NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS
NIAGARA FALLS -- The Purple Eagles softball team concluded the 2017 campaign on Monday afternoon with a doubleheader against the Siena Saints for Senior Day. After being eliminated from contention for a spot in the MAAC Softball Championships on Sunday, the Purple Eagles picked up a split against second-ranked Siena, coming back to take a 3-2 win to open the day before Siena wrapped up the twinbill with a 3-1 win of their own.
Niagara (19-26, 10-10 MAAC) picked up ten conference wins for the first time since 2008, and the 19 wins were the most for the team since recording a 22-22 record in 2010. The Senior Day doubleheader concluded the careers of five Niagara seniors: Erin Bohan, Bridget Hogan, Sarah March, Alexandra Moore, and Chanelle Ward.
Hogan, who broke the Niagara single-season doubles record Apr. 29 versus Quinnipiac, picked up two more doubles on Senior Day to mark the new program record at 20. She also finished fourth in single-season hits (58) and ended up tying Nicole Sum (2004-07) for second all-time with 37 career doubles.
Niagara 3, Siena 2
- Six Purple Eagles picked up one hit apiece in the first game of the day, with redshirt-junior Bridget Hogan and senior Chanelle Ward each batting 1-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.
- Sierra Bertrand picked up her team-best 11th win of the season in the circle, allowing two runs on three hits in five innings and picking up one strikeout. Reliever Emily Johnston picked up her first career save, striking out four batters in the final two innings of the game and allowing just one hit to the Saints.
- The Saints took a quick lead to start Monday's action in the first inning. After a leadoff walk from Jazmin Ortiz and a single from Paige Hess, Madysen Cossack brought both runners home with a double into the left field gap. Niagara's leading three batters struck out as Siena held the 2-0 lead after one inning of play.
- Both teams went hitless in the second and third innings. The Purple Eagles threatened to score in the bottom of the fourth after three walks loaded the bases with two outs on the board, but Maria Gabriele grounded out to end the inning.
- After Siena went three up, three down in the top of the fifth, Niagara led off the bottom of the inning with a single up the middle from senior catcher Erin Bohan. Bailey Stayner pinch ran for Bohan and advanced to third as Siena put two outs on the board against Niagara.
- Stayner scored on a quick single down the right field line from Ward, and in the next at-bat, Hogan lined a base hit to the left field wall, scoring Ward from first and giving Hogan her team-best 19th double of the season to make it 2-2.
- The next batter for Niagara was Kendall Watkins, and she lined a double into left center field that scored Hogan to give Niagara its first lead of the day at 3-2. Pinch runner and senior Alexandra Moore ran home on the play, but was thrown out at home to close the inning.
- Johnston took over for Bertrand in the circle to start the sixth inning, and Siena went three up, three down with the reliever picking up two strikeouts for the Purple Eagles. Taylor Moody picked up a single in the bottom of the sixth for Niagara, but the lead remained at 3-2.
- Siena put its first two batters on base in the top of the seventh, but Niagara forced a pop out before Johnston struck out the final two batters to take the win.
Siena 3, Niagara 1
- Jennifer Szilagyi started the final game of the Purple Eagles' season in the circle, going six innings and throwing one strikeout, allowing six hits and three runs. Emily Johnston did not allow a hit in one inning of relief.
- After a scoreless first inning, Jerri Ann Orfano led off the bottom of the second for Niagara and ripped a full-count pitch over the left field wall, her sixth home run of the season and second in as many days, to make it 1-0 Niagara.
- Siena reclaimed the lead in the top of the third; after Jess Vollmer led off with a single over the left side of the Niagara defense, Madysen Cossack homered to right field to make it a 2-1 ball game.
- Niagara put Siena's first two batters out in the top of the fourth, but Vollmer picked up an RBI double on a base hit to right center field to push the lead to 3-1.
- The Purple Eagles put Siena three up, three down in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, but only found one hit in that time as the Saints held on to earn the split in the season finale.
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