Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 MAAC Preview---Iona Gaels

2010 Finish: 2nd Place (28-26)

Departed Players: 2
Incoming Players: 2

Returning Players:
Allyssa James (.350)
Eileen McCann (.348; 11 HRs)
Jodi Petersen (.345)
Erin Kyle (.290)
Chelsea Sheehan (.280)
Tessa Earley (.246; 18 SB)
Melanie Gettins (.238)
Melanie Hay (.219)
Marisa Newman (.197)
Beth Kann (.190)
Alyssa Maiese (.182; 7-11, 4.13)
Cari Anderson (.000)
Tierney Markou (15 Runs)
Sarah Jackson (18-8; 1.96)
Deanne Algeo (3-3, 4.84)

Incoming Players:
Katie Jansson
Courtney Duncan (Transfer)

The bad news from this off season for the Gaels is that they lost their head coach. The good news is that new coach Roni Rivera inherits a MAAC Champion that is basically intact. Iona's starting 10 are all returning for the 2011 season.

The key returnee of course is the 2010 MAAC Pitcher Of The Year junior Sarah Jackson. Not only is Sarah a great pitcher with her MAAC leading statistics, but the confidence level of the whole team rises noticeably when she is in the circle. Sarah Jackson is a fierce competitor, walks few and strikes out many. In 2010 she hurled 3 no hitters, including a perfect game. She was 3-0 in the MAAC Tournament. As long as she is healthy, Iona is a threat. The Gaels were 10-18 in games that Sarah did not pitch, however Senior Alyssa Maiese did pitch well at times and may be able this season to give Iona a better 1-2 punch. Junior Deanne Algeo will contribute in relief.

A pair of freshmen helped push the Gaels over the top in 2010. MAAC Rookie Of The Year Jodi Petersen capped her great freshman season when she homered in extra innings in the opening game of the MAAC Tournament. A great all around player, the outfielder was a consistent threat all throughout her first season and will be a key player on the squad for the next three seasons.

Eileen McCann tied for the MAAC lead in home runs. She was also clutch in the tournament, driving home a pair of runs in the championship game. Another great competitor, tall, athletic and versatile, Eileen is a long ball threat every time she steps up to the plate. She was All-MAAC in 2010, and will be counted upon to drive home runs. She can also pitch an inning or two when called upon.

Senior catcher Melanie Gettins may not get all the offensive glory, but she anchors the Gaels' defense. An outstanding catcher (she led the team in fielding percentage in 2010) who has twice been named All-MAAC, Melanie contributed 19 RBIs last season. She played with Team New Zealand in this past summer's Softball World Championship; this is a senior the Gaels can count on for leadership.

Another senior to watch for is leadoff hitter Tessa Earley. A tough competitor who runs very well, the second baseman led the team in stolen bases last season while scoring 18 runs. She also led the team in assists, and was an All-MAAC player in 2010.

Now we come to a very dangerous player, and that is first baseman Allyssa James. Allyssa, an All-MAAC selection as a sophomore, led the Gaels in hitting in 2010. She is one tough player to pitch to. Tall and athletic, she'll go after anything, and hit it. I saw her swing at a ball about 18 feet over her head, with a tomahawk motion---she made contact and it hit inches foul down the line to the fence!! The Iona coach was actually laughing in the third base box, but she didn't chastise Allyssa. It wouldn't surprise me to see her hit .400 this season.

A player who snuck up on the batting leaders in 2010 was senior Erin Kyle, she has a career .303 average. Chelsea Sheehan chipped in with a solid .280 season. Marisa Newman struggled at the plate, but the smooth fielding sophomore shortstop has the talent to improve offensively. Outfielder Melanie Hay had 8 stolen bases in 2010; senior Tierney Markou scored 15 runs as the team's primary pinch runner. Sophomore Cari Anderson also saw duty as a pinch runner. Beth Kann saw action in the field and some in the circle. She hit 2 home runs while driving home 11. Joining the team this season is a very promising freshman, catcher Katie Jansson. Sophomore catcher/third baseman Courtney Duncan has transferred to Iona from the defunct Vermont softball team.

The only big change at Iona is a major one. The ex-coach left Iona in the middle of this past summer, leaving the school to scramble to find a replacement. They think they've found a good one in Roni Rivera. Coach Rivera has never led a Division 1 team, although she was an assistant at Dartmouth and Northridge. She did however pilot Division 3 Muhlenberg to a championship, taking the school from the bottom to the top in quick fashion. This is a great opportunity for her to show what she can do, and she will be immediately aided by coaching players who have championship experience. In fact, with Sarah Jackson only a junior, the core of this team will be together for the next two seasons. This will make her job easier, but she will be facing some tough competition and very seasoned coaches this year. Canisius and Niagara are loaded with upperclassmen talent, and will make it a challenge for the Gaels to repeat as champions. However, with their whole starting lineup intact, and with Sarah Jackson pitching, Iona stands a good chance to grab that championship once again in 2011. They open their season on February 12.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays to fans across the MAAC!
In January I will begin previewing the schools in anticipation of the 2011 season.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Rider 2011 Softball Schedule

Rider University will open their 2011 softball season at the North Carolina A&T Invitational in Greensboro, NC on the weekend of February 25. The following weekend (March 4) shows them playing at the George Mason Patriot Classic. They will wrap up the tournament portion of their season with a week in Kissimmee, FL for the Rebel Spring Games.

The Broncs will have 9 home dates in 2011, beginning with a March 23 doubleheader vs. Lafayette. They will open MAAC play on April 2 at St. Peter's; and close the season at home against Canisius on May 7.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Manhattan 2011 Softball Schedule

Manhattan College will open their 49 game 2011 schedule on March 6 with a home doubleheader against Hartford. This will be the first of 8 home dates. After the home opener, the Lady Jaspers will travel to Kissimmee, FL to take part in the Rebel Spring Games March 11-16. They will then head back north for the Seton Hall Classic the weekend of March 18. The LJs will open MAAC play on April 9 at Niagara.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Marist 2011 Softball Schedule

The Marist College softball schedule shows the Red Foxes playing 55 regular season games in 2011. They will open the season on the weekend of February 25 at the College Of Charleston Cougar Classic, with Iowa State and Notre Dame among their opponents. During the early portion of the season, the Red Foxes will also compete at the Lady pirates Classic in Hampton, VA; and the Norfolk State tournament. On the 18th and 19th of March they will visit the University of Texas-El Paso for a pair of doubleheaders.

Marist will have 8 home dates during the 2011 season, with the opportunity for more as they will be hosting the MAAC Championship in May. They will open MAAC play on April 2 when they host Siena.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Canisius 2011 Softball Schedule

The Golden Griffins will open their 2011 season in Charleston, SC on February 18 at the Cougar Classic. The tournament portion of their schedule also includes trips to Lake Buena Vista, FL for the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Invitational; Baltimore, MD for the UMBC Invitational; and Los Angeles, CA for the Loyola Marymount Invitational. While in California, the Griffs will pay visits to Riverside, Long Beach St. and Fullerton.
Canisius will open at home vs. local rival Buffalo on March 29, and will begin MAAC play on April 9 when they host St. Peter's.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Canisius Signs Three More

Canisius College has added three more players to their signing class this year:

Erica Afanador
San Jose, CA
Shortstop, plays at Archbishop Mitty High School (ranked #1 in the nation in 2009) where she was defensive player of the year and a .300 hitter. Plays travel ball for the South Bay Stars Gold.

Michelle DelPrince
Lancaster, NY
Outfielder/Infielder, All-Western New York selection with Lancaster High School where she is a .340 hitter. Plays travel ball for the Team New Era Diamond Girls who finished in 2nd at this year's ASA Nationals.

Robin Kennery
Williamsville, NY
2nd Base/Pitcher, All-New York State in 2009 playing at Williamsville North High School. Throws 60 mph. Plays on same Diamond Girls team as Michelle.

Congratulations to all!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Amanda Irving Commits To Rider

Amanda Irving of Westminster, MD has verbally committed to play softball at Rider University beginning with the 2012 season.

Amanda is a senior at Westminster High School where she is an All-Carroll County selection. She primarily plays in the outfield, but can play infield as well. A .400 hitter and outstanding fielder, Amanda is known as a clutch offensive player. She plays travel ball with a very good Riviera Beach Spirit Gold team.

Congratulations Amanda!

Lauren Milligan Signs With Siena

Lauren Milligan of New City, NY has signed a National Letter Of Intent to play softball at Siena College beginning with the 2012 season.

Lauren is a senior at Paramus Catholic High School (NJ) where the speedy outfielder achieved All League status. She can also play in the infield. Lauren plays travel ball with the Hudson Valley Hurricanes Gold.

Congratulations Lauren!

Janine Lalli Commits To Marist

Janine Lalli of Eastchester, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Marist beginning with the 2012 season.

Janine is a senior at Eastchester High School where as a pitcher she has twice been named to the All-New York State team. She averages over 7 strikeouts a game and throws a 63 mph fastball. A .400 hitter, she also can play in the infield, primarily at shortstop. Janine plays travel ball for a very good Hudson Valley Hurricanes Gold team.

Congratulations Janine!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Iona 2011 Softball Schedule

The Gaels will open their 2011 softball season on February 12 in Charlotte, NC when they participate in the 49er Round Robin. Their schedule includes 9 home dates; Iona will begin home play on March 24 vs. Drexel. They open MAAC play on April 2 when they host Fairfield. The Gaels will close their regular season on May 8 against Manhattan. The MAAC Tournament will be held at Marist beginning May 12.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Brianna Schauer Commits To Iona

Brianna Schauer of Fairfield, NJ has verbally committed to play softball at Iona College beginning with the 2012 season.

Brianna is a senior at West Essex High School where she plays shortstop. She has also played at third base and in the outfield, and is a consistent .300 hitter. She plays travel ball for the Morris County Belles Gold. I'm noticing that with the rapid national growth of softball, we are seeing a lot more great players emerging from the east coast.

Congratulations Brianna!

Allysen Breeden Commits To Rider

Allysen Breeden of Hagerstown, MD has verbally committed to play softball at Rider University beginning with the 2012 season.

Allysen is a senior at North Hagerstown High School where she is primarily a catcher. She was a .429 hitter in 2010 and was named to the All-Washington County team. She plays travel ball with the Maryland Heartbreakers.

Congratulations Allysen!

Meg Voltz Signs With Siena

Megan Voltz of Troy, NY signed a National Letter Of Intent Wednesday to attend Siena College beginning in the fall of 2011.

Meg is a senior at Lansingburgh High School, not far from the Siena campus, and was an All-New York State selection in 2010. She is a catcher for the Lady Knights with a hefty .481 career average (.511 in 2010); she can also hit for power and extra bases and is an RBI threat. She plays travel ball with the Slik Chix.

Meg won't be a total stranger when she arrives in Loudonville next August. She played on the Adirondack softball team at the Empire State Games this past July with current Saints Shannon Jones and Courtney Brinkman which helped her make the decision to sign with Siena.

Congratulations Meg!

Photo courtesy of The Troy Record.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sammy Ruffolo Commits To Fairfield

Samantha Ruffolo of Douglas High School in Parkland, FL has verbally committed to play softball at Fairfield University beginning with the 2012 season.

Sammy is in her senior at Douglas High where she has been a repeat All-Broward County selection and a .500 hitter playing as a shortstop. She plays travel ball with Davie Power Black. She has also played for the West Pines Diamond Dusters.

Congratulations Sammy!

Deborah DeWitt Commits To Rider

Deborah DeWitt of East Brunswick, NJ has verbally committed to play softball at Rider University beginning with the 2012 season.

Deb is a senior at East Brunswick High School where she plays outfield. In 2010 she was named All-Conference and All-Middlesex County. She hit .374 for the Bears with 4 homers and 35 RBIs while stealing 15 bases as well. She plays travel ball with the East Coast Elite Gold.

Congratulations Deb!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Emily Potere Commits To Siena

Emily Potere of Milford, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning with the 2012 season.
Emily is a senior at Delaware Valley High School where she is a catcher and first baseman. Last season she led her team to a 35-6 record while hitting for a .436 average. She also plays travel ball for the New Jersey Breakers Gold and has played for the Tri-State Angels as well.
Congratulations Emily!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

St. Peter's 2011 Softball Schedule

St. Peter's College will open their 2011 softball season the week of March 13 when they take part in the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, FL. The Peahens will have 7 home dates this season, including their MAAC opener vs. Rider on April 2. They will close the regular season on May 7 at Manhattan.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Mickayla Romero Commits To Manhattan

Mickayla Romero of Las Vegas, NV has verbally committed to play softball at Manhattan College beginning in the 2012 season.

Mickayla is a pitcher and infielder at Valley High School in Las Vegas where she is a three time MVP, Sunrise-Northeast League Pitcher Of The Year and a First Team Nevada All District selection. She plays travel ball for the California Lite Gold.

Congratulations Mickayla!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chelsea Stout Commits To Siena

Chelsea Stout of Owasso, OK has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning with the 2012 season. Chelsea just completed her senior season at Owasso High School where she was primarily a catcher, helping her team reach the state playoffs. She plays travel ball with the Tulsa Elite Gold.

Congratulations Chelsea!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

MAAC Players---Melissa Donnelly, Manhattan

Named to the All-MAAC First Team the past two seasons, Manhattan's Melissa Donnelly is a versatile player. In those two seasons the senior started every game for the the Lady Jaspers, but in three different positions. A great middle infielder, Melissa splits time at shortstop and second base where she has contributed 194 assists in '09 and '10. When she's not throwing out base runners, she takes a turn in the circle. Last season Melissa had a shutout streak of 22 innings at one point and led the LJs in strikeouts and complete games. In 2008 she led the team in every pitching category.

At the plate, Melissa was among the MAAC leaders all last season, finishing with a .319 average, including 4 homers and 12 doubles. She was instrumental in Manhattan's late season push that qualified them for post season play; she pitched every inning in the 2010 MAAC Championship for Manhattan because of an injury suffered by Erika Sullivan, losing two heartbreaking walk off games against Canisius and Niagara.

Melissa Donnelly is a tough and valuable player who steps up when her team needs her most---she hopes to lead the LJs to that elusive championship her senior season!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Siena And Iona To Play In Retriever Classic

MAAC rivals Siena and Iona will be playing in the same spring tournament on the weekend of March 4-6, but will not meet on the field at the UMBC Retriever Classic in Baltimore, MD.

Both teams will be playing games against Liberty, Princeton, Mt. Saint Mary's and host UMBC.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Iona Will Head To Hawai'i In 2011

A sneak peek at the Iona 2011 softball schedule shows the Gaels heading all the way out to Hawai'i to take part in the Hawai'i Spring Fling Tournament March 16-19. Iona will be playing the host Rainbow Wahine (a 2010 College World Series team, this will be a midnight EST start!), Brigham Young (a 2010 NCAA Super Regional team), California (a 2010 NCAA Super Regional team) and Cleveland State (winners of 44 games in 2010). There will also be a playoff on the last day. That's one tough tournament that should season the Gaels for MAAC play.

I guess a winter trip to the Islands will make up a little bit for those 6am workouts!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sydney Weedon Verbally Commits To Manhattan

Sydney Weedon, a first baseman from Foothill High School in Santa Ana, Ca, has verbally committed to the Manhattan Lady Jaspers and will join the team for the 2012 season. Sydney also plays travel ball with the Strike Force Gold.

Dani Todaro Verbally Commits To Rider

Dani Todaro of Governor Livingston High School in Berkeley Heights, NJ has given her verbal commitment to play softball for Rider University beginning in the 2012 season.
Dani is primarily a pitcher, but also plays outfield and infield. She plays travel ball with the New Jersey Breakers Gold

Monday, October 4, 2010

Niagara University 2011 Softball Schedule

Niagara has released their official 2011 softball schedule. The Purple Eagles will open their season at the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic on March 4.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sam Bennett Hits Home Run With Special Needs Student

Very inspiring story comes to us from Rider.

When some people hear the word autism they immediately think of "Rain Man." Although the Dustin Hoffman character was autistic, the truth is most individuals with autism do not possess the savant skills that he did in the movie.

People with autism show different characteristics across a spectrum of disability and they change as they develop. People with autism are a very broad and diverse population

Rider University senior softball player Sam Bennett learned this first hand recently, working with a 17-year-old young man from Pennington, NJ...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Iona Fall Ball Results

Carol Weil Tournament
Quinnipiac 1 Iona 0
St. Joseph's 4 Iona 0

Rutgers Tournament
Iona 17 St. Peter's 9
Iona 5 Rutgers 4

I heard that Gaels' freshman Katie Jansson hit a grand slam homer against St. Peter's Sunday.
Iona will close their fall schedule with a doubleheader at Long Island University on October 9.

Monday, September 27, 2010

MAAC Players---Jodi Petersen, Iona

The MAAC has been blessed in recent years with an influx of great young players who have come to the conference and contributed immediately. Iona's Jodi Petersen has proved to be a clutch player of the top rank during her freshman season.
The scenario:
Iona vs. Niagara in the opening game of the 2010 MAAC Championship, bottom of the 9th inning of a tight 1-1 struggle. With 2 outs, the Gaels' Jodi Petersen steps into a pitch and sends a towering fly ball over the left field fence and gives her team the win completing a comeback. Jodi was 3 for 4 in that pitcher's duel and Iona went on to win the MAAC, but without that crucial hit, who knows?

That homer by Jodi wasn't surprising, she's the kind of player a coach wants up in that situation. Jodi came out of King High School and the OC Elite ready to play by the time she landed in New Rochelle. She had a fabulous freshman season, hitting for a .345 average with 8 home runs and 30 RBIs. She was honored for her accomplishments with the MAAC Rookie Of The Year award as well as being named First Team All-MAAC.

Jodi Petersen will be stepping up to the plate when others fear to tread for three more seasons!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Iona Gaels Fall Schedule

The Gaels won a pair of games, 10-1 over Temple; and 4-3 over Caldwell.

On the 25th they will be at the Carol Weil Tournament in Allentown, PA where they will play Quinnipiac and St. Joseph's. The next day, September 26, they will be at the Rutgers tournament where they will play the host team and MAAC rival St. Peter's. Iona will close out their fall season with a doubleheader at Long Island on October 9.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fall Ball Results

As you probably know, the various schools' websites give minimal (if that) coverage of the fall season. If anyone from the schools, or anyone connected in some way, would care to send me reports of fall ball activity you can write me by going into my profile where my email addy is.

I am making it my goal to visit each MAAC school for a game this coming spring. But I can't do that this fall, so I'd love to hear what's going on out there!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

MAAC Players---Lauren Hope, Canisius

Canisius senior Lauren Hope will attempt this season to become the MAAC's all time base stealing queen. The Los Osos, CA native has led the conference in stolen bases each of her three seasons of play; she holds the current single season record (40). Lauren not only can run, she can hit as well; she enters her final year with a .325 career average. She has also led the MAAC in triples the last two seasons, finishing in the top 20 nationally in that category.

Lauren Hope will be making MAAC catchers nervous for one more season!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New Template

Please pardon me as I tinker with this new template.
It may change a bit over the next day.

New Coaches At Iona

New Iona Head Coach Roni Rivera has assembled her coaching staff by hiring Jackie Klahold and Ron Ventura.

"I am very excited to have two knowledgeable and energetic coaches joining the staff this year," said Rivera. "Both Jackie and Ron have extensive softball backgrounds and the team will benefit from their instruction."

Read more here:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

MAAC Players---Shannon Jones, Siena

Siena's Shannon Jones is another young player who has made an immediate impact in the MAAC. Shannon starred at Troy High School (down the road from Siena College) where she hit .527 and was an All-New York State First Team selection. Although she was recruited heavily by schools across the nation, she decided to stay home and help put Siena on the map. And she has gotten off to a great start---honored as Second Team All-MAAC her freshman season, she led the Saints with a .344 average including 6 home runs and 33 RBIs. At shortstop she led her team with 125 assists.

Look for Shannon Jones to raise the Siena Softball program to a new level!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Pitching Coach At Siena

Siena Head Coach Bill Lajeunesse has announced the hiring of Abby Arceneaux which you can read about here:

The Saints have two very promising freshman pitchers in school this year, Jessika-Jo Sandrini and Darcy Gardner. Coach Arceneaux will be Siena's first full time pitching coach; her first job will probably be to help them develop as quickly as possible.

Krista Morrone Commits To Rider

Krista Morrone of Palisades High School in Pipersville, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2012 season.

Krista, who plays travel ball with Chaos Fastpitch (Delaware County, PA), throws a 61 mph fastball and is known for her high strikeout count. She threw a perfect game this past season for Palisades, striking out 15 batters in the process. She will be joining Chaos teammate Nicki Spina (who is beginning her freshman season this month) at Rider next fall.

Congratulations Krista!

Manhattan 2010 Fall Softball Schedule

September 12
September 19
September 26
@St. John's
October 3

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MAAC Players---Jaci Rahey, Manhattan

As you can see, Jaci Rahey keeps active down at Manhattan College where she is currently playing for the Lady Jaspers' volleyball team. After that season is over, the senior will put on the softball spikes and go for another .400 season on the diamond.

Jaci had a fabulous 2010 season, leading the MAAC in RBIs (58) to go along with her .409 average and 10 homers. She had a hefty slugging percentage of .715, and also led the LJs with a .976 fielding percentage playing first base. Her two home run performance late in the season against Fairfield lifted Manhattan into the MAAC Tournament. She was recognized for her great season by being named All-MAAC First Team and All-Northeast Region First Team. Jaci hopes to end her college career with a MAAC Championship---don't count her out!

Friday, September 3, 2010

MAAC Players---Eileen McCann, Iona

Iona's Eileen McCann established herself as a MAAC star after a fabulous freshman season which saw her tie for most home runs in the conference. She hit for a .353 average in helping lead the Gaels to the 2010 MAAC title. Standing 5'10", she is athletic and very intense on the field. I happened to be standing near right field during last season's MAAC Championship when Eileen came tearing after a foul ball---I actually stepped out of the way thinking she was going to jump right through the metal fence! And of course she has that long reach at the plate and can hit with power.

Eileen McCann will be hitting plenty more out of MAAC parks during the next three seasons!

Eileen McCann Shares Her Thoughts On Reaching The National Tournament

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

2011 Fairfield Softball Schedule

A trip to the west coast highlights the Stags' challenging 2011 schedule:

BTW, Fairfield has a nice new website.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fairfield Fall Tournament

The Fairfield Stags will get their 2010-11 softball season underway by hosting a tournament on September 26 at Alumni Softball Field. Also participating will be Yale and Stony Brook.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Niagara And Canisius Set For Fall Ball

The two western MAAC schools will meet each other a couple times this September as classes begin and the new softball season gets underway. The Golden Griffins and Purple Eagles will meet twice (maybe three times)---first at the annual Nan Harvey Tournament in Amherst, NY on the weekend of September 18, then at the University at Buffalo (in a round robin) on September 26.

Both teams will have a strong senior class in 2011. Niagara will rely on 2010 MAAC Player Of The Year Teresa Healey (pictured), Kristin Sito, Kayla Hines and Maggie McDonald to lead them to the title they want badly. All-MAAC honorees Paige Freiberger, Lauren Hope and Emily Helbig front the Griffs who will have ten upperclassmen on the 2011 team. And I should mention here that we will be following Lauren Hope as she attempts to break the MAAC career stolen bases record which is currently held by Ellen Sarosy who stole 112 bases during her career at Fairfield. Lauren will begin the 2011 season with 94 stolen bases.

Of course, fall ball is also freshman watch time. Niagara will be breaking in three new pitchers who will back up junior Julie Dimatteo. Tashia Daley, Kim Bryson and Bri Allen will see plenty of action I'm sure. Canisus will bring in first baseman Valorie Nappo who hit .333 at the recent ESPN Rise National Championships with the Jersey Intensity.

If you're in the area make sure to go watch the MAAC schools in nice warm weather. Won't be so warm next April!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Roni Rivera Named New Iona Head Coach

The defending MAAC Champion Iona Gaels have announced the hiring of Roni Rivera as their new head softball coach.

The Santa Clara grad comes to the Gaels after rejuvenating the division 3 Muhlenberg College Mules and leading them to their first Centennial Conference title in six years. Rivera previously spent three years as an assistant at Dartmouth.

Iona College press release:

NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Iona College Director of Athletics Patrick Lyons has named Roni Rivera as head coach of the Iona softball program. Rivera comes to Iona from Muhlenberg, where she served as head coach for the past two seasons.

"I'm excited for the opportunity to coach at an institution with the quality of academics and athletics that Iona embraces," said Rivera. "I am very impressed with the accomplishments of the 2010 team and look forward to keeping that momentum of success while continuing to raise the bar of Iona softball."

"We are pleased to have Roni on board to lead our softball program," said Lyons. "Roni brings a wealth of experience as both a player and coach at all levels of college softball. Her energy and passion will help us continue to be a top contender in the MAAC."

In Rivera's first year with Muhlenberg, the Mules tied for the biggest turnaround in Centennial Conference history and won their first conference championship in six years, earning a bid to the NCAA Tournament. The squad set program records in home runs, doubles, and extra base hits with three members being named to the All-Conference team. For her efforts she was named Centennial Conference Coach of the Year. In her second season, Rivera coached the Centennial’s Player of the Year in infielder Ashley Brewer.

Prior to Muhlenberg, Rivera spent three years at Dartmouth College, serving as the program's top assistant coach. The Big Green finished in second place in the Ivy League Northern Division her last two years with the squad. At Dartmouth, Rivera served as primary coach for infielders and catchers while assisting with hitting, outfield and pitching. In addition, she handled the recruitment players from all regions of the country.

Prior to Dartmouth, Rivera coached at Cal State Northridge. With the Matadors, Rivera helped the softball team to a 16-23 record while two players were named All-Big West. At Cal State Northridge, Rivera instructed the team's catchers and battery. She assisted with hitting and defensive practices while also preparing and sending post-game scouting reports.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

MAAC Players Taking Part In Empire State Games

The 2010 Empire State Games have just gotten underway in Buffalo, NY and will feature some MAAC players taking part in the softball competition. Siena's Shannon Jones and Courtney Brinkman are on the Adirondack roster. Marist has two representatives at the Games---Danielle Koltz will play for the Central squad while Ashley Corriss will play for Long Island, along with Manhattan's Melissa Donnelly. Recent Canisius grad Michelle Fridey will be playing for the Western team.

The Softball schedule can be found here:

If you are in Buffalo for the Games, the softball competition is being held at the Audubon Complex in Amherst, NY.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tashia Daley Joins Niagara

Tashia Daley of Ellsworth, Maine has signed a letter of intent to play softball at Niagara University and will join the Purple Eagles for the 2011 season. Tashia is a pitcher at Ellsworth High School and throws a 64 mph fastball. She will join a Purple Eagles' staff that has fellow Maine native Julie DiMatteo.

Ellsworth High School senior Tashia Daley, one of the top pitchers in Eastern Maine softball, will be headed for New York’s Niagara University this fall on a softball scholarship.

Surrounded by coaches and friends on Friday, the Sullivan girl, daughter of John and Marlene Daley, signed her letter of intent and celebrated the moment.

Daley, who began playing softball in the third grade, first had her sights set on baseball but was convinced to enlist some of her friends to start a girls’ softball team instead...

Read More Here...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lisa Blanton Named All-Nassau County MVP

Incoming Rider freshman Lisa Blanton just completed her career at Hilliard High School in Hilliard, FL by being honored as Nassau County Most Valuable Player. Lisa is spending her summer playing for the Jacksonville Storm Gold before she reports to Lawrenceville in August to begin her career with the Broncs.

Setting a goal to improve her batting average, Blanton hit .427 in 2010 while finishing with 32 hits, 12 RBIs and 27 runs. She also led the infield with a fielding percentage of .91 at shortstop. Blanton's performance earned her a spot on the Miracle Sports Class 2A All-State Third Team and this year's All-Nassau County Most Valuable Player.

Prior to the season, Blanton made school history by becoming the first Lady Flashes player to sign a Division I scholarship by signing with Rider University in November. The prospect of leading the Lady Broncs as a freshman gave Blanton extra motivation to take charge on the field for the Lady Flashes.

"Usually freshmen don't start in college," Blanton said. "One of my goals is to start as a freshman, so this year I really wanted to lead the team..."

Wednesday, July 14, 2010



For the second consecutive year, the MAAC Coach Of The Year has resigned. Last year it was Manhattan's Meaghan Asselta. This time Iona's Jaime Wohlbach, who led the Iona Gaels out of nowhere to the MAAC Championship, has left her team to take the head coaching job at Delaware.

Apparently Delaware has been targeting Coach Wohlbach for some time after having 30 year coach B.J Ferguson step down to take another position at the school.

This can only be characterized as a serious blow to Iona and the MAAC as well. No word yet from New Rochelle on a replacement.