After a slow start to the season that saw the Stags drop five of their first six games, Fairfield gained some momentum as they opened Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play this weekend. The Stags finished the weekend going 3-1 to open up conference play after sweeping Niagara this past Sunday, April 2 in a doubleheader and picking up a victory this past Monday, April 3 over Canisius at Alumni Softball Field. “Our pitching is getting stronger, we have some timely hitting. We’re not really hitting quite where we were in the beginning of the season but we’re getting timely hitting,” stated head coach Julie Brzezinski on the Stags’ recent success.
Sophomore Karisa Hughen provided a huge boost for Fairfield as she dominated the pitching mound carrying the Stags to victories over Niagara and Canisius this past weekend. In her first start of the weekend against Niagara on Sunday, April 2 the right hander hurled a complete game shutout while fanning five Purple Eagles en route to a 2-0 win. The very next day, Hughen was on the mound once again this time to face the Canisius batting lineup. Once again, Hughen was pivotal for the Stags as she threw another complete game shutout against the Golden Griffs, leading the Stags to a 4-0 victory. “Karisa has really stepped up a lot, this past weekend especially. She’s been nipping at the butt almost all season having some really good games. She’s really found her groove and we’re hoping she just continues throughout the season,” said Brzezinski of Hughen’s dominance on the mound.
Another bright spot for the Stags all season long has been Tori Reed ‘17. Reed is currently third on the team with a .333 batting average. The catcher has started in all 23 games this season leading Fairfield in at-bats with 78, runs with 16, homers with a total of four and RBIs with 18. Fairfield’s backstop has also shown her consistency of defense as she holds a .988 fielding percentage, highest among the team’s everyday starters. Brzenzinski had plenty to say about her leader, Reed, “Tori has been a mainstay with us for four years. She’s doing stronger with the bat this year, she’s learning, she’s adjusting to pitchers. She controls the game, she controls her pitchers, she calls her own game behind the plate, she’s been doing that for the last three years.”
On Monday, April 3 Reed was named the Garden Catering Student Athlete of the Month for her performance during March. “I think people recognize that she is the total package. She’s the athlete, the student, the leader. She takes control, does a lot of community service, she does everything on and off the field and that’s what we’re looking in future leaders,” said Brzezinski.
The Stags will look to carry the momentum and continue it’s winning ways on Wednesday, April 5 at Alumni Softball Field when they host the Columbia Lions, who are currently on a six-game winning streak, for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.