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.