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Purple Eagles softball set to make up games with Monmouth

NIAGARA UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- Winners in five of their last six outings, the Niagara softball team will take on the Monmouth Hawks on Wednesday, May 2 for a doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. The games will be played at the Onondaga Softball Complex in Syracuse, N.Y. after rain postponed the meetings, which were originally scheduled for Sunday, April 29 at Niagara Softball Field. The doubleheader against the University at Buffalo has subsequently been cancelled.
 
Last Time Out

  • Niagara took on the Rider Broncs on Monday at Niagara Falls High School and walked away with a split to remain at .500 in conference play.
  • Rider won the first game, 3-1, but the Purple Eagles came back to win game two, 2-0, on the back of Jennifer Szilagyi's first no-hitter at the collegiate level.
  • Szilagyi struck out nine batters in 7.0 innings while allowing one walk. Two additional defensive errors gave Rider three total baserunners for the game.
  • It was Niagara's first no-hitter in 366 days, as Sierra Bertrand threw one of her own against Quinnipiac on April 29, 2017.

On the Field: Niagara Purple Eagles (15-28, 7-7 MAAC)

  • Niagara took a 28-inning shutout streak into Monday's games before Rider cut it off in the opening inning of the first game. It was the longest such streak for the Purple Eagles in at least 15 years.
  • Niagara ranks fourth in the MAAC this season with a .959 team fielding percentage, but has more individual players in the top 10 than any other school. Rachel Funk is tied for fourth (.987) while Jerri Ann Orfano and Sarah Trifoso sit tied for fifth (.986).
  • Niagara pitchers have only thrown 10 wild pitches this season, the fewest of any staff in the MAAC. Additionally, Niagara catchers have only allowed three passed balls, also the best of all conference teams.
  • Orfano leads the Purple Eagles in hits with 38, and is also tied for fifth in the MAAC with six home runs. Orfano also leads the team with 29 RBI, which currently ranks third in the conference.
  • Kendall Watkins' .400 on-base percentage is a team-high and also ranks 13th in the MAAC.
  • In the circle, Sierra Bertrand (7-11) leads the Purple Eagle pitching staff with 83 strikeouts in 107.0 innings pitched. She has an ERA of 3.79 in 21 appearances for Niagara.
  • Reliever Emily Johnston has four saves on the season, a program record. She now has five for her career, tied for the most all-time as a Purple Eagle.

On the Field: Monmouth Hawks (23-14, 13-1 MAAC)

  • The league-leading Hawks come to town with the lone overall winning record in the MAAC and hold a three-game lead over Siena in the conference standings. They are the first and only team to have clinched a spot in next weekend's MAAC Tournament.
  • Monmouth is coming off a 2-0 weekend after a sweep of Canisius. They won their first game, 17-6 in six innings by way of the run rule, then ended their second game in the fifth inning, 9-1, by once again run-ruling the Golden Griffins.
  • Monmouth's pitching staff has only given out 94 walks this season in 242.1 innings of play. They remain the only school in the conference with fewer than 100 on the year.
  • From the plate, the team has a .354 on-base percentage, the highest in the conference.
  • Katie Baron leads all MAAC batters with a .412 batting average and is tied for third overall in hits (47) and on-base percentage (.492).
  • Amanda Riley has the team's best ERA (2.67) and the best win-loss ratio in the conference (14-4). Additionally, Riley has held opposing batters to a .203 average, also best in the MAAC.

Up Next

  • Niagara will close out the regular season with two conference doubleheaders on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6.
  • Saturday's doubleheader with Fairfield will feature a tribute to the 1998 MAAC Championship team that made the NCAA Tournament. An alumni brunch will be held at the Russell J. Salvatore Dining Commons at 10:30 a.m., followed by an on-field pregame ceremony with several members of the team. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m.
  • Sunday's set against Iona will be Niagara's Senior Day, celebrating the accomplishments of Brianna Clark, Taylor Moody and Sarah Trifoso. The trio will be the focus of a pregame ceremony prior to the 11 a.m. first pitch.