By Tanner Swan, Editor In Chief
The St John Fisher baseball, softball, and women’s lacrosse teams will all be competing in their respective Empire 8 Tournaments as finals week for the spring semester comes to a close.
For both the baseball and softball teams, it is likely that they will both be involved in the NCAA Tournament regardless of how the conference tournament goes. Here is a look on what each team is facing as the most important portion of the season has arrived.
Women’s lacrosse: Fisher will first face the No. 1 seed and the tournament’s host, Ithaca on Friday at 11 a.m. The Cardinals earned the four seed in the conference tournament after a 5-3 conference record with losses to the three other tournament teams: Stevens, Ithaca, and Nazareth. However, the conference tournament couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cardinals as they have outscored their opponents 108-19 in their current six game winning streak.
The regular season meeting with Ithaca was on April 1 where Fisher lost a tightly contested matchup 12-9 at home. The game was tied at five early in the second half until Ithaca used five consecutive goals to propel itself to victory. The winner of this matchup will face the winner of the Stevens and Nazareth contest.
The Cardinals will lean heavily on their senior class to earn a sixth consecutive Empire 8 Championship. Jordan Johnson leads the offense with 45 goals and 45 assists while Abbie Reed leads the defense with 26 caused turnovers.
Softball: After dominating Utica in a doubleheader last weekend, the Cardinals concluded another nationally respected season. The team is currently ranked No. 6 overall, but will enter the Empire 8 Tournament as a two seed with a 12-2 conference record. The two seed is due to tiebreaking procedures as Ithaca sports the same record.
Fisher will face Stevens on Friday at host Ithaca at 2 p.m. It is the first game of a double elimination tournament. The Cardinals are peaking at the right time winning 14 straight with their last loss in a doubleheader split with Ithaca on April 9.
Fisher is sixth in the nation in team batting average at .375 and first in the nation in pitching with a .77 team earned run average. Lindsey Thayer and Monica Moses have dominated the pitching mound, while it’s been a collective effort at the plate with 12 people over the coveted .300 batting average.
Baseball: Fisher is 28-8 overall and 15-1 in the Empire 8 with one final conference matchup in a doubleheader with Ithaca before tournament play begins. The Cardinals are clear favorites to win the Empire 8 as the current No. 21 ranked team nationally.
Fisher broke a school record for consecutive wins with 18 until finally dropping its first conference game against Stevens on Saturday as part of a three game series with the Ducks.
The conference tournament will begin on May 11 with Fisher as the tournament’s host. With Fisher and Ithaca being locks to make it, the final two spots will be fought out this weekend with Stevens, Utica, and Elmira all with an opportunity. Fisher will begin its tournament run with a game on Friday against one of those three teams. The tournament will be double elimination just like the softball format.
The Cardinals will count on the hot bat of Malcolm Kelsey and top hitter Scott Eisenmenger as well as ace pitcher Anthony Brophy to help earn the conference’s first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Editor’s note: This marks my final article as the Editor in Chief of the Cardinal Courier. Fitting that my last article is a sports article, as I began with the Courier four years ago as a sports writer. Thank you for your readership, and cheers to future success for the Courier.