Sunday, September 30, 2012

Amanda Baun Continues Great Fall Season

Another dominant performance by Amanda Baun

The Golden Griffins defeated Monroe Community College 3-1 Sunday in a fall ball game played in Niagara Falls, NY.

It is now very clear that Coach Rappl's number one priority early this season is to return senior pitcher Amanda Baun back to her 2010 form, a season that saw her earn All-MAAC status. So far, so good. Amanda pitched another great game today, throwing a one hitter in her four innings in the circle, while striking out seven batters. I know this is only fall ball, but the fact is that she struggled mightily last fall season, followed by a sub par spring season. Amanda should be dominating a team like MCC; and she did. In total control, and looking very confident, she is now looking to leapfrog back into the Griffs' number one pitching position. We know she has the talent; can she put it all together for 2013? If she does, the Griffs will vault to the top of the MAAC as serious contenders.

Freshman Meghan Cuda continued her strong fall showing, using her speed to tour the bases in the first inning with a bunt single and stolen base, scoring when Michelle DelPrince singled. The Griffs scored again using their great bunting game, with Val Nappo getting an RBI. Robin Kennery smashed a triple to score the Griffs' final run. Jen Consaul pitched the final three innings.

Canisius will close out the fall season with a home doubleheader against Mercyhurst next Sunday. I'd like to see Amanda Baun pitch a complete game.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Newest Golden Griffin Sam Sharkey
Samantha Sharkey of Fort Lauderdale, FL has verbally committed to play softball at Canisius College beginning in the 2014 season.

 Another south Florida girl is headed north; this time it's Sam Sharkey, a shortstop and outfielder at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, one of Florida's top high school programs. Sam has been an All-Broward County selection three times (the same county where Fairfield's Sammi Ruffolo played). She plays travel ball with the Gold Coast Hurricane, who this past summer played in the ASA Nationals, where Sam hit .375. She has also played for the Fort Lauderdale Lightning.

 Congratulations Sammy!

 Below: Sam Sharkey (#5) with a hit, and then scoring a run.

Hard Sliding Sam!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Griffs Win Fall Ball Home Opener

Another solid game for Amanda Baun

The Golden Griffins defeated the Ajax Raiders 11-2 in a scheduled ten inning fall game Saturday at the Demske Sports Complex on the Canisius campus.

Another very encouraging performance by senior pitcher Amanda Baun highlighted the Griffs' win over the Canadian team Saturday. Amanda started this game, going four innings and striking out seven while allowing only one hit (a single). In total control from start to finish, this was her second consecutive impressive outing this fall season. She mixed her pitches well, and looked like the Amanda Baun from 2010. If she can maintain this level of play, Canisius will be a very different team come 2013.

Freshman Meghan Cuda had a fantastic game. On base often, including a two RBI triple, she showed herself to be extremely productive. I counted four stolen bases for Meghan, which included some great slides to beat tags.

Tori Nappo had a very good day at the plate. She got things going for Canisius with a towering  double that just missed going the distance, producing a run. Later in the game she drove home another run. She seemed less uptight at the plate than she did last week, which can surely be written off as freshman nerves. Marissa Miller continued her strong hitting, driving home a couple runs, and scoring a few more. She will have a chance to be a regular in the upcoming season. Val Nappo hit the ball hard again, good for a pair of RBIs. She also made some nice plays at first base. Beth DeMarco doubled home a run, and spent most of the game behind the plate where she again played well.

Freshman shortstop Alexis Roman was on the sideline with her arm in a sling. Last week she took a wicked line drive off that arm (her throwing arm) while leading off third base. Not sure, but it looked like a broken or fractured arm that she has suffered. In the meantime, Erica Afanador stepped over to short from third base and did a great job today, including turning a nice double play. At the plate, she hit a hard single good for two RBIs. She did seem to experience some discomfort in her arm after lunging after a ball in shallow left field, but completed the game.

In the circle, Jen Consaul entered the game in the fifth inning, and did struggle, giving up six hits to the Raiders which temporarily gave them a 2-1 lead. She hung tough however and pitched four innings before giving way to Corinne Schaus, who pitched the final two frames.

It was a good workout for the Griffs, as this game lasted nearly three hours. And once again, their all weather field came to the rescue with perfect conditions after the rains this morning. Buffalo had to cancel their doubleheader vs. Niagara due to their field becoming a "swamp". The Griffs will continue their fall season with a game against Monroe Community next Saturday in Niagara Falls.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Griffs Open New Season At Nan Harvey Tourney

Co-Captain Valorie Nappo hit the ball with authority this weekend

The Golden Griffins began their fall campaign this weekend at the Nan Harvey Classic in Amherst, NY, finishing with a 2-2 record.

Instead of focusing on the results of this weekend's fall games, I think I'll take a look at the Canisius lineup, which is quite different heading into the 2013 season.

The player that really made a statement this weekend was redshirt sophomore Marissa Miller. Marissa was still recovering from surgery going into the 2012 season, and didn't see that much playing time. She's fully recovered now, looking in great shape. She had a fantastic weekend as the Griffs' designated player, hitting the ball very hard for multiple extra base hits and RBIs, including a dramatic two run homer against St. Bonaventure which came in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie a game the Griffs went on to win. She hit that ball a ton too, sending it sailing way over the center field fence. She was batting with a lot of confidence; Coach Rappl had her in the power slot of the lineup. And with Brenda Santana not being able to make it at Canisius, a big bat from Marissa would be very welcome.

The infield has a different look for Canisius this season, excepting Val Nappo at first base. Val was hitting the ball with authority herself this weekend, with at least two doubles. She looked like a leader out there, in fact she is co-captain along with Jen Consaul on this season's team. Freshman Alexis Roman played every inning at shortstop until she was injured in the final game of the weekend. Leading off of third base in the game against St. Bonaventure, Alexis took a rocket line drive to the arm or elbow. She was in considerable pain until helped off the field to take a seat for the rest of the game. Hope she's OK because she was playing quite well, showing lots of range and a good arm. She delivered some key hits as well.

Robin Kennery moved over from third base to second base, her natural position (Katie Medina did not play this weekend, presumably still recovering from last season's injury). She made some excellent plays there; she's very composed and dependable. Third base is still a question mark it seems. Erica Afanador and Meghan Cuda both played on that corner. They both also spent time in right field. They both played and hit well, so that trend may (or may not) continue into the spring season.

Stephanie Pfentner was on the sidelines, so freshman Bethany DeMarco did the bulk of the catching. She did a very good job, and I was very impressed with her batting. She delivered multiple hits over the weekend, and some long outs as well.

Michelle DelPrince will be the starter in left field. She made a spectacular catch against Buffalo, and hit very well. And she runs extremely well of course. Newcomer Tori Nappo played every inning in center field, and made some nice catches. She did struggle a bit at the plate, but I think she will work through that with little problem.

The Griffs used all four pitchers this weekend. Encouraging was the game senior Amanda Baun pitched against St. Bonaventure, a 3-2 win. She struck out a lot of Bonnies; and showed good control. Coach Rappl seems intent to give her every opportunity to step back into a starting role her final season. Jen Consaul pitched a lot in this tournament, with mixed results. At times she was in total control; other times she got hit hard. But looking at her stats, she's always best once conference play rolls around, so I don't worry about her. Sophomore Corinne Schaus had a rough weekend, losing two games in relief. She has to work on cutting down her opponents' batting average. Freshman Jenn Solis pitched about an inning, not enough to make any real assessment, but she was not hit hard.

Canisius will be back at it next weekend with a home game against Edinboro.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Fall Opener Rained Out

The Griffs' scheduled fall ball opener, set for today at Canisius, has been rained out. I guess the drought here has ended! Too bad it had to happen on this day.

It doesn't seem likely this will be rescheduled, so Canisius will open up next weekend at the Nan Harvey Classic.