Courtesy: Fairfield University

Softball Opens MAAC Play with Sweep of Niagara

Courtesy: Fairfield University
April 02, 2017

FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield University softball team opened the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) portion of its schedule by sweeping Niagara University at Alumni Softball Field, winning the opener by an 8-3 score and the second game by a 2-0 count. Amanda Ulzheimer recorded five of the team's 19 hits on the day, while Tori Reed added three hits and a pair of RBI to the cause.

The Stags found themselves behind early as Niagara parlayed two hits and a hard-hit fielder's choice into a first-inning run off starter Destinee Pallotto. But, Fairfield's offense came to play today and showed just that with three straight multi-run innings beginning with a pair in the second frame. With two outs and a runner on first, three straight Stags reached base including Rachel Sieber, who lined a two-run single down the first base line to put Fairfield in front 2-1.

In their next at-bat, Fairfield added two more runs after Angelina McGuire lofted a sacrifice fly to center field and Gianna Kinhoffer followed with a run-scoring double that doubled the team's score to 4-1. The fourth inning put the game out of reach as the home team posted three more runs, highlighted by Reed's two-run triple and Courtney Hankins' RBI single.

Niagara cut into the deficit with a single run in the fifth, but Fairfield collected a run in the bottom half of the inning to regain its six-run lead, 8-2. Ulzhemier brought home that fifth-inning run with a base hit. The Purple Eagles threatened in the seventh inning and managed to scratch one more run against Pallotto before the righthander put down the visitors with a ground out back to the pitcher.

Pallotto collected her sixth win of the season, allowing 12 hits and no walks while fanning two hitters. 

In the second game, pitcher Karisa Hughen tossed a masterpiece that saw just four Purple Eagles reach base. Niagara managed four hits and one walk against the sophomore, but each time Hughen was able to end the threat without surrendering a run. She struck out five hitters in earning her second win of the week, besting Sacred Heart on Wednesday by a 2-1 margin.

Fairfield scored all the game's runs in its first at-bat of the game, a rally started by Ulzheimer's opposite field single to lead off the inning. The freshman stole her 12th base of the season to put herself in scoring position. After the next two Stags were retired without moving the runner to third base, Hankins followed with an RBI single that made the score 1-0. Lacey Olaff walked to send Hankins into scoring position, a key play because McGuire added another RBI single to the inning's tally.

The Stags will host Canisius on Monday afternoon beginning at 12:30 pm, a doubleheader which was postponed on Saturday due to weather.




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