Softball gaining momentum with sweep of Manhattan


Photo courtesy of

Reib, a native of Bellport, NY, missed her entire freshman year due to injury.  

Giovanni Paolo Tagliafierro, Sports Editor

Iona softball swept a doubleheader against rival Manhattan on April 16 at the Donald E. Walsh Field, giving the Gaels their third win in a row as the team enters the final stretch of the regular season.  


Iona took the early game of the series handily by a score of 9-2 before holding on to a one-run lead in the later game to win 3-2. The doubleheader marked the team’s first set of home games this season.  


The pair of wins on April 16 bolstered the Gaels’ recent winning trend, as they have come out on top in 10 of their last 13 games, dating back to an extra-innings victory against Fordham on March 30.  


Iona racked up 12 hits as a team as they plated nine runs in the first game. Sophomore first baseman Kaylin Flukey hit her first two home runs of the season in the contest, driving in a total of four runs. Senior centerfielder Jessica Chilcott collected three hits out of the clean-up spot as well.  


Sophomore Samantha Reib, the team’s number-two starter, picked up her fifth win of the season in a complete game effort, allowing five hits and only one earned run. Her 2.20 earned-run average is the lowest on the staff this season. April 16’s start marked Rieb’s eighth complete game of the year, the most on the squad.  


The Gaels second win later that day did not provide such a large winning margin as the first, but a strong start by senior Kara Zazzaro and early homers from sophomore Kayla Haywood and Chilcott helped Iona secure the victory.

Zazzoro struck out eight batters over six innings of work, adding to her Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference leading 154 K’s. The next closest pitcher to this number is Canisius’s Megan Giese with 112.  


Reib came in to relieve Zazzaro in the seventh inning, retiring the three Manhattan batters in order and locking down the victory. The sophomore earned her third save of the season and helped Iona earn their seventh one-run victory of the season.  


Iona’s past three weeks of winning softball can be directly attributed to their offensive output. The team struggled to plate runs in the early part of their schedule, wasting too many good performances by their pitching staff in the process.  


It is safe to say that the team has put their offensive woes behind them. Since March 30, the Gaels have averaged nearly six runs per game. Their pitching has not slacked off either during this run, as the team boasts a +33-run differential in their last 13 games.  


This run has helped Iona near the top of the MAAC standings after a mediocre start to the season, as the Gaels sit in a four-way tie for the best conference record at 7-3. As of April 19, Iona stands only one win behind Siena and Canisius for the second seed in the conference.  


Iona’s midseason turn around has helped the team establish relevance again in the MAAC this season. The team has competed historically well in the conference, most recently in 2021, when they finished 22-12. Iona will look to avenge their brief MAAC tournament exit from last season, when number-six seeded Manhattan sent Iona home with a series deciding 11-5 victory on May 9, 2021.