Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monmouth 2016 Softball Schedule

The Monmouth Hawks will open their 49 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 27 when take part in the Lancer Lead Off hosted by Longwood University. The Hawks will play in George Washington's District Invite the weekend of March 4, and then head to the west coast. On the weekend of March 11, they will play a set of five tournament games at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles. Then it's off to Florida for a series of games vs. Stetson, Jacksonville and North Florida beginning March 15.

Monmouth will open their home and MAAC schedule on April 2 when they host state rival Rider. They will close their regular season on May 8 by hosting conference rival St. Peter's. The Hawks will have six home dates in 2016.

Monmouth 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, November 13, 2015


Rider University has issued a comment on this situation; Coach Carroll will not be returning; the search for the next Broncs head coach is on:

Rider University has dismissed longtime head coach Tricia Carroll.

The dismissal happened shortly after the conclusion of the 2015 softball season, but was held up in the courts as Carroll challenged the dismissal in hopes of reinstatement. She was told her contract would not be renewed after the 2016 season; it's still not clear if she will return for the '16 season.

Tricia Carroll became the longest tenured coach in the MAAC after the retirement of Mike Rappl of Canisius. She won over 400 games, and won a MAAC championship in 2003. She also led the Broncs to two championships when they played in the NEC in the 1990s.

In her lawsuit against the University, coach Carroll raised Title IX issues, alleging that her complaints that men's teams at Rider received better treatment than women's teams led to her dismissal. She alleged that the men's teams had better locker rooms; a greater share of scholarship money and booster funding; and bigger coaching staffs.

Rider University has offered no comment at this time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Manhattan 2016 Softball Schedule

The Manhattan Jaspers will open their 55 game 2016 softball schedule on the weekend of February 19 in Madeira Beach, Florida when they participate in a tournament hosted by Eastern Michigan. Manhattan will then look to open their home schedule with a doubleheader vs. Hartford on March 1. With this being an El Nino winter, the weather may be nice on that date. After playing at Hampton's tournament on the weekend of March 4, the Jaspers head to the west coast for a six game tournament at St. Mary's in Moraga, California beginning March 11. Their final tournament will be at St. John's on the weekend of March 18.

Manhattan will end March with a series of home games vs. Long Island, Sacred Heart and Stony Brook before beginning MAAC play at Siena on April 2. They will close their regular season on May 7 with a conference DH at St. Peter's. The Jaspers will have 11 home dates in 2016.

Manhattan 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fairfield 2016 Softball Schedule

Defending MAAC Champion Fairfield will open their 51 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 28 with four games at a tournament hosted by North Carolina. Beginning on March 5, the Stags will be in Florida for two weeks, participating in tournaments hosted by Stetson and South Florida, with a few non conference games scheduled in between. Fairfield will then close the tournament portion of the season up north on the weekend of March 19 when they play in Stony Brook's tournament.

The Stags will have their home opener on March 30 with a doubleheader vs. Yale. They begin conference play on the road April 2 and 3 at St. Peter's, then Manhattan. They will close their regular season at home on May 7, hosting Iona in a MAAC matchup. In 2016, Fairfield will have nine home dates.

Fairfield 2016 Softball Schedule

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quinnipiac 2016 Softball Schedule

The Quinnipiac Bobcats will open their 55 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 19 indoors at the Illinois-Chicago tournament, playing six games. On the weekend of February 26, QU will travel to Hampton, Virginia to play a five game tournament. Then it's off to Florida for a couple weeks beginning March 11 where the Bobcats will play in two of South Florida's famous tournaments, including one hosted by the venerable Michele Smith.

Hoping for a warm El Nino early spring, Quinnipiac will open home play with a three game series vs. the Maine Bears on March 25 and 26. They will open MAAC play also at home, with a pair of doubleheaders vs. Canisius and Niagara on April 2 and 3. QU will close their regular season with a conference matchup at Rider on May 7. The Bobcats will have ten home dates this coming season.

QU 2016 Softball Schedule

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fall Ball Underway In The MAAC

Pitcher Allie Block made her debut with Canisius this weekend
It's a new school year and a new softball season in the MAAC. The fall, or non traditional portion of the season is when we see a new flock of players beginning their careers in the conference. Canisius, who played in the annual Nan Harvey Tournament in Buffalo this weekend, showcased some new team members. Pitcher Allie Block began her career by striking out the side. Fellow freshman Lauren Castro also pitched, and the Golden Griffins look to have a much deeper pitching staff this season. The Griffs posted a 2-1 record in the tournament, with ALL-MAACer Lindsey Silfer boasting a five RBI performance in an 8-7 win over Buffalo. Newcomers Maddie Aston and Destiny Holani both contributed offensively.

Niagara played in the same tournament, and although they were held winless, the big news for them was the return of ALL-MAACer Bridget Hogan. Bridget, a redshirt sophomore, missed the entire 2015 season after major surgery. She's fully recovered, and had a good tournament hitting and pitching.

Iona opened their fall season Saturday, splitting a pair of games at St. John's. They lost to the host team, but finished with a come from behind win thanks in large part to Christine Costello's two run seventh inning double to beat Sacred Heart. The Gaels also had a player of note return from a lost season. ALL-MAACer "Gnarly" Carly Argyle got back into action after being out the whole 2015 season, hitting and pitching well. She will be a redshirt senior. The last time Iona had one of them, they won it all.

Marist also opened fall ball Saturday, with a pair of home wins. St. Peter's, Siena, Rider and Fairfield will all be in action on Sunday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Coaching Moves In The MAAC

Shannon Salsburg will lead Monmouth this season
Fall ball softball season has arrived for the MAAC, and a few new coaches have joined the conference.

The Monmouth Hawks have found the successor to the retired Louie Berndt, recently hiring Shannon Salsburg to be their new head coach. Coach Salsburg spent nine season with the MAC's Bowling Green Falcons, compiling 196 wins. Her best season at BGU was in 2012, when she led her team to 36 wins. Her BGU teams set school records for home runs.

Manhattan has hired Cat Clifford as an assistant coach, who recently concluded a successful playing career at Mount St. Mary's. Iona hired Matt Klampert as assistant coach. He last year was a voluntary assistant at St. John's, the Big East champions of 2015.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monmouth Coach Berndt Retires

This is a breaking story, and I'll try to update this later.

A source has informed me that Monmouth head coach Louie Berndt has retired, and the Hawks are currently looking for her replacement. I'm told this is due to an ongoing health issue.

As MAAC softball followers know, Coach Berndt led her team on an impressive MAAC tournament run this past season, falling one game short of the championship. Solid recruiting has her team in good shape, but her field leadership will be missed.

The current Monmouth assistant is Jessica Garcia, former All-American at New Mexico and a member of the professional Akron Racers this season. No word yet if she has applied for the position.

More on this later.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

NCAA Approves New Rules for 2016

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel recently approved a number of rule changes proposed by the Softball Rules Committee, the most significant of which will permit the usage of in-game video and statistical technology. The Committee stated that this will eliminate the "burden of enforcement", which implies teams have already been using the technology.

Some of the other approved new rules:
Defensive players will no longer be allowed to block a base without possession of the ball, or being in the act of catching the ball;
Tournament hosts will be permitted to live stream all games that do not involve them;
Non traditional, or dome games must have regulation fences. If not, home runs will be be ground rule doubles;
Deliberate throwing of the ball at an umpire will result in all sorts of ejections, obviously a response to a recent viral video!

Read more here

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kelly Rasulo Commits To Siena

Kelly Rasulo of Merrick, New York has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2017 season.

Named one of the top players in Long Island, Kelly Rasulo is a tall, athletic third baseman who can hit for average and power. She's known for driving home runs. However, she is also very quick in the infield with excellent range, and has been described by her coach at Kellenberg high school as a "stabilizing force" in the infield. Kelly plays travel ball with Team Long Island Gold.

Congratulations Kelly!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

MAAC Season Ends With Fairfield Loss

USC Upstate 9
Fairfield 0 (6)

The Fairfield Stags were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament when they fell to the USC Upstate Spartans Saturday at the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional.

The Fairfield offense was never able to get on track in this Regional appearance. Destinee Pallotto pitched well through the game's first five innings, keeping the Stags in the game. The freshman has a bright future. Her circle counterpart, Lexi Shubert, with an ERA well below 2.00, had shut down Fairfield with one hit until the top of the sixth inning when Lauren Filicia and Sammy Ruffolo led off with singles. But the Stags were not able to capitalize; in fact, they never reached third base in the two games played in Tuscaloosa. A Fairfield error, plus a triple and home run helped Upstate end the game early, 9-0.

So that ends another MAAC softball season, one that was marred in the beginning with inclement weather and many cancellations. Teams scrambled to get games played as the harsh winter roared on; this, in my opinion, hampered all the teams in one way or another. But, with El Nino forming somewhere way out in the Pacific, next season is forecast to bring a much milder winter! Maybe some February games in Hawaii and southern Florida might help!

Thank you for reading this season! In the coming weeks, I will bring you news on the new players coming into the conference next season and beyond. Lots of them are pitchers...

Friday, May 15, 2015

Stags Drop NCAA Opener

Future trivia question: Nicole Capra had Fairfield's first ever NCAA Tournament hit
#6 Alabama 8
Fairfield 0 (6)

The Fairfield Stags played their first ever NCAA Tournament game, losing to #6 Alabama Friday in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional.

The Stags were unable to solve Alabama's star pitcher Sydney Littlejohn in this game, and were limited to just two hits and no walks. Nicole Capra got Fairfield's first ever national tournament hit in the third inning; and Lauren Filicia doubled in the sixth inning. But the Stags were never able to get a runner past second base. Alabama pounded out 15 hits in the game, ending it early in the sixth inning for an 8-0 win.

Fairfield will play an elimination game Saturday vs. South Carolina Upstate, who lost to #20 Washington earlier in the day. A win would mean the Stags would play another elimination game immediately following. A loss would mean an end to the 2015 MAAC softball season.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional

#6 Alabama Crimson Tide
Record: 42-12
Leading Hitter: Haylie McCleney .462
Leading Pitcher: Sydney Littlejohn 1.52; 15-1

 #20 Washington Huskies
Record: 40-15
Leading Hitter: Ali Aguilar .425
Leading Pitcher: Casey Stangel 4.45; 9-4

 South Carolina Upstate Spartans
Record: 43-8
Leading Hitter: Hayley Reinfeld .447
Leading Pitcher: Lexi Shubert 1.50; 33-5

 Fairfield Stags
Record: 25-22
Leading Hitter: Lauren Filicia .406
Leading Pitcher: Destinee Pallotto 3.64; 11-8

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fairfield To Play In Tuscaloosa Regional

The NCAA just announced that MAAC Champion Fairfield will be playing in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama Regional.

The Stags will be grouped with host #6 Alabama, Washington and South Carolina Upstate.
More on this Regional this week.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Fairfield's Time Has Finally Come!

Stags were not to be denied
Fairfield 8
Monmouth 5

Fairfield 11
Monmouth 5

The Fairfield Stags swept the Monmouth Hawks Saturday in Buffalo, New York, winning the championship of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference for the first time since 1991.

Seven times previously the Fairfield Stags made it to the championship game of the MAAC tournament, and seven times they walked off the field disappointed. Somehow this season felt different. Maybe because the pressure was not on them this time; last year they hosted the tournament and fell in one day. Maybe after a rough start of the season, they had to fight and claw to get back into contention. Whatever the reason, this time they made it all the way through, and are champions of the MAAC.

Fairfield would have to beat Monmouth twice on this day to claim that championship, and game one began like the streaking Hawks' previous tournament games had begun - with them jumping out of the gate with a substantial early lead. Coach Berndt had her team fired up from the first pitch of this tournament. Monmouth took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to Rachel Shotzbarger's RBI single. The Stags tied the game in the bottom of the first, with Sam Frungillo's ground ball RBI providing the run. But the Hawks came right back with a four hit, three run inning in the top of the second. Vanessa Cardoza led off the inning with a double, followed by Jill Fresse's home run blast over the left field fence. An error scored another run, and the Hawks were up 4-1, and looking well on their way to getting the one win they needed. But Fairfield stayed composed, and put up a three spot of their own in the bottom of the same inning to tie the game up 4-4. They quickly loaded the bases, then took advantage of two Monmouth errors to close to within a run. Sam Frungillo's second RBI of the game then sent the tying run home. Rachel Shotzbarger, who had a great tournament, led off the top of the third inning with a home run to give the Hawks the lead once more. But after that, it was all Fairfield the rest of the day. Pitcher Destinee Pallotto, who was pulled in Fairfield's winners' bracket game vs. Monmouth with the Stags in the lead (they eventually lost), would not leave the circle this day. She shut out the Hawks in game one's final four innings. Her team gave her the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring four times. Molly Roche tied the game with a long homer over the center field fence. The Stags weren't done though, getting four more hits in the frame. Lauren Filicia's RBI single; then Sammy Ruffolo's 2 RBI double to the center field fence sealed the victory, and forced a "winner take all" championship game.

The Stags stormed out early in game two, and never looked back. Sam Frungillo drove home her third run of the day to give them a 1-0 first inning lead. Then a six hit, six run onslaught in the second inning built a lead that Monmouth simply could not overcome. Kate Robinson doubled home a run; she would hit a remarkable 7 for 7 on the day. She was 10 for 14 in the tournament and inexplicably left off the All-Tournament team. Lauren Filicia singled home a run; Tori Reed and Sammy Ruffolo perfectly executed a suicide squeeze bunt; Kristen Ball singled home a run; Kate Robinson singled home another in her second at bat of the inning. Monmouth was visibly stunned after having played ahead the whole tournament. They did keep fighting, scoring five runs in the game, but they never got close to the Stags. Destinee Pallotto pitched her second complete game of the day, and when she recorded the last out, the Fairfield players erupted into a frenzy. They later doused long time head coach Julie Brzezinski with the traditional water bucket shower!

Fairfield won the MAAC way back in 1991 before the conference had an automatic bid to the national tournament, so they will be making their first ever appearance in the NCAAs. They will find out Sunday evening where they will be playing. Monmouth made a great run, and the experience should prove invaluable next season.

MAAC ALL-Tournament Team

Most Valuable Player
Lauren Filicia, Fairfield

ALL-Tournament Team:

Nicole Capra
Destinee Pallotto
Lauren Falkanger
Sammy Ruffolo

Emma Hill
Rachel Shotzbarger
Ashalynn Umiamaka

Amy Bright
Stephanie Reinhardt

Paige Lloyd
Paige Hess




The Stags came out of the losers' bracket to sweep Monmouth Saturday in Buffalo, NY, and will make their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

More later...

Friday, May 8, 2015

Monmouth vs. Fairfied This Season

The MAAC rivals have actually played each other five times this season, with Monmouth holding a 3-2 edge:

MAAC Tournament 5/8/15
Monmouth 12
Fairfield 8

@Monmouth 4/19/15
Fairfield 10
Monmouth 2

Monmouth 8
Fairfield 0 (5)

Orlando, FL 3/14/15
Fairfield 9
Monmouth 4

Bules Creek, NC 3/7/15
Monmouth 3
Fairfield 2