Over the weekend, the softball team was able to keep itself in contention to qualify for the MAAC Tournament.

The Stags went 3-1, improving their record to 18-22 overall and 5-7 in the conference.

The top four teams in the MAAC will qualify for postseason play. The Stags need to win out and have a little luck to make it.

Fairfield currently sits in seventh place. If they win out and Niagara loses their next two games, the Stags will end the season in a tie for fourth place with Niagara at 9-7. Despite splitting the season series with the Purple Eagles, the Stags still hold the tiebreaker based on their season sweep of first-place Canisius.

“I think us winning can definitely happen. But, Niagara is a good team, it will be tough for Rider to win two,” said head coach Julie Brzezinski.

Fairfield needs Rider, which has a 7-32 overall record along with a 2-10 MAAC record, to sweep Niagara, which is 15-17 with a 9-5 record.

The Stags started the weekend with some great pitching against Saint Peter’s, the second place team in the MAAC with a 10-4 record.

Senior Cagney Ringnalda pitched a complete game, yielding three runs and two strikeouts and only one walk. Unfortunately it was not enough, as the Stags fell 3-1 in the opening game. The second game fared better.

Meghan Borst ’10 pitched a complete game, giving up only an unearned run and three hits. She also struck out three batters with no walks.

Riannon Thomas ’09 provided the winning runs on a two-run home run in the fourth inning after a Julia Jacoby ’09 single.

The team then traveled to Kingston, R.I. to play Rhode Island where they swept the Rams in a non-conference double-header. The Rams, only 9-31, allowed the Stags to rest some of their pitchers and get a boost from other sources besides Ringnalda and Borst.

Jen Gilbert ’10 pitched six solid innings, giving up three runs before Borst came in for the save.

The second game saw Kate Roberts ’07 pick up her first win of her last season, as she allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings.

“Sunday, Kate Roberts picked up her first win, which is nice for her senior year,” said Brzezinski.

Borst came on in relief, but struggled in her third straight appearance, giving up three runs in 2 2/3 innings.

“Meghan [Borst] really threw the ball well,” said Brzezinski.

Jacoby starred in the Rhode Island games. She picked up five RBI and seven hits. In her past seven games, she has hit .500 while hitting safely in all seven games.

For her efforts, she was named the MAAC Player of the Week. Meanwhile, Borst was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week, hitting .318 with a 2.42 ERA.Overall, Jacoby is batting .414 and leads the team in RBIs with 23 while batting leadoff.

“She is hitting .414, which is amazing. And she is leading the team in RBIs despite leading off. She also takes a lot of pressure off the other kids,” said Brzezinski.

Also hitting well for the Stags is Erin Frank ’08. She is hitting .324 with four home runs on the year. No other Stag besides her and Jacoby is batting above .270.

The Stags have only two players with ERAs under four: Borst and Ringnalda.

With the offense coming around and the pitching beginning to step up, the Stags are peaking at the right time. However, they will need a little help from Rider to make it to postseason play.

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