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Canisius softball wins pair in extra innings


BUFFALO -- The Canisius softball team scored a pair of extra-inning wins on Sunday at the Demske Sports Complex, beating Quinnipiac 4-3 in eight innings before coming back to defeat the Bobcats 7-6 in eight frames. The wins, which snapped the Golden Griffins' five game losing skid, improve the Blue and Gold to 20-31 overall and 8-10 in MAAC play, while Quinnipiac fell to 21-25 overall and 7-9 in conference action.

In the first game, junior Moriah Harris dopped a single into left in the home-half of the eighth to push sophomore Lauren Castro across the plate to give the Blue and Gold the 4-3 victory. In the nightcap, sophomore Denver Keller knocked in the game-winning run in the eighth with a single to center that allowed senior Samantha Sharkey to score from second base. The pair of extra-innings wins improved Canisius to 5-6 on the year in games that went to additional frames.

Junior pitcher Madi Weathers came on in relief in both games and earned the wins in the circle for Canisius. She is now 8-11 on the year. In the first game, Weathers threw three innings of perfect relief for the Griffs en route to the victory, and in the second game, she came on in relief Castro in the eighth and earned the win after allowing just one base runner, who reached via an error. Weathers is now tied with teammate Erika Mackie for the team lead in pitching victories this season.

In the first game, Canisius led 3-1 after three innings thanks to a three-run homer off the bat of Castro, her team-leading 10th home run of the season. Quinnipiac tied the game at 3-3 with two runs in the fifth, but the Griffs had two runners on in the home-half of the seventh before Quinnipiac pitcher Casey Herzog got a pop-up to end the threat. In the extra inning, after Weathers retired the Bobcats in order, Castro reached second with a one-out double to the gap in right center, and she would later come around to score on Harris' single to left that fell just out of the reach of three defenders who were closing in on the ball.

Castro had two of the Griffs' five hits in the game one victory, while Harris, senior Lindsey Silfer and freshman Gianna Degaltini also had hits in the win. Herzog took the loss in the circle for Quinnipiac after she allowed four runs on five hits while fanning seven in 7.2 innings of work.

In the second game, Canisius took a 6-4 lead in the fifth thanks to a four-run frame that saw the Griffs send eight batters to the plate. The key hit came off the bat of sophomore Destiny Holani, who drove in a pair of runs with a single back up the middle with two outs in the inning. Quinnipiac scored twice in its half of the seventh to knot the game at 6-6. Canisius had the game-winning run on third in the seventh with one out, but Herzog, who came back into the game in a relief appearance, got two strikeouts to end the Griffs' chances to win the game in the last inning.

In the eighth, Sharkey reached on an infield hit and advanced to second on a throwing error by the Quinnipiac defense. After Castro was intentionally walked, Keller ripped a ball to center that fell just out of the reach of a diving Quinnipiac outfielder, allowing Sharkey to score the game-winning tally easily. Canisius had 17 hits in the game two victory, with seven different players recording multiple hits in the win for the Blue and Gold. Harris ended the second game by going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored for Canisius, while Holani knocked in three runs.

Canisius will close out the 2017 regular season at home next Sunday, May 7, when the team hosts long-time rival Niagara at the Demske Sports Complex. The MAAC doubleheader will begin at 4 p.m.