Softball suffers defeat in first conference game of season

Niagara University, N.Y. — The Niagara University softball team suffered a two-loss defeat against Iona College on April 1. Unfortunately for the Purple Eagles, April Fool’s Day brought about a pair of losses in their first MAAC conference doubleheader of the year.

Conditions weren’t ideal for a pair of softball games, as temperatures registered in the low 40s along with some cold wind chills.

Niagara fell just short against Iona in the first contest of the day, losing 5-4.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the third inning when sophomore Maria Gabrielle hit a double, scoring Bridget Hogan. Iona would bounce right back in the bottom of the third, bringing in two scores of their own.

The game stayed at 2-1 until the top of the fifth inning when Jerri Ann Orfano crushed a home run bringing in two RBIs. Niagara led 3-2 at the end of the fifth.

Orfano continued to have a big game with a single which brought in another run putting the Purple Eagles up by two until the bottom of the sixth.

As Niagara hung on to a two-run lead, Iona came out swinging in the sixth and would end the inning with five hits.

Kimberly Chiaperelli of Iona, tied the game at four with a two-run homer. Immediately following, Hailey Thompson hit a double, putting herself in position to give Iona the lead.

With two runners on second and third, Marisa Gergel grounded out to Niagara’s shortstop bringing in Thompson to put Iona up 5-4.

Niagara did not respond in the top of the seventh and would lose the game after putting up a strong effort.

The Purple Eagles would go on to the second game of the doubleheader losing by a margin of five, 6-1. Niagara tallied seven hits but were unable to bring more than one run and in result, fell to their second defeat of the day against Iona.

Niagara’s next pair of conference games are on Apr. 2, against Fairfield. The games will be played at noon and 2 P.M. The women’s home opener is scheduled for Apr. 5 as a non-conference game against Youngstown State University and is set to be played at 3 and 5 P.M.

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