Offense thrives, Griffs split weekend series

By Marshall Haim

Sports Editor

    As the end of MAAC play quickly looms over the Canisius softball team, their offensive power was in full force last weekend. The Griffs batted .394 as a team in the pair of doubleheaders against Rider and Monmouth. Despite the offensive outburst, the Griffs ended up splitting the four games, not ideal during such a critical stretch.

Senior Lindsey Silfer led the Griffs with a team-high .786 batting average over the weekend, driving home six runs. She boasted an on-base-percentage of .824.

“I don’t really know, I just kind of went up there and would swing and hit,” Silfer said on her success. “They all weren’t always great hits but it was just like whatever was getting through. I’ve been struggling a little bit, but I just went back to the basics and it started out working for me.”

Four other Griffs sported over .400 batting averages last weekend, including Denver Keller (.467), Sami Sharkey (.455), and Lauren Castro (.438).

“I hope we continue to rally off each other,” Silfer stated. “When we are hitting well, it was like everyone was consistently hitting well. It wasn’t just one person hot, or a couple people hot, it was everyone consistently making contact even if they didn’t get a hit. We still made a lot of great contact.”

For the weekend Castro went 7-for-16, with four of her seven hits being extra-base hits – three doubles and a triple. She drove in eight runs to give her 40 RBI on the season, tying for 10th most in a single season in Canisius history, equaling Silfer’s mark set last year en route to being named MAAC Player of the Year.

“The confidence from last year went up,” Castro said. “I just keep going into every game telling myself that I can do this. That’s all you need – confidence in yourself.”

The sophomore has shown no signs of the dreaded sophomore slump as she currently hits at a .333 clip, with half of her hits (25 out of 50) being extra-base hits. She has seven home runs, tied for fourth in the MAAC and seventh all-time for a single season at Canisius.

Castro led the Griffs attack in the first game last weekend at Rider in a 15-1 thrashing of the Broncs in five-inning mercy-rule shortened game. Castro had a career-high six RBI in the win. She also hit a double and a triple. Junior Moriah Harris had five RBI, four of which came off a grand slam hit in the first inning. The grand slam was her 14th home run of her career, tied for fourth all-time in Canisius history.

The onslaught carried over into the second game as the Griffs pounded out 15 hits in a 13-5 win, giving the Griffs the sweep. Silfer and freshman Gianna Degaltini drove home three runs each in the win. Degaltini hit her first collegiate home run in the win.

For the pair games over Rider, Canisius plated 28 runs on 28 hits. Madi Weathers went the distance in the first game, earning her sixth win of the season. Erika Mackie was the winning pitcher in the second game, scoring a team-high eighth win on the year.

“Hitting is contagious,” Canisius head coach Kim Griffin stated. “We worked on our hitting approach all week and we went in there with a lot of confidence. When a couple players get hot, it makes it a lot easier for everyone to get hot. Just like hitting is contagious, striking out and popping out is contagious. We just rolled this weekend.”

On the stat sheets it may not appear that way, but the Griffs offensive remained red-hot on Sunday before being tamed by Monmouth’s pitching staff. The Hawks claimed victory in both games, winning 7-5 in eight innings before taking the nightcap, 8-2. Canisius mustered 21 hits in the pair of games.

Silfer and sophomore Destiny Holani both hit doubles while driving home a pair of runs in the extra-inning loss. Denver Keller’s two-RBI double in the fifth inning was the lone run support the Griffs earned in the finale against the Hawks. Erika Mackie was the losing pitcher in both contests.

The Griffs opened up a seven-game homestand against St. Bonaventure on Wednesday with an 8-2 loss to the Bonnies. The offense clicked in the fourth inning when the Griffs tied to game up off an RBI single by freshman Sydney Kreimann, before Degaltini hit an RBI double.

St. Bonaventure opened up the gap in the sixth inning plating four runs to take a commanding 7-2 lead over the Griffs. The Bonnies added an insurance run in the seventh.

Canisius (18-29, 6-8 MAAC) continue their homestand with four MAAC games this weekend. The Griffs will welcome last year’s tournament champion, Marist Red Foxes (26-17, 6-6 MAAC), to the Demske Sports Complex on Saturday. Quinnipiac (21-21, 7-5 MAAC) will play guest to Canisius on Sunday for a twin-bill. Both doubleheaders are scheduled for noon starts.

“We need to come to the field with a little more focus and we need to jump out early,” Griffin said on what needs to carry over into this weekend’s . “It’s kind of been the story of our season that we’ve given up a lot early in games and that’s really just a lack of focus and lack of getting locked in and ready to go early on.”

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