The Robert Morris Colonials and the Golden Griffins of Canisius took to the field for the second time this season in non-conference play, Monday at the North Athletic Complex. Canisius previously defeated Robert Morris, 5-2 back on Feb. 11, in the Colonials first game of the season at the Cleveland State Dome tournament.
This time around would have a much different outcome as the Colonials and starting pitcher sophomore Kaitlin Ellzy shutout the Golden Griffins, 12-0, in five innings of play. Both teams moved to 13-27 overall, with Robert Morris snapping its five-game losing streak coming into the game.
Ellzy (6-5), who did not see action in the pitching circle between the two teams earlier in the season due to an injury, shut down the Canisius hitters — only letting two runners reach base via a hit and a walk.
However, RMU’s massive offensive day at the plate, one in which they put up 13 total team hits, helped Ellzy while in the pitching circle.
“By them producing runs, it gives you more confidence because you have more room to work. You’re not as worried about walking people, it’s not as crucial,” Ellzy said.
It was noticeable throughout the game that Ellzy’s pitches were working for her and she fell into a groove.
“I just felt loose and confident because we (RMU) were winning pretty big so I was just like, I wanted to shut them out,” said Ellzy. “That was my goal.”
Canisius starting pitcher junior Erika Mackie moved to 4-7 on the year, giving up six runs, four of them earned on seven hits allowed. The Colonials rattled Mackie from the start of the game. Robert Morris put up six first-inning runs on six hits, taking control of the game from the get go.
Freshman right fielder Briana Bunner finished the game with two hits, one of five Colonials with a multi-hit game and led RMU with 3 RBIs.
According to head coach Craig Coleman, Bunner who has had “her ups and downs” this season attempting to adjust to Division I pitching, has a bright future ahead in a Colonials uniform.
“She’s an aggressive, strong, powerful hitter and when she drives the ball it goes,” Coleman said. “She’s got a really bright future ahead of her.”
Monday’s game was the team’s third straight non-conference contest in the midst of conference play but for Coleman, the win felt good, knowing the team’s struggle’s at times this season.
“We have had some rough patches this year when we have given up a lot of runs, and it’s awesome to be on this side of a lopsided score,” Coleman said. “Canisius is a quality team, they have beaten us already this year, so it was great to be able to come back and pay them back a little bit and send them home in short order.”
The Colonials continue their current slate of non-conference opponents when they head to New Jersey on April 21, for double-header action against Saint Peter’s. The Colonials will then stay in the state of New Jersey for two games against conference opponent Fairleigh Dickinson on Saturday.