Flashback Friday looks at the top moments from the 2016-17 athletic year at the College of Staten Island. This week, we take a look at the No. 9 top moment as voted on by CSI staffers.  The CSI Softball team, as part of their record-breaking season scored a monumental win over nationally-ranked Moravian College on the road in late April, riding the arm of pitcher Alison Meagher in the 3-1 win.  The win put CSI on the national map and started an eight-game win streak.

#9 – Alison Meagher helps shut down nationally-ranked Moravian College
Date:  April 22, 2017
Who:  CSI Softball Team
Where: Moravian College – Bethlehem, PA
What Happened:  Coming off of a pair of losses and then another in the first game of the doubleheader against Moravian College, the CSI women’s softball program picked themselves off of the mat and overcame an early deficit to score a 3-1 shocker over Moravian College, at the time ranked No. 7 in the nation according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.  For the Dolphins it was their-first ever win over Moravian in 11 tries and it marked their first win against a nationally-ranked team, putting the rest of the region on notice that the Dolphins were for real as a regional powerhouse.  The Dolphins fell behind 1-0 in the game’s first inning, but starting pitcher Alison Meagher was stellar from there, striking out seven batters while her offense got going in the fourth inning, taking the lead with two runs in the stanza.  Ashley Notaro added an insurance RBI in the fifth inning, and then Meagher wiggled out of trouble in the final two innings to record the complete game win.  CSI would go on to win eight in a row from there, then won their fifth straight CUNYAC title en route to a program best 35 wins in 2017.

10494Q&A…with Alison Meagher

Alison, this was your first year on the team after a bit of a layoff from softball.  Tell me about what it is that brought you back to play here at CSI.
During my three year break I would come watch my sister play at CSI and it always looked like they were having a great time. It looked like the team was one big family and that was one of my favorite parts of playing softball. I also coached a high school team during my break and the players always told me I shouldn’t give up on the things I love. I talked to (Head Coach) Stella (Porto) and she said there was a spot for me on the team so I made the decision to come back.
It seemed like the longer the season went, the more comfortable you got in the circle and the more pitching you did.  When did you start to truly get back into your groove pitching?
Coming back from the break was mentally challenging for me. I had to realize that I wasn’t going to be the same pitcher I was at Rider (University). I’m not going to lie, the beginning of the season was tough for me but with the help from my coaches and teammates I finally got back to myself. I think the Moravian game gave me my confidence back and from there I was ready for anything.

Against a national powerhouse like Moravian, when do you get told you’ll be starting?  What’s going through your mind understanding that you’re getting the ball in one of the biggest games of the year?
Stella tells us a day or two in advance who is pitching what game, that way we can mentally prepare ourselves. When she told me the only thing that came to my mind was ‘you got this.’  I knew they were a nationally-ranked team and I knew that I had to go out there and give it all I had. 

You started Game Two of the doubleheader, so you had a chance to see the Moravian bats in the opening game.  Do you take mental notes in that game?  What are the types of things you are looking for?
Usually I am watching the hitters in game one but this game was different. I didn’t want to over-think or be nervous pitching to certain batters so I was focusing on keeping myself mentally strong. 

In the first inning they came right out and scored a run off of a double and a couple of wild pitches.  Still you were able to strike a couple of batters out in that inning.  How did you feel after that first frame?
I actually know the lead-off hitter for Moravian and I knew she was going to be my biggest challenge. We played against each other all throughout high school so she’s faced me plenty of times. Even though they scored a run I wasn’t worried because I knew my team would put runs on the board.
Your offense didn’t score until the fourth inning.  How important was it for you to keep them off the scoreboard while your teammates started to put some offense together?
Very important. It’s every pitcher’s job to keep the other team from scoring. Luckily, I have an amazing defense behind me who helped with keeping them off the scoreboard. 
You got into a little jam in the sixth and then let up another base runner in the seventh.  What did you do to attack the hitters from there and make sure they couldn’t bring the runners around to score?
I tried to switch it up a bit. Once the batters see you a third time you have to be unpredictable. I usually stay low and outside so once they started to attack that, my catcher decided to jam them inside. Vanessa (Jioia) called a fantastic game behind the plate and knows how to keep the batters off balance. 

Alison, that win broke a three-game skid and really got people talking about you and this team.  At what point does it register how big a win of this magnitude was?
As soon as the game was over we all knew what we had just accomplished. It was a huge win for us as a team and after that game we knew we could beat anyone.
Finally, you guys went on to win the CUNY’s for a 5th-straight year and made a nice national run.  As a first year player to achieve this type of team success, what was that like for you and how does it motivate you for next season?
I couldn’t have asked for a better season to come back to. I owe so much of my success to my teammates and coaches. They always had my back on and off the field. We are all working hard during the off season to come back stronger than ever. 

Other Highlights
CSI Story
Moravian Story


Ashley Notaro drove in two runs in the win.
Meagher went the complete game for the win
Vanessa Jioia called a great game behind the plate