LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The phrase “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” could most definitely be used to sum up what was a wild day of play for Siena Softball (18-14, 7-1) at Siena Softball Field. The Saints came back to take a 12-inning victory over MAAC rival Iona (15-16, 5-3) before falling, 4-1, to round out doubleheader action.
Siena 7, Iona 6 (12)
In what ended up matching Siena’s longest outing by inning since 2003, the Saints mounted an extra-inning comeback to come out victors in what was a marathon event for both participants. Following two innings of scoreless action to start, the Gaels got on the board first with a two-run home run in the top of the third, while the Saints answered in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single from junior Emma McLaughlin and an RBI ground out from classmate Shannon Bonewit. The teams would keep pace through regulation, with an RBI single in the fifth giving Iona a 3-2 lead, and the Saints tying it back up as freshman Ashley Giampolo came home following a pair of errors.
Iona left the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to set up what was back-and-forth action for five straight innings with no scoring. The Gaels finally broke through in the top of the twelfth, with three runs coming home on an RBI single and a fielder’s choice. Siena did not count itself out despite a three-run home, with three straight hits to open the innings setting up a furious comeback effort. Junior Jocelyn Ulrich sent in a pair of runs on an RBI double, while an RBI single from senior Sabrina Vargas knotted the game at six. Senior Ava Fitzmaurice would plate Vargas as the game’s winning run on a sacrifice fly, giving the Green and Gold its first-ever 7-0 start to MAAC play.
Siena put forth an impressive 17 hits in the win, with seven players turning in multi-hit outings and McLaughlin going 3-5 to lead the team offensively. Freshman pitcher Adriana Romano struck out six in four and one-third no-decision innings to start the game, while Fitzmaurice retired three via the strikeout in an astonishing 106-pitch, seven-inning relief appearance. Junior Allison Speshyock (1-3) earned her first win of the year in the circle in two-thirds of an inning, retiring both batters that she faced.
Iona 4, Siena 1
The Gaels finally became the first conference team to get to the Saints in game two, with late-inning runs sealing the deal. Following four scoreless frames, Iona’s Jaime Sheeran launched a two-run home run to center field to get the visitors on the board, while the Saints responded in the bottom of the inning by loading up the bases for freshman Kyleigh Potter to walk in a run.
The Saints would strand four runs over the final three innings, however, with the Gaels bringing in two more runs in the tops of the sixth via an RBI fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded walk of their own. Siena mustered only four hits in the loss, with Ulrich gaining two to steady the team. Junior Nicole Patille (5-4) took the loss despite fanning six batters over five and one-third innings, while Romano struck out three more batters during the final inning and two-thirds.
Siena will conclude an early weekend of action with one of its earliest starts ever on Saturday morning. In an effort to beat out impending inclement weather, the Saints will begin doubleheader action against Canisius in Loudonville at 8 AM on Saturday, April 16.