By DOUG SMITH
Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO – Pitcher Jennifer Sansano soothed the sorrow and strife of Niagara U softball’s sad spring by shutting out Canisius, 1-0, before a capacity-plus crowd at Canisius’ Demske Complex.
“That’s just what we needed,” said Larry Puzan, one of three coaches guiding the Eagles during the suspension (“for personal reasons,” according to NU sources) of new head coach Elly Chan. “We need to keep the games low scoring.”
Sansono struck out eight and walked two. Three of Niagara’ first four batters hit safely, Alexis Wayne driving in what turned out to be the winning run. From there on, Canisius’ Amanda Baun shut down the Eagles, who held defensively with Sansono’s determination and a couple of key outfield plays by Ambur Farmer.
Sansono insisted she had something left, and did come on in relief in the nightcap, won by Canisius 2-1. Lew-Port grad Meghan Cuda scored the first Griffin run, sliding under a tag at home in the third, and the decisive run scored in the sixth on a double steal. Cuda had five defensive gems at third base.
The nightcap decision clinched for Canisius the 'Battle of the Bridge' Canal Cup trophy, awarded to the team scoring the more victories in all sports.  It's the third straight year the Golden Griffins have won the Cup.  Niagara dropped to 5-25 – all five pitching victories by Sansone, and came in after a potential victory over Akron Tuesday was spirited away by darkness.
Niagara returns to action at home Saturday vs. St. Peter’s at 11 a.m. and Sunday vs. Manhattan at noon. Niagara is 2-6 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, while Canisius is 3-3.