It was a beautiful day by the Hudson River as the Marist softball team split their doubleheader against Iona. The game was originally scheduled for Sunday, but a rain out delayed the matchup until Monday.
In the first game of the day, it was a pitcher’s battle which featured Marist freshman pitcher Calista Phippen. The freshman standout was able to strike out eight of Iona’s batters without giving up a single run. She also only allowed three hits in the game as she pitched all seven innings. The Red Foxes came out on top besting Iona 1-0.
While Phippen was keeping Iona swinging, it was the thievery of Marist sophomore Caroline Baratta that won them the game. As Ali Milam stole second in the bottom of the first, Baratta snuck home on a double steal to give the Red Foxes the lead.
“I thought we played great defense around Calista, but we definitely need to get our offense clicking,” Baratta said.
Following an early score in the first, the Red Foxes were able to stay on top for the rest of the game and get the victory.
“I thought Calista pitched really well, we played really solid defense, I think when we do those things and get a timely hit then you’re going to do well,” Marist Head Coach Joe Ausanio said about the team’s effort in the first game.
Once the infield was quickly raked following Marist’s win both teams warmed up then took the field and the second game of the day began.
Starting off the game on the mound for Marist was senior Megan Beiermeister, who lasted until midway into the fifth inning. It was an early start again for the Red Foxes as second baseman Brandi Coon drove in Ali Milam, making it back-to-back games for Marist with runs scored in the first inning. Iona then matched Marist’s run in the second inning making the score 1-1.
The game went into a lull until the bottom of the fourth, when Claire Oberdorf blasted one deep for a solo home run. The bleachers erupted and the team ran to home plate awaiting her to round the bases. Beiermeister was pulled early into the fifth when she allowed the bases to be filled. Once again, it was no other than Calista Phippen, who Coach Ausiano called in to get the Red Foxes out of the tight jam. With only one out on the board, Phippen guided them out of the inning not allowing any runs to score.
“She came in and got us out of that jam,” Ausanio said.
After Marist returned to bat, it was Caroline Baratta, who scored the team’s lone run for them in the first game, who hit one over the fence. The dugout went wild and the cheers echoed across the Hudson as Marist went up 3-1 going into the sixth.
It appeared that the Red Foxes had taken control of the game, but a late comeback by Iona eventually ended their chances of going 2-0 on the day. In the sixth, Phippen let up two runs as Iona battled back to tie the game up at 3-3. Marist couldn’t piece together any runs in their half inning allowing Iona back up to bat.
Iona started the top of the seventh getting runners in scoring position on second and third. Then a shot landed deep into right center, allowing those two runners to score and Iona took the the lead by a score of 5-3. Marist was unable to match those two runs in the bottom of the seventh and they ended the series with a split.
Including her 9 ⅔ innings pitched today, Phippen’s record is now 10-2, with a 1.51 ERA on the season.
“We had a couple of boo-boos in the field and that cost us some unearned runs and that was the difference in the game,” Ausanio said about the team’s performance in the second game.
The Red Foxes now stand one game above .500 at 16-15 overall, and 3-1 in conference play. The game-two loss snapped a five-game winning streak for Marist.
“We are a really close-knit family and when on the field I think we can get some W’s,”
Marist will look to get their next “W” this Thursday with a home non-conference doubleheader against University of Hartford.
Edited by David Salamone
Header photo by Lily Caffrey-Levine