortunately, injury prevented Paige from playing in the MAAC Tournament.
The MAAC coaches just gave the Golden Griffins one more bit of incentive going into this season by predicting Canisius will not win the MAAC.

BTW, Paige, Lauren Hope and Lizzy Gatto were chosen for the "haven't played a single game yet" All-MAAC Team! But hey, I predict they and some more of their teammates will make the real team by season's end! The real games begin in two weeks.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snow Day!

That huge storm system you see covering half the country has just kissed Western New York; we can't start softball season without one of these! And when I write of February snow it signifies that I have run out of things to write about this off season!

We'll be getting the MAAC coaches picks for the 2011 season soon, and hopefully a preview from Coach Rappl.