With a three-win weekend, the Canisius softball team improved their season record to 8-9 after their completion of the George Mason Tournament, which would turn out to be the final action the team will see this season. On Thursday, the MAAC announced that the remainder of all spring sports seasons’ would be cancelled, effectively ending the team’s campaign before they even began conference play.
The Golden Griffins dropped their first contest of the weekend, losing their first game in five innings to the tournament host George Mason Patriots. The team’s only home runs of the tournament were scored in the first game, with senior Lauren Castro driving home a two-run homer to give the Griffs an early lead, the team’s first home run of the season.
The Patriots stormed back, and took a nine-run lead by the end of the third inning. By the 5th inning, George Mason had opened up a 14-2 lead, before senior Brittany Sockwell hit the second home run of the season to garner the final run of the game before it ended after the top of the fifth inning.
In their second game of the tournament, the team again bounced out to an early lead, this time over the Hofstra Pride. Their lead was once again thanks to another Castro two-run home run, again in the first inning. The Griffs would hold the lead for the entire game, adding three more runs over the course of the game to secure a 5-1 victory. Alexis Churchill had a solid day in the pitchers circle, striking out six batters and allowing only one run in seven innings pitched.
The team woke up on the second day of the tournament still almost 400 miles away from campus, and prepared to play a team that plays their home games just six miles from the Demske Athletic Complex on Saturday, Canisius and UB squaring off for each team’s third game of the George Mason Invitational. The game proved to be a close one, and Canisius found themselves trailing by a run heading into the fifth inning. It was then that Castro hit her third home run of the tournament, giving the Golden Griffins the lead once again. Junior Lindsi Dennis would bring in Teagan Rice later in the same inning to up the score to 4-2.
The game did not end there, with UB coming within inches of tying the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, but with two outs, a throw from Kara Paradowski in centerfield after a base hit caught a Bulls runner at home plate, ending the game.
On the tournament’s final day, the Griffs played their fourth and final game of the weekend against Cornell, where this time the opposing team was the one jumping out to a 2-0 lead. Canisius answered in the fourth inning, scoring three runs to take the lead away from the Big Red. Cornell would be shut out the rest of the game, only managing three hits during the entire contest.
With that, the Canisius softball season comes to an unfortunate end, with the eight seniors on the team unable to make one last run at a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. The team will end the season with a record of 8-9, which stands as the fourth best winning percentage in the MAAC.