Friday, January 29, 2010

2010 MAAC Preview---Rider University

2009 Finish: 6th place
Departed Players: 3

Returning Players:
Allyson Melia (.318 BA)
Brittany Eckett (.308 BA)
Amanda Centeno (.266 BA)
Megan Kozlowski (.257 BA)
Candice Harris (.252 BA)
Derrin Minunni (.236 BA)
Lucy Higgins (.232 BA)
Kelsey Krisch (4-9; 3.43 ERA)
Rachael Matreale (7-16; 4.08 ERA)
Sam Bennett (0-3; 8.04 ERA)

Incoming Players:
Jen Steward (C, Transfer)
Samantha Mayer (UT, Transfer)
Rachel Coleman (P)
Christina LoBrutto (OF)
Jess Murawski (3B, SS)
Heather Muscara (OF)
Alyssa Paul (3B)
Sam Pugh (C)

The Broncs return all their top hitters and 2 of their starting pitchers for the 2010 season. 15 year Head Coach Tricia Carroll had her 16-32 (8-8) team in contention for the MAAC Tournament on the last day of the regular season with only 13 players on the roster. Brittany Eckett improved her average in 2009 by 103 points from her freshman season. Ally Melia had a great rookie season with a .318 batting average. Rider has 2 sophomore pitchers, Rachael Matreale and Kelsey Krisch who took some lumps in '09 but also pitched very well at times; Kelsey's ERA shrunk during the course of the season. How they progress will in large part determine the Broncs' fortunes in 2010, but I'm picking them as a surprise team in the MAAC who will qualify for the tournament.
Brittany Eckett/Ally Melia

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

2010 MAAC Preview---Niagara University

2009 Finish: Third place
Departed Players: 7

Returning Players:
Kristin Kill (.355 BA)
Teresa Healy (.346 BA)
Kayla Hines (.316 BA)
Jenna Baker (.305 BA)
Maggie McDonald (.292 BA)
Jennifer Hare (.292 BA)
Kristin Sito (.274 BA)
Sarah Anthon (.250 BA)
Laynie Stillman (.138 BA)
Julie DiMatteo (12-7; 2.41 ERA)
Cassie Stone (1-0; 2.93 ERA)
Ali Grab (1-2; 5.12 ERA)
Vicki Gilliland (DNP)

Incoming Players:
Jaclyn Russell (C, Transfer)
Gabrielle Lustrinelli (IF)
Alexis Wayne (1B)
Becky Zill (C)

As you can see, the Purple Eagles of Niagara are a heavy hitting team. They led the MAAC in 2009 with a team batting average of .291, 30 points ahead of second place Canisius. They also led the MAAC in homers with 40. Felicia Coffey (.353 in 2009) has graduated, but the Purple Eagles still have plenty of firepower. Junior Teresa Healy led the team in homers and RBIs and could be even more dangerous this season. Kayla Hines hits with power, as does junior Kristin Sito who should be a full time player beginning this year. Kristin Kill may have been the team's hottest hitter down the stretch. Western New York Player Of The Year Alexis Wayne joins Niagara this year and should be at first base.

Sophomore Julie DiMatteo leads the pitching staff. Julie improved as the 2009 season progressed, she will get a lot of work this year. Behind her are Ali Grab and Cassie Stone who have not pitched much thus far in their careers.

The Purple Eagles won 30 games in 2009 and made it all the way to the MAAC Championship game. If their pitching holds out, they will be the favorites to win it all in 2010 IMO.

Julie DiMatteo

Monday, January 25, 2010

2010 MAAC Preview---Marist College

2009 Finish: 5th place
Departed Players: 5

Returning Players:
Nicole DiVirgilio (.286 BA)
Kate Malloy (.225 BA)
Megan Lamoureux (.219 BA)
Lindsay Durant (.193 BA)
Brittany English (.167 BA)
McCallion Campbell (.156 BA)
Heather Young (.121 BA)
Alanna Woody (.108 BA)
Alyxandra Ponce (.056 BA)
Caitlin Schell (6-13; 5.28 ERA)

Incoming Players:
Ashley Corriss (Transfer, OF)
Sarah Carmody (C)
Christina Lausch (IF)
Joelle Zahka (IF/OF)
Danielle Koltz (P/IF)
Emily Osterhaus (P)
Lauren Napoli (OF)

No school in the MAAC suffered greater losses to graduation this year than the Red Foxes. They lost 2 great players, Jessica Green and all time Marist hitting leader and 2009 MAAC Player Of The Year Melissa Giordano. Also departed is their starting pitcher, MAAC First Teamer Caitlin Carpentier. Obviously these players can't be immediately replaced, but the Red Foxes do have a talented group of freshmen joining the team this season and also have 2009 MAAC Co-Rookie Of The Year Nicole DiVirgilio in the lineup. This may (or may not) be a rebuilding year for Head Coach Joe Ausanio, but his team will be competitive in 2010.

Nicole DiVirgilio

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2010 MAAC Preview---Manhattan College

2009 Finish: 1st place regular season (tie)
Departed Players: 4

Returning Players:
Kristina Walraven (.359 BA)
Ashley Rampino (.286 BA; 8-8; 3.64 ERA)
Melissa Donnelly (.275 BA; 7-10; 3.88 ERA)
Nicole Michel (.236 BA)
Erika Sullivan (.186 BA; 5-9; 2.58 ERA)
Jaci Rahey (.258 BA)
Kelly Murray (.189 BA)
Monica Evangelista (.182 BA)
Karla Velasquez (.170 BA)
Melissa Cascio (.167 BA)
Amanda Berrios (.158 BA)
Kaitlin Rodriguez (.067 BA)

Incoming Players:
Amanda Babcock (IF)
Anna Gallacher (OF)
Jen Keller (OF)
Heather Leone (1B)
Meaghan McDevitt (C/3B)
Megan Weaver (OF)
Jocelin Whitmore (IF/OF)

2009 was a dream year for the Lady Jaspers as they captured their first regular season title (tied with Fairfield). They won a game in the MAAC Tournament before losing to Niagara---then they lost their Head Coach. 2009 MAAC Coach Of The Year Meaghan Asselta departed and has been replaced with former Marist assistant Tom Pardalis. Only time will tell what effect this will have on a young Manhattan team.

Returning for the Lady Jaspers is junior All-MAAC outfielder Kristina Walraven. Kristina had a fabulous 2009 season, hitting for a .359 average; in MAAC games she was number one with a hefty .455 average. As a team, Manhattan only hit .237 for the season, but were number 1 in MAAC games at .289. Ashley Rampino and Melissa Donnelly also hit well over .300 in conference play.

Erika Sullivan, Melissa Donnelly, and Ashley Rampino divided the pitching duties amonst themselves, and did a credible job with a team 3.39 ERA which improved to 2.94 in MAAC play.

All of Manhattan's productive players return, and although this year's edition has no seniors and 7 freshmen, look for the Lady Jaspers to challenge in the MAAC once again.

Ashley Rampino

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rider Announces Recent Signings


LAWRENCEVILLE--Rider University head softball coach Tricia Carroll has signed four players for the 2011 season. Joining the Broncs as members of the Class of 2014 are Krysti Maronski (Woodbury Heights), Nicki Spina (Thornton, Pa.), Kehli Washington (New Rochelle, N.Y.) and Lisa Blanton (Hilliard, Fla.)...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Niagara 2010 Schedule

2010 MAAC Preview---Iona College

2009 Finish: 8th place
Departed Players: 7

Returning Players:
Melanie Gettins (.316 BA)
Erin Kyle (.277 BA)
Melanie Hay (.215 BA)
Courtney Christie (.212 BA)
Allyssa James (.261 BA)
Chelsea Sheehan (.256)
Deanne Algeo (.146BA; 3-12; 5.27 ERA)
Tierney Markou (.000 BA)
Sarah Jackson (10-11; 1.62 ERA)

Incoming Players:
Tessa Earley (SS, Transfer)
Allysa Maiese (P, Transfer)
Cari Anderson (C)
Beth Kann (UT)
Eileen McCann (P)
Amy Metcalfe (UT)
Marisa Newman (IF)
Jody Peterson (OF)

The Gaels of Iona College lost 7 players from last season, and none of them were seniors. In fact, 6 of them were freshmen. Apparently third year coach Jamie Wohlbach has decided to make a clean start, bringing in 6 freshmen and 2 transfers for this season. Fortunately for the Gaels, one of the freshmen who was retained was pitcher Sarah Jackson. Sarah had a great 2009, with a 1.62 ERA, but did not get much offensive support. I'm guessing Coach Wohlbach made her wholesale changes to correct that situation, and if she does Iona can make some noise in the MAAC this season. Iona was 3rd in the conference in batting average in 2009 (.249), but 8th in runs scored and stolen bases.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 MAAC Preview---Fairfield University

2009 Finish: 1st place regular season (tie)
Departed Players: 2

Returning Players:
Sarah Minice (18-12; 2.37 ERA)
Meghan Borst (.278 BA; 2-12; 4.87 ERA)
Kristie Trifiolis (.275 BA)
Kayla Marth (.271 BA)
Kristina Lingo (.270 BA)
Allison Ritacco (.264 BA)
Dani Griswold (.224 BA)
Allison Wigand (.208 BA)
Jessica Stand (.182 BA)
Laura Carta (.200 BA)
Danielle Iovino (.167 BA; 1-4; 9.45)
Maleah Cousineau (.089 BA)
Kristen Bowen (.063 BA)
Jen Gilbert (0-0; 0.00ERA)

Incoming Freshmen:
Emily Orr (P/OF)
Tiffany Lawson (P/DP)

The Stags of Fairfield University rode the arm of 2009 MAAC Pitcher Of The Year Sarah Minice all the way to a regular season 1st place finish. However, their lack of offense cost them in the Tournament where they lost 2 extra inning games. Sarah was dominant in MAAC games, posting a record of 11-3 and a 1.49 ERA. She should be even better this, her junior season. If the Stags can increase their 2009 .236 batting average, the Stags would have to be considered the favorites to win it all.
Sarah Minice

2010 MAAC Preview---Canisius College

2009 Finish: 4th in regular season; MAAC Tournament Champions
Departed Players: 5

Returning Players:
Michelle Fridey (.276 BA)
Lauren Hope (.274 BA)
Lizzy Gatto (.273 BA)
Paige Freiberger (.271 BA)
Katie Lancellotti (.248 BA)
Emily Helbig (.258 BA)
Lauren Falzone (.246 BA)
Lauryn Chris (.235 BA)
Kerry Ulmer (.222 BA)
Amanda Cannizo (.218)
Caroline Main (2-5; 4.71 ERA)

Incoming Freshmen:
Amanda Baun (P)
Stephanie Pfentner (C)
Taylor Klun (C)
Chloe Contreras (OF)
Katie Medina (IF, Redshirt)

Success in 2010 for the Golden Griffins of Canisius College depends on how their young pitching staff performs in MAAC games. They will face some very good non-conference teams (Florida, Georgia Tech, DePaul and others); this may toughen them up for conference play. If the Griffs qualify for the MAAC Tournament, they will be the host team and will be difficult to beat. But this season may be one of growing pains.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

MAAC Players---Kristina Walraven, Manhattan

All-MAAC First Teamer Kristina Walraven led the Lady Jaspers to their first regular season title in 2009. Kristina had a terrific season,with a .359 batting average and a .426 on base average. In Conference games, she easily was number 1 in the MAAC with a hefty .455 average. In the MAAC Tournament, she hit .533, and was named to the All-Tournament team. She was honored as MAAC Player Of The Week on April 6, and was also an All-MAAC Academic. She was named team MVP her freshman season when she hit .319.

Kristina starred for 5 years at Pine Bush High in Thomspon Ridge, NY where she won All-League and All-State honors.

Kristina will spend the next 2 seasons making MAAC pitchers very nervous.

2009 MAAC Team Statistics

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Iona 2010 Softball Schedule

The Gaels open their season February 12 against Florida State.