POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – On Saturday afternoon, the Marist Softball team split a doubleheader versus a game Iona squad, who were out to prove that its non-conference struggles were overrated. The Red Foxes (17-21, 5-3 MAAC) won Game One by a 5-4 score before the Gaels (9-31, 5-5 MAAC) took Game Two 12-4. Home runs were the story of the twinbill as the teams combined for seven total; three for the hosts and four for the visitors.

Senior Danielle Koltz (Chenango Bridge, N.Y.), junior Aly Klemmer (Hamilton, N.J.) and freshman Nicole Cheek (Simi Valley, Calif.) led Marist offensively as each registered a home run on the afternoon.

In the circle, senior Emily Osterhaus (Suwanee, Ga.) was the Red Foxes’ leading performer as she threw a complete game in the first contest, going seven innings and allowing four runs (one earned).

GAME ONE, MARIST 5 – IONA 4: Marist started off fast in the first game of the day as an infield single by Maureen Duddy (San Mateo, Calif.) and a walk by Koltz set up Cheek’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning.

In the top of the third inning, the Gaels would take advantage of two two-out errors by the Red Foxes to push across a pair of unearned runs.

Realizing Iona’s potential to manufacture runs quickly, Marist came out in each of its next two at bats and plated runs. In the bottom of the third, Joelle Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) drove in Kyrsten Van Natta (Maplewood, N.J.), while Koltz homered in the fourth to help build up a 5-2 lead.

Those two insurance runs by Marist would come in handy as the Gaels scratched out two final runs out in the top of the fifth inning.

With just a 5-4 lead, Osterhaus would retire six of the last seven Gaels to earn the hard-fought victory.

For the game, Iona outhit Marist 6-4, with four separate Red Foxes registering hits.

Osterhaus improved to 8-7 on the season with a complete game; the senior struck out two Gaels.

GAME TWO, IONA 12 – MARIST 4: After surviving a bases loaded one-out challenge by Marist in the bottom of the first inning, Iona would come back with six runs in it’s next two at bats. In the second, a dropped fly ball would help the Gaels score run number one, while a trio of home runs in the third plated five runs.

Iona extended its 6-0 lead to 8-0 with three consecutive base hits in the top of the fourth.

Marist scathed off a run-rule shortened loss in the bottom of the fifth with one swing of the bat by Klemmer, who took Iona’s Carly Argyle deep for a two-run home run to right field.

After a quiet sixth inning for both squads, the Gaels’ Sarah Schutz increased her team’s lead to 12-2 with a grand slam to left field.

In their final at bat, the host Red Foxes notched their final two runs on a two-out single to left-centerfield by senior Sarah Carmody (Camarillo, Calif.) that drove in Alyssa Zahka (Lexington, Mass.) and Klemmer.

For the game, Iona outhit Marist 14-11, with Klemmer (3-4), Zahka (2-3) and Carmody (2-4) all registering multiple hits.

Marist’s starting pitcher, Janine Lalli (Eastchester, N.Y.) took the loss with an outing of 2.1 innings, five hits and six runs (four earned) allowed.

For the doubleheader, Marist hit .273 (15-55), while compiling a .385 on-base percentage (25-65). Two majors downfall for the Red Foxes on Saturday were 17combined runners left on base and five unearned runs allowed.

Marist will be back in conference action on Sunday at home versus Rider. Beginning at 12:00 p.m., the Red Foxes will host a Pink Out doubleheader in conjunction with the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation. All fans, who attend Sunday’s games are encouraged to wear pink in support of the cause.