May 21, 2004 -- It's great when one of the area's teams qualifies for the NCAA tournament in any sport. The tough part comes when that team has to go up against some of the nation's best.
Such was the case when Canisius made it to the softball version of the big dance. The Golden Griffins drew powerful Michigan, at home, no less, and then were eliminated by DePaul.
The final loss came via the so-called eight-run rules. Since Canisius was losing to DePaul by eight runs in the fifth inning, the rest of the contest was called off. Canisius finished its season at 23-30, but still wasn't too upset about its finish.
"It's a matter of execution," coach Mike Rappl said to The News' Amy Moritz. "[DePaul] had some seeing-eye hits, but then they had some balls hit right at our players and we didn't make the plays. That gave them a couple extra outs and you can't give a good team extra outs because they'll capitalize on them."
The Griffins managed just four hits, two each by Beth Enk and Tempie Coelho-Freeman.
Canisius had played much better in a 6-3 loss to Michigan, the sixth-ranked team in the country. But it was still two losses and out.
--- Budd Bailey