NEW ROCHELLE, New York – The Marist softball team received a complete game two-hit shutout from red-shirt senior Jessica Van Alphen as the third-seeded Red Foxes defeated top-seeded Iona 3-0 in an elimination game in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship on Thursday.
Van Alphen (13-3) struck out six and walked just one. She threw 61 of her 95 pitches for strikes. She retired the last 11 Gaels for her ninth complete game and fourth shutout of the season. Van Alphen also pitched out of two bases-loaded jams -= one with two outs in the second, and one with one out in the fourth.
The Red Foxes gave Van Alphen all the runs she needed with a three-run first inning. Sophomore Casey Page drew a five-pitch leadoff walk, and junior Miranda Perez laid down a bunt for a single. Senior Janna Korak then followed with a double to the right-center gap, which brought home Page and Perez and gave Korak the program's single-season record for RBIs. One hitter later, senior Rebecca Freeman brought home Korak with an RBI groundout.
Marist outhit Iona, 5-2. Perez led the Red Foxes with two hits. Katie Newton had both of Iona's hits, a pair of singles.
Marnie Skinner (8-9) pitched a complete game with five strikeouts for Iona.
Marist returns to action on Friday, when the Red Foxes face fourth-seeded Manhattan in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. If Marist wins, the Red Foxes will then face the loser of the Monmouth-Fairfield game (11 a.m.) immediately afterward.
Notes: Van Alphen pitched 13 shutout innings in two games against Iona this season, and allowed just five hits. … The lower-seeded team has won all six games so far in the MAAC championship. The Red Foxes are the top remaining seed. … Marist and Manhattan split a doubleheader in the regular season, which was played at Manhattan on April 23. The Jaspers won game one, 8-6, and the Red Foxes prevailed 5-3 in eight innings in game two.