The Canisius College softball team battled its way into the Metro Atlantic Athletic Tournament Championship contest, winning games against Fairfield (9-1) and St. Peter's (6-2), before bowing out 2-1 to Niagara Saturday afternoon at Marist College.
With the championship final knotted 1-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Niagara's Desi Prezioso singled in Lauren Huk to give the Purple Eagles a 2-1 victory.
Niagara got on the scoreboard in the third inning when Barbara Hill singled in Kim Fox.
Canisius answered in the top of the fifth on a Jen Silata RBI single, which scored Nicole Guadagna, who led off the inning with a base hit.
Griffin hurler Kristina Chavez (8-10) got the tough-luck loss after throwing 6 1/3 innings and allowing five hits and two earned runs.
The Griffs had a rocky start in the MAAC Tournament as they lost their first game 10-0 to Fairfield Friday afternoon. Canisius made seven errors in the game and gave up eight unearned runs in its first tournament loss since 1992.
Facing elimination in the second game, the Griffs rebounded with a 6-2 victory over St. Peter's.
With the score tied 2-2 and the bases loaded in the top of the seventh inning, Canisius senior left fielder Sue Raiport knocked a grand slam over the center field fence. Griffin pitcher Erin Crowley got the Peahens in order in the bottom of the inning to preserve the victory, her 12th of the season.
In a back and forth battle, Canisius tallied the first run of the contest on a Silata single, which scored Raquel Alvarez, who reached with a base hit.
The Peahens tied the game 1-1 with a run in the bottom of the fourth, but Canisius retook the lead in the top of the sixth on an RBI single by freshman Lynn Stoczynski, which drove in Silata. St. Peter's Kathy Venable answered with a solo homer in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 2-2.
Crowley pitched the complete game, allowing 11 hits but just two runs
With a 1-1 tourney record, Canisius earned a rematch against Fairfield in an elimination game Saturday afternoon.
The Griffs jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning en route to the 9-1 victory. Alvarez and Tracy Horvath reached base with consecutive singles. Silata doubled, scoring Alvarez, and Raiport drove in Horvath and Silata with a double. Sophomore Jacqueline Fusco drove in Raiport with a triple, and freshman Janice Hoeltke scored Fusco with an RBI single.
Crowley (13-4) earned her 13th victory of the season and second of the tournament, pitching six innings and allowing seven hits and no earned runs.
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