POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. - The Marist softball team (28-26) fell on the first day of competition as the top-seeded Iona Gaels (32-23) blanked the Red Foxes 3-0. Timely hitting and strong pitching by the Gaels led them to the win over the host Red Foxes. For Marist, senior Ashley Corriss (Sayville, N.Y.) reached base a team-high three times and contributed two of the team's five hits. In the circle, junior Emily Osterhaus (Suwanee, Ga.) hurled a complete game in defeat.
Realizing that offense would be at a premium versus the best pitching staff in the MAAC in Iona, Corriss got Marist going quickly versus Sarah Jackson in the top of the first inning, as she took the first pitch she saw back up the middle for a single. Unfortunately, the senior would be stranded at first base as Jackson retired the next three Red Fox batters.
Two innings later in the top of the third, a positive at bat by Marist's leadoff put the Red Foxes in contention to push across the first run of the game. Designated player Sarah Carmody (Camarillo, Calif.) led off for the Red Foxes in the frame with a four pitch walk. Two batters later, a hit by pitch of Megan Lamoureux (Woonsocket, R.I.) gave Marist two runners on the base paths. Similar to the first inning, Jackson buckled down and held the Red Foxes off the scoreboard with two straight outs to close the frame.
Two more base runners in the next inning, once again pushed Marist to the brink of scoring. Sophomore Aly Klemmer (Hamilton, N.J.) and freshman Taylor Kuzma (Freehold, N.J.) went back-to-back with singles, but to no avail as Jackson bent, but didn't break once again.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Iona finally broke through with the first two runs of the game. A double by Alyssa Maiese and an RBI single by Deanne Algeo spearheaded the offense in the frame. Defensively, a strong throw in from right field by Klemmer and quick relay by Nicole DiVirgilio (Aston, Pa.) to Lamoureux at home to nab Allison Hand highlighted the action for Marist.
Marist had its final shot at Jackson in the top of the fifth inning as Iona was ready to bring Alyssa Maiese in out of the bullpen at a moment's notice. Corriss and Lamoureux led off Jackson's final stand with a hit by pitch and a double to left-center field, respectively. This would be it for Iona's starting pitcher and unfortunately the end of Marist's offense. With runners on second and third, Maiese would strand both Red Foxes and go on to hold Marist to just one hit in its final 10 batters to earn the three inning save and combined shutout.
Iona tacked on a single run in the bottom of the fifth to close the scoring at 3-0.
For the game, Marist had runners on base in six of the seven innings versus Iona.
In the circle, Osterhaus went the distance and took the loss as she struck out two Gaels and was charged with two earned runs.
The Red Foxes will now have to work their way out of the loser's bracket beginning tomorrow at 1 p.m. versus #3 Canisius. Of note, last year's MAAC Champion Iona earned the 2011 title after battling its way out of the loser's bracket.