@WNYsoftball

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

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