The College of Staten Island softball team secured a trip to the CUNYAC Championship by virtue of a pair of wins yesterday at the CSI Softball Complex in the opening day of the postseason tournament, and will await the winner of Baruch College vs. Hunter College for a chance to lift the trophy once again.  The Bearcats and Hawks play at 10:30am for the rights to face CSI in the Final at 12:45pm.

Matchup:  CSI (24-12 Overall, 11-1 CUNYAC) vs. Baruch (10-24, 7-5 CUNYAC) OR Hunter (15-17, 11-1 CUNYAC)
Where:  CSI Softball Complex – 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island, NY
First Pitch: 12:45 pm
Live Video: (all games)
All-Time Series: CSI leads Baruch 40-7, CSI leads Hunter 48-34
This Year’s Result:   CSI has defeated Baruch – 7-1, 21-0; CSI defeated Hunter 3-1, 2-0, Hunter defeated CSI 3-1
Players to Watch (CSI):  Jacqueline Cautela continues to swing a hot bat for CSI.  She blasted a two-run homerun in yesterday’s 8-0 win over Lehman, and in the circle she has been just as strong and is 12-6 this season with a 1.78 ERA.  Christina Tufano continues to pace CSI with a .409 average, scoring 19 extra-base hits.  Vanessa Joia is right behind her at .378 with a .441 on-base percentage, and right with Cautela in the circle is Nicolette Trapani, who is a remarkable 12-4 overall with a 1.46 ERA.
Players to Watch (BC): Nicole Bellina is the big hitter for the Bearcats with a .355 average, followed closely by Jessica Piccolino’s mark of .351.  Bellini has also added a team best 15 extra base-hits, including 13 doubles.  Most of the notoriety in the circle belongs to Cassandra Lagana.  She sports a 9-16 overall record with an 8.19 ERA.
Players to Watch (HC): The dangerous Taylor Crofts is having another remarkable year with a .371 batting average with six doubles.   Emily Ruiz is right behind with .354 while Christine Kline has provided plenty of peripheral help.  Briana Monaco, batting .286, registered HC’s only multi-hit game against CSI yesterday.  Sara Beck is the ace of the pitching staff.  She is 7-6 this season with a 2.86 ERA, leading the team in strikeouts with 91.
News and Notes: Today marks the eighth straight year that the Dolphins have advanced to the CUNYAC Championship round of competition.  The last time they didn’t was back in 2008.  The Dolphins are 5-3 in Championship games since 2008, 18-13 overall since 1982.  CSI is 8-4 all-time against Baruch in the CUNYAC Tournament, and are 22-15 all-time against Hunter, a mark that includes yesterday’s 2-0 win over the Hawks.  The Dolphins have now won 11 straight CUNYAC Tournament games since 2011.  The last team to beat CSI in tournament play was Baruch back in 2010.  You’d have to go back to 2008 to find the last time Hunter defeated CSI in the CUNYAC postseason.  Should CSI beat Baruch or Hunter at 12:45pm they will advance to the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.  If they lose the game, then it will set up a final game at 2:30pm in a winner-take-all scenario.  CSI’s Cautela is tied for the single season record for doubles with 17, needing one more to break the record.  As it stands right now, CSI pitcher Nicolette Trapani has the lowest single season ERA in team history with 1.46.  The previous best was Christina D’Arpa back in 2007 at 1.52.