Sockwell, Mackie highlight weekend sweeps of Saint Peter’s and Manhattan

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Brittany Sockwell homered three times last weekend in the Griffs’ four-win weekend in the New York City area. (Marshall Haim/The Griffin)

By Marshall Haim

Sports Editor

A three-home run weekend for sophomore Brittany Sockwell and a trio of complete game shutouts from senior pitcher Erika Mackie helped Canisius extend their win streak to five games after a trip to the New York City area last weekend.

The Griffs got out to a great start scoring six runs in the first inning on the Peacocks, who have yet to win a conference game. Canisius would add a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings, enabling the mercy-rule to be put in place after five innings of play.

Mackie earned the victory in the circle, scattering five hits while striking out four.

In the nightcap of the doubleheader, Saint Peter’s would get an early 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI double but the Griffs would score seven unanswered runs to earn the sweep of the Peacocks.

Emily Nicosia would toss a three-hit complete game for the Griffs. The freshman would walk one and strike out five.

Lindsi Dennis put the nail in the coffin for Canisius with a two-RBI triple in the sixth inning. The freshman would have a team-high four RBIs while going 3-for-6 at the plate in the two-game series.

Fellow freshman Erin Hufford went 6-for-8 in the pair of games while driving home three runs. Gianna Degaltini, Destiny Holani and Sue Vi all chipped in with two RBIs each.

As a team, Canisius batted .423 (22-for-52) against Saint Peter’s while striking out just five times in 63 plate appearances. It was the 23rd and 24th victories over the Peacocks in the last 26 meetings, dating back to 2006.

Offense came at a premium last Sunday in Riverdale as both teams would only be able to muster 12 hits combined in the 14 innings.

In the first game, Brittany Sockwell had the lone hit for Canisius, a solo home run in the second inning, in a 1-0 victory.

Her home run did come with some controversy, however.

During the at-bat, Sockwell was hit by a pitch and was awarded first base. Upon discussion from the umpiring crew, it was deemed that she had leaned into the pitch and was called back into the batter’s box. Following a foul ball, Sockwell would hit the home run.

“The pitch hit me, it did,” she said emphatically. “They said that I leaned into it but that’s just apart of my swing. They called me back and that made me really mad. I just used that anger, I guess.”

Sockwell also added another home run in the latter game of the doubleheader, giving her three home runs on the weekend. It was the first time a Canisius player had hit three home runs in a single weekend since Lauren Castro last year on April 29 and 30.

The three-home run weekend is something that not only Sockwell feeds off of, but the team as a whole.

“I know seeing myself constantly getting hits and helping my team out with the runs, it really gives confidence and that’s not just me either,” Sockwell said, “it gives a lot of people confidence knowing they can go in the box and hit it just as well. I know everyone can do it. It not only gives me confidence but it gives everyone else confidence and that’s what’s going to help us get wins.”

Morgan Altman hit her fourth home run of the season in the second game of twinbill, aiding Canisius to the 2-0 victory. It would wind up being the Griffs’ fifth straight victory and would be the first time that Canisius swept the Jaspers since 2009.

“It was huge to go on the road and come up with four wins,” Canisius head coach Kim Griffin said. “Four games that we expect to win, but at the same time, dropping a game to one of those teams can be a big deal when it comes down to tournament time.”

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Senior Erika Mackie had three complete game shutouts last weekend, including two in one day. (Marshall Haim/The Griffin)

Mackie pitched both games against Manhattan allowing just eight hits in 14 innings of work. In the weekend, Mackie would pitch 19 innings, yielding 13 hits, no runs, one walk and 13 strikeouts.

“Everything just flowed,” Mackie said. “Jocelyn’s [Cater] pitch calling was great. Coach Ray [Hennessy] made a couple of plays with pitchouts. Everything kind of flowed together, everything that we’ve been working on. My pitches were working, things were staying low and dropping, it just kept rolling.”

The pitching was also solid for the Griffs as they only allowed 16 hits and one run in 26 innings of work, leading to a 0.27 ERA. Both Mackie and Nicosia walked one batter and struck out a combined 18 batters for a 0.69 WHIP.

Griffin admitted that it wasn’t initially planned to have Mackie start both games on Sunday, either.

“My initial thought was to go to Emily in game two and if Emily got in any trouble at all we’d go right back to Erika,” Griffin said. “Jocelyn actually was like, ‘Why don’t we go to Erika?’ She only threw 80 pitches, she’s got a lot of gas in the tank. I thought that was a fantastic idea and it paid off, although I did not expect her to go two complete games.”

Hufford would have the best batting average amongst the team, going 6-for-12 in the weekend while driving home three runs. She also was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week on Tuesday.

Sockwell went 5-for-12 at the plate (.417) while driving home four runs, tying a team-best with Lindsi Dennis. Four of Sockwell’s five hits went for extra bases (one triple, three home runs). She boasted an impressive 1.333 slugging percentage and a 1.795 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS).

Canisius opens a 10-game homestand this weekend with a doubleheader against Monmouth on Saturday and a twinbill against Rider on Sunday. The Griffs also host Siena on Tuesday for a weekday doubleheader.

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