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Canisius softball heads to Jersey for MAAC doubleheaders


The Canisius softball team closes out the road portion of the 2017 regular season this weekend when the Golden Griffins travel to New Jersey to meet MAAC foes Rider and Monmouth. Canisius is 4-6 in MAAC action after splitting a doubleheader with Siena April 15.

Canisius is 16-26 overall and 4-6 in MAAC play after losing at Robert Morris April 17. The Griffs are 3-1 in their last four MAAC games after last weekend's trip to Albany. The Blue and Gold starts the weekend in seventh place in the MAAC standings. The top-six teams qualify for the MAAC Softball Championship. Canisius' 42 games played (as of April 20) are the most for any team in the conference. As a team, Canisius ranks fifth in the league in team batting average (.270) and fourth in team ERA (3.42). The Griffs are averaging 1.14 stolen bases per game this season. That ranks 100th in the country. Senior Samantha Sharkey leads the squad with 10 steals on 13 tries. Canisius sophomore Lauren Castro ranks among the top-five in the MAAC in five different offensive categories this season. Her 14 doubles leads the league and ranks 23rd in the country. Senior Lindsey Silfer became just the fourth player in program history to reach the 200-career hit milestone April 15 when the team played at Siena.

In its 27th season of MAAC play, Canisius holds an all-time record of 362-142 (.720 win percentage) in MAAC regular-season games.

Rider is 6-29 overall and 1-7 in MAAC play. The Broncs were swept by Columbia on Wednesday in non-league action. Rider has lost four straight and 18 of their last 22, dating back to March 23. As a team, Rider is hitting just .200, and the team has been outscored by a 244-60 count. Freshman pitcher Emily Oltman has won a team-leading four games in the circle for Rider, which enters this weekend with a team ERA of 6.33.

Canisius leads the all-time series with Rider by a 30-14 count. Last season, Canisius swept Rider at home on Senior Day by a combined score of 21-9. Since 2006, the Griffs are 11-0 in Buffalo against the Broncs.

Monmouth is 15-23 overall and 6-4 in MAAC play. The Hawks have split three of their last four MAAC twinbills. At home, Monmouth is 6-4 this season. Senior Justene Reyes is hitting a team-best .353 with 10 doubles, six home runs and 29 runs batted in. Pitcher Amanda Riley leads the MAAC with 156.2 innings of work in the cirlce. She has nine wins, a save and 154 strikeouts to her credit this year.

Monmouth is 5-2 all-time against Canisius after the Griffs swept the Hawks in Buffalo last season. The Griffs and the Hawks never met prior to Monmouth joining the MAAC before the 2013-14 academic year.