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Trifoso's triple helps NU softball to split at Canisius


BUFFALO -- The Purple Eagles softball team and the Canisius Golden Griffins battled through two close games Sunday afternoon at the Demske Sports Complex. In the first game, Niagara led 2-1 headed to the bottom of the seventh inning, before Canisius tied the game to force extra innings. Both teams scored one run in the eighth inning, but a two-run homer in the bottom of the tenth gave the Golden Griffins a 5-3 win.
Trailing 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning in game two, Sarah Trifoso put Niagara ahead 3-1 on a bases-clearing triple before scoring on a wild pitch to give the Purple Eagles a 4-1 win. Niagara and Canisius split the annual Battle of the Bridge doubleheader for a second consecutive season.

Now sitting in seventh place in the MAAC at 18-25 (9-9 MAAC) on the season, Niagara has two games remaining on Monday against the Siena Saints. Since Niagara does not hold tiebreakers over fifth-place Fairfield (22-26, 11-9 MAAC) or sixth-place Monmouth (22-29, 11-9 MAAC), the Purple Eagles have been eliminated from postseason contention.
Canisius 5, Niagara 3 (10 innings)

  • Niagara was led at the plate in the first game by Maria Gabriele (3-for-4, double) and Kendall Watkins (2-for-4, double, home run, 2 RBI). Sierra Bertrand pitched the full game and tossed 11 strikeouts, allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits.
  • After Canisius took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Jerri Ann Orfano led off the top of the second with a home run over the left field wall to tie the game at one.
  • The Purple Eagles took their first lead of the day with another home run, as Kendall Watkins sent a full-count pitch over the wall in center field for a solo home run to make it 2-1 Niagara.
  • Bertrand yielded just one hit through the fifth and sixth innings, but Canisius tied the game with a one-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings.
  • With two outs in the top of the eighth, Watkins picked up her second RBI of the game, driving a double to right field and bringing Sarah March home to make it 3-2, but Canisius would match the Purple Eagles to send the game to a ninth inning.
  • After a scoreless ninth inning, Niagara went three up, three down in the top of the tenth. In the bottom of the inning, Samantha Sharkey led off with a single for Canisius before Lauren Castro ended the game with a two-run home run, giving the Golden Griffins the 5-3 win.
Niagara 4, Canisius 1

  • Jennifer Szilagyi picked up the complete-game win for the Purple Eagles to close the day's action, throwing three strikeouts and holding Canisius to just one run on eight hits. Sarah Trifoso powered Niagara to victory with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate to go with three RBI and one run scored. Bridget HoganSarah March, and Jerri Ann Orfano also picked up hits.
  • The Golden Griffins were able to secure the first run of the game in the bottom of the second. After two straight outs to lead off the inning, Canisius picked up three straight singles, with a base hit down the right field line from Lauren Silfer giving Canisius the 1-0 lead.
  • Trifoso and March led off the top of the third for Niagara with singles, but the Purple Eagles could not drive the tying run across home.
  • Canisius picked up three hits in the bottom of the fifth, but Sarah March threw out a Canisius runner at home to close the inning and keep the Purple Eagles within one.
  • Orfano led off the top of the sixth with a single, and Niagara put runners on first and second after a throwing error by Canisius. The Golden Griffins then picked up two straight outs before Niagara's offense broke through.
  • After Szilagyi walked to load the bases, Trifoso sent a triple deep to the right field gap, clearing the bases and putting the Purple Eagles up 3-1. In the next at-bat, Trifoso crossed home on a wild pitch to push the lead to 4-1.
  • Szilagyi picked up two strikeouts in the final two innings and did not allow a hit to give Niagara the 4-1 win and the split at Canisius.
Up Next

  • The Purple Eagles conclude the 2017 season on Monday morning with a doubleheader against the Siena Saints at 10 a.m. at Niagara Softball Field.
Stay connected with the Purple Eagles through social media. Follow Niagara Athletics on Twitter @NUPurpleEagles and for softball updates, follow Niagara Softball on Twitter and Instagram. Check in with the Purple Eagles on Facebook.com/PurpleEagles and on Instagram @NUPurpleEagles.