The Fairfield University softball team (18-16, 4-5) (6-0,4-7) lost both games in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference doubleheader matchup against Niagara University (6-0,4-7) on Sunday, April 14. The 11 a.m. game ended 4-2 and the two run margin proved that the Stags were still capable of keeping up with their competition later in the afternoon. Fairfield completely lost their edge going into game two at 1 p.m. game, and Niagara soared past them 8-2.
The Stags have less than a three weeks until the end of the regular season, and just 13 games to clinch a spot in the playoffs. The clean sweep took place on Fairfield’s own Alumni Softball Field, and evens their record 5-5 in the last ten games.
Niagara took to the plate first, and although Fairfield’s star pitcher Katie Kudlacik ‘22 walked two batters, the top of the first concluded with just one runner on base and no runs scored. Senior Alisha Marshall singled up the middle, then Mikayla Rubin ‘21 doubled, sending Marshall home and beating Niagara to the board, early in the game.
Niagara promptly answered back in the top of the second, but the score stood still at a draw until the top of the fourth. Then, the Niagara Purple eagles soared when they were able to advance to second on an error by third base. It was on that play that they surged, tallying one run to put them ahead of their adversaries. Niagara’s next batter owned 2 RBI when she doubled to center field. The inning ended with Niagara up 4-1.
Fairfield wasted three full innings of scoring chances, and backed themselves into a wall when the bottom of the seventh came around. They had to quadruple their score to even reach a draw with Niagara. They tried to rally at their last at-bat but a run by Kaitlin Hoffman ‘22 made no difference in the fact that Fairfield was to take the loss and hope to redeem themselves later in the day.
For a second time that day, Fairfield took the lead early on, but blew it recklessly when Niagara scored a run in the third and an extra two in the fourth, spotting them a three-run lead.
The top of the seventh inning was when Niagara claimed the game as theirs, and dug Fairfield into a hole nearly impossible to get out of with a single inning remaining.
A grand-slam by Kendall Watkins increased Niagara’s lead from one run to five, and they managed to score once more before handing off the bat to Fairfield.
The Stags couldn’t so much as decrease the shortcoming by a single run, and they fell 8-2.
They take the field next, again on Alumni Field, against the Columbia University Lions on Wednesday, April 17 at 4 p.m.