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Griffs to play for lacrosse berths

The Canisius College lacrosse programs could have reason to celebrate today with a couple of postseason victories.

The women's team (10-8) plays at Atlantic 10 champion Massachusetts (18-1) in an NCAA Tournament play-in game at 11:30 a.m. today, while the men (5-7) play top-seeded Siena (11-4) at noon today in Poughkeepsie in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championship. The winner advances to the NCAA Tournament.

Canisius-UMass is a rematch of last year's play-in game, which UMass won, 16-8. The final tournament bracket will be announced at 9 p.m. tonight.

Meanwhile the No. 3-seeded Griffs men, making their first trip to the MAAC Tournament since taking the title in 2008, won their only other previous championship game, 14-5, over VMI in 2008. Friday's 12-10 semifinal victory over No. 2 seed Detroit marked the first time Canisius won a MAAC Tournament game as the lower seed.

In other women's lacrosse action, Buffalo State (13-6) scored the game's first goal, but No. 2 ranked Cortland (17-1) scored eight of the next nine goals and captured its 14th SUNYAC Championship with a 12-5 victory.

The Red Dragons have claimed all but one SUNYAC championship -- Oneonta won the other in 1998 -- and have never lost a conference playoff game (29-0).

Karen Shaddock scored all five goals for the Bengals.

BASEBALL: Niagara (19-25, 7-12 MAAC) has a four-game winning streak after taking a pair from Saint Peter's, 4-2 and 7-0, at home. Niagara jumped out to a four-run lead in the third inning of the nightcap to back Jim Fort's five-hit shutout. In the first game, NU scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh, with Ryan McCauley doubling home the go-ahead runs, to break 1-1 tie.

Canisius allowed only 11 hits in a home doubleheader sweep of Iona, 3-0 and 7-0. The Griffs improved to 26-24 overall and 11-7 in the MAAC, staying in second place in the conference.

Saint Louis (32-15, 13-7 Atlantic 10 Conference) scored three runs in the eighth inning to erase a deficit and defeat St. Bonaventure (18-21, 6-11), 6-5.

The Bonnies took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth before the Billikens rallied off Bona starter Eddie Gray and reliever Jason Radwan.

University at Buffalo (13-30) shortstop Michael Burke went 2 for 4, but the Bulls were shut out at Toledo, 3-0.

SOFTBALL: Niagara (14-29, 7-9 MAAC) swept visiting Rider (20-31-1, 7-7) in two 12-inning games, 1-0 and 5-4, on Senior Day at Niagara Field.

Niagara has won six consecutive games against Rider, outscoring the Broncs, 50-8.

St. Bonaventure (17-25, 6-12 Atlantic 10) was eliminated from postseason contention after falling to Saint Joseph's (20-27, 9-10-1), 10-2.

UB (14-30 overall, 4-16 in the MAC) lost at Akron, 4-1.