The Marist Red Foxes entered the day in a must-win situation having lost the previous day 5-2 to the Canisius Golden Griffins. On this day, they faced off against the three-seeded Siena Saints in a game that ended up with hard-fought pitching between junior Kiley Myers of the Red Foxes and senior Ava Fitzmaurice of the Saints. Unfortunately for Marist, they were the ones on the losing end as Fitzmaurice and the Saints beat the Red Foxes decisively 3-1 and put an end to Marist’s season.
The Red Foxes got the scoring started with one run in the first inning. It couldn’t have happened without some heads up baserunning by junior right fielder Shea Walsh, who stole second and managed to reach third base on an overthrow into the outfield. Walsh’s quick feet on the basepaths allowed sophomore third baseman Miah McDonald to drive her in with a two-out single.
The Saints didn’t take long to even the score as they were able to respond in the bottom of the second inning with a two-out single up the middle from junior first baseman Emma McLaughlin, who drove in junior second baseman Shannon Bonewit from second to score, evening the score at 1-1.
Despite getting the early run, Fitzmaurice was for the most part dealing on the mound the rest of the way, she retired the next six batters, although she did run into some trouble in the fourth. In that inning, McDonald collected her second hit of the game as she smacked a single into right field to lead off the inning. Shortly after she stole second base and sophomore second baseman Alyssa Grupp worked a walk, pinch hitter senior outfielder Alyssa Yarem followed suit, which loaded the bases with two outs for senior left fielder Hailee Jantorno.
Needing only a single to take the lead, Jantorno was unable to come up in a big spot, grounding out to second base to end the inning. Fitzmaurice was able to dodge a massive bullet. Luckily for Fitzmauirce the Saints would help her out on offense, scoring two runs in the next half inning. The first came from junior catcher Jocelyn Ulriuch who hit an RBI double, giving the Saints a 2-1 lead. Moments later, Ulrich stole third base on a wild pitch. Then she was able to score after an error from Myers, giving the Saints a 3-1 lead.
The Red Foxes had their chances, but had no answers for Fitzmaurice, who mowed down the Red Foxes with no problems. She retired nine batters in a row to finish the game, and crushed the hopes of the Red Foxes. They end their season with an agonizing 3-1 defeat.
“You can’t go up to a championship [tournament] and score three, two, and one run in three games and expect to win, it’s just not going to happen. Offensively, our balls didn’t find holes and we didn’t get the timely hit when we needed it. It’s been the same thing all year,” said a frustrated Marist head coach Joe Ausanio after the loss.
Marist ended their season with bitter disappointment after being preseason favorites, failing to even make the MAAC Championship game. Next season they will be without their sensational shortstop graduate student Caroline Baratta, who has won back-to-back MAACA Defensive Player of the Year awards and finished her career with a program record 241 hits.
The Red Foxes will have to wait until next season to get back on the diamond and hope to get back to the MAAC Conference Tournament.
Edited by Ricardo Martinez
Photo from Stockton Photo