Altman’s walk-off double highlights opening weekend

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Morgan Altman hit a game-winning RBI double in the Griffs’ lone win on Sunday against Robert Morris in the Cleveland State Dome Invite. (Tom Wolf/Canisius College file photo)

By Marshall Haim

Sports Editor

The lone win for the Canisius softball program in their first series of games this weekend in Cleveland came in large part by sophomore outfielder Morgan Altman on Sunday.

Gianna Degaltini sparked the comeback by hitting a leadoff single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Griffs trailed Robert Morris, 3-2. Denver Keller, who was pinch hitting for Sam Crane, would rope an RBI double down the left field line scoring Degaltini from first base. Keller would advance to third base on a throwing error.

Altman would then seal the game up by hitting a laser of her own – an RBI double – down the right field line giving Canisius their first victory of the season.

Lauren Castro earned the start for the Griffs throwing 3 1/3 innings, allowing two hits, two runs, walking one and striking out a pair. Emily Nicosia would earn her first collegiate victory after coming in relief for Castro and throwing 3 2/3 innings. She struck out three while allowing five hits and one run.

Canisius lost their other game Sunday against Cleveland State, 2-1. A two-run home run by Cleveland State’s Riley Reis in the first inning would be the difference in the Griffs’ final game of the Cleveland State Dome Invite.

Seven different players recorded hits for the Griffs in the game, including a triple by Altman. The lone run scored by Canisius came off a Vikings throwing error following a Degaltini single in the top of the sixth that scored Sue Vi.

Kara Paradowski, Erin Hufford and Vi each had a stolen base in the loss. Erika Mackie earned the loss despite throwing her second complete game in as many starts. The senior allowed just three hits and two runs while fanning four.

In the first two games of the invite, Canisius lost to Bowling Green in six innings, 8-0, and to Cleveland State, 6-3.

Bowling Green would put the game out of reach for Canisius after plating three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, enabling the Falcons to take the victory in a mercy-rule shortened game. Cassie Ho, Paradowski and Lindsi Dennis were the only Griffs players that were able to muster hits against Bowling Green’s Meredith Miller, who pitched a three-hit shutout. She struck out 11 Canisius batters.

In the nightcap on Saturday, a sacrifice fly by Keller in the first inning and a two-run double by Ashley Barnett in the bottom of the fourth inning would pan out to be the only runs Canisius would get against the host Vikings. Nicosia, who earned her first collegiate start, would throw five innings allowing eight hits and four runs, all of which were earned. Sloppy pitching would plague the Griffs as they would combine to have five wild pitches.

Next weekend the Griffs will travel to the Sunshine State as Canisius will play in the Jacksonville Spring Invite at the Debbie & Fred Pruitt Softball Complex. The Griffs will have a pair of games on Friday against UT Arlington (1 p.m) and Jacksonville (6 p.m.) before playing two more games on Saturday against Providence (noon) and North Florida (5 p.m.). The team closes out the tournament against South Dakota State at 9 a.m. on Sunday.

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