Griffs to host Robert Morris in home opener Sunday

 

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Gianna Degaltini and Canisius softball will host Robert Morris on Sunday in the team’s home opener. (Marshall Haim/The Griffin file photo)

 

By Marshall Haim

Sports Editor

After spending five of the last six weekends on eight-plus hour bus rides to southern locales for weekend-long tournaments, Canisius softball is gearing up to open their slate of home games.

Canisius will host Robert Morris in a doubleheader Sunday at the Demske Sports Complex. The first game will begin at 4 p.m.

It is the second time that the Griffs will be going up against Robert Morris this season. Both teams squared off in the Cleveland State Dome Invite on Feb. 11 with Canisius winning, 4-3.

Morgan Altman drove home Denver Keller to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning with an RBI double down the right field line.

Since then the Griffs have won just two games in their last 16 contests. The team is currently on an eight-game losing streak, their second such streak of the season.

Canisius is coming off being swept in last weekend’s five-game tournament in Greensboro, N.C. For the weekend, the team batted .190 (23-of-121), plating just eight runs.

They have scored at least four runs — their season-high so far — on four occasions. Their .187 team batting average is the third worst in Division I, through Wednesday’s games.

In last weekend’s action, sophomore shortstop Gianna Degaltini led the team with a .385 average (5-of-13) with a double and two RBIs. Kara Paradowski (.286) and Keller (.273) were the only other Canisius players with a batting average over .200 last weekend.

Pitching has become heavily reliant on Erika Mackie, Emily Nicosia and Molly Hennessy now that Lauren Castro is out for the remainder of the season with a torn ACL and meniscus.

Mackie pitched in all five games last weekend, making three starts while throwing 19⅓ innings. The left-handed senior had a 3.98 ERA in the weekend tournament, the lowest amongst four pitchers used.

Nicosia started the other two games that Mackie did not start throwing just 7⅔ innings, allowing 11 hits, walking nine and striking out four.

Molly Hennessy, a junior transfer, threw four innings in two relief appearances for the Griffs giving up six runs and five hits.

Freshman Erin Hufford made her collegiate pitching debut last Friday in a 7-4 loss to UNC Greensboro throwing one inning for the Griffs. Hufford is no stranger to the circle where she spent a vast majority of her high school career while at St. Mary’s of Lancaster.

Robert Morris, like Canisius, is also coming off being swept in a five-game tournament. The Colonials lost their last four contests in the Miami (Ohio) Tournament all in mercy-rule shortened games to the host RedHawks, IPFW, Michigan and Dayton.

The Colonials (6-20) have lost eight of their last 10 contests, including their last six. In their six-game losing streak, Robert Morris has been outscored 53-4. Canisius in their eight-game losing streak has been outscored by their opposition 53-17.

Robert Morris heavily relies on their offense to keep them in games as their pitching has been exploited this year. RMU has allowed eight or more runs in 11 of their 26 games.

This weekend would be an opportune time for the Griffs to get their offense clicking.

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