This weekend both RIT lacrosse teams and the softball squad host games that could propel them into the postseason or the case of women’s lacrosse, garner a regular season title. On Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team hosts No. 12 Stevens at 12 p.m. on the Turf Field in what amounts to the Empire 8 regular season championship. At 1 p.m., the men’s lacrosse squad hosts perennial rival Nazareth at RIT Field in a do-or-die game that will determine the fourth and final playoff spot in the Empire 8. The winner advances, while the loser is out of the playoff hunt. Also at 1 p.m., the softball team hosts Utica in a doubleheader knowing that just one win clinches the fourth seed in the Empire 8 Tournament, while a sweep could propel RIT as high as third.
Women’s lacrosse is enjoying unparallelled success this season. RIT comes into Saturday’s game with a 12-3 record and riding an eight-game winning streak, both of which are program records. In addition, they are 7-0 in Empire 8 and clinch their first conference regular season title with a win over Stevens. Junior Eileen Hennigan became just the fourth player in the history of the RIT women’s lacrosse program to reach 100 career goals. She moved into second place all-time at RIT with 104 goals on Sunday against Elmira. Classmate Danielle Previ is just three points shy of 100 for her career. Ashley Pezze is tops in the E8 with 64 ground balls. She now leads the Tigers in scoring with 32 goals and 39 points. Goalkeeper Kelsey Evans is second in the nation with a .583 save percentage. Five Tigers have at least 25 points, while five more are in double figures. The winner of Saturday’s game will host the four-team playoff on May 2 and May 3. Stevens (13-0, 6-0 Empire 8) is outscoring its foes 223-113.
RIT and Nazareth resume their intense men’s lacrosse rivalry on Saturday in what will essentially be a playoff game, with both teams batting for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Empire 8. Yesterday, the Tigers rolled to a 17-7 win over Utica. The game will be aired live on TWCS-26. RIT (9-5, 4-2 E8) and Nazareth (6-6, 3-3 E8) split a pair of games last season, with each team winning on the road. RIT can finish as high as second in the conference if they win out and get some help. Head Coach Gene Peluso can earn his fourth straight 10-win season with a victory.
Softball is 9-1 over its last 10 games and have won five in a row, to improve to 15-15 this season. They hold the fourth and final playoff spot in the Empire 8. They need one more win or a loss by Nazareth and Utica to clinch. RIT can move as high as third. The Empire 8 Championships is on May 1-2 at Ithaca College. The sophomore duo of pitcher Carlissa Cole and shortstop Emily McPherson continue to lead the way.
It is supposed to be 80 degrees and beautiful on Saturday. Come on out, bring your sunscreen (or don’t if you want that nice early season sunburn) and watch your Tigers in action.
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