Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jordan Courage Commits To Iona

Jordan Courage of Loomis, CA has verbally committed to play softball at Iona College beginning with the 2013 season.

Here's the profile of Courage (sorry for the pun, but she does have a great name!): Jordan is a pitcher at Del Oro High School coming off a great junior season that saw her post a 17-7 record with a stingy 1.02 ERA. She's a control pitcher, walking only about two a game on average. She doesn't give up many extra base hits; and only surrendered about five safeties per game last season. Jordan also swings a pretty good bat, hitting for a .360 average in '11, with 4 homers and 20 RBIs in 84 at bats. Coach Rivera has recruited her as a pitcher though, and is reportedly ecstatic about her most recent recruit. Jordan plays travel ball with the California Breeze Gold.

Congratulations Jordan!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Becca Saggiomo Commits To Niagara

Becca Saggiomo of Athens, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Niagara University beginning with the 2013 season.

Becca is a first baseman for Notre Dame High School (Elmira, NY). The Crusaders are the New York State Class C Champions, finishing with a perfect 26-0 record, ranked 34th in the nation, and Becca played a large role in their championship season. She hit .350 in 2011, with an impressive .506 on base percentage. In the field, she committed only one error all season. Becca has played travel ball with the NY Bad Apples, and is currently a member of the TC Tremors.

Congratulations Becca!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

MAAC Players---Megan Lamoureux, Marist

Megan Lamoureux was among the MAAC leaders in all offensive categories when she suffered a season ending injury on April 20. The Red Foxes went on to play in the tournament, but one wonders if they would have gone all the way had she not broken her collarbone.

Megan was having a Player Of The Year type season in 2011, hitting .367 (good for 5th in the conference) with 6 homers and 34 RBIs in her shortened season. Her slugging percentage (.608), and on base percentage (.478) also were among the MAAC's best. Megan in 2011 was one of the most difficult batters in the nation to strike out, fanning only six times. Despite her injury, she was still named to the All-MAAC Second Team.

Bad news MAAC pitchers: Megan is healed and ready to go for one more season!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

MAAC Players---Katie Bowen, Manhattan

Katie Bowen led Manhattan in hitting last season with a .336 average (good for 11th in the conference), and tied for the team lead in RBIs (25) as the lone freshman on a senior heavy team. Katie was at her best in conference play, hitting .429 which was second best in the MAAC. But she has become most renowned for her late inning, clutch hits. She had the game winning RBIs in both games of Manhattan's doubleheader sweep of Marist, driving home four runs. Against Iona, she won the first game with a two RBI single in extra innings, then helped to complete the sweep of the champions with two more RBIs in the second game (3-0 win). She also provided the late winner twice against Lafayette, and did the same against Columbia. I guess she has ice water in her veins! Katie twice earned MAAC Rookie Of The Week recognition in 2011.

Katie was primarily an infielder in 2011, but she also pitches, and looks to spend a lot more time in the circle this season with Manhattan's top three pitchers all having graduated. She finished with a 3-1 record in 2011, and at one point had a 16 inning scoreless streak to her credit.

Katie Bowen is the new face of the Lady Jaspers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

MAAC Players---Becca Trott, Fairfield

Fairfield's Becca Trott spent most of her freshman season in the shadow of Sarah Minice; understandable considering Sarah was having a fabulous senior season en route to a second MAAC Pitcher Of The Year award. So Becca didn't see much action during the 2011 regular season, but pitched well with an ERA under 3.00 in her time in the circle.

Then she was called upon in the most pressure filled situation possible.

The Stags had made it through the winner's bracket in the MAAC Tournament, and were facing off against defending champion Iona when the unthinkable occurred---Sarah Minice faltered and was removed after surrendering four runs in the first inning of game one. Enter Becca, who one hit the Gaels the rest of the way. But with those four runs holding up, a one game showdown for the MAAC title resulted.

Fairfield Head Coach Julie Brzezinski then made a stunning decision---she started the freshman in game two. And Becca pitched heroically, completely shutting down the champs for five innings, this time allowing only two hits. Ten innings, no runs allowed in a situation that would have had most freshmen quaking in their cleats. Coach Brzezinski probably to this day wishes she had kept Becca in the game with a 2-0 lead that was lost in the 7th inning. But the silver lining was that she found her ace for the next three seasons.

Sarah is gone, but Becca takes the reins!

MAAC Players---Katie Lancellotti, Canisius

One of the top defensive shortstops in the MAAC, Katie Lancellotti enters her senior season five home runs short of setting the all-time Canisius record for long balls in a career. Not surprising considering her father, former baseball player Rick Lancellotti, holds the record for most homers in a minor league career. Katie also has a shot at the all-time Canisius RBI record; 52 would get it for her.

Although Katie hits the ball very hard, she's primarily known for her outstanding play in the field. The anchor of the Golden Griffin defense committed only one error in 2011, playing every inning and fielding 152 chances. She was tops in the conference of those fielding more than 100 chances with a .993 fielding percentage. She has outstanding range and a very strong arm; if the ball is anywhere near her, she'll get it.

Katie will be robbing hitters of base hits one more season!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

MAAC Players---Becky Zill, Niagara

Playing in the shadow of Teresa Healy didn't hinder Niagara's Becky Zill in 2011. In fact, she matched the MAAC Player Of The Year in power, and was rewarded with a first team All-MAAC spot.

Becky had a fabulous sophomore season, at the top of the MAAC leaders with 12 homers and 35 RBIs. This in only 40 games. She also hit for a .344 average. Her .672 slugging percentage was one of the best in the conference---when the tall, athletic catcher gets a piece of the ball, it often travels quite far. She was tops in home runs in conference games (7), and was one of only two players to drive home 20 runs in MAAC play. She drove home 12 runs in Niagara's sweep of St. Peter's. Becky is outstanding behind the plate also, with a .979 fielding percentage in '11.

Becky will drive outfielders back to the fence for two more seasons!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

MAAC Players---Lauren Liseth, Fairfield

Fairfield's Lauren Liseth began her college career on a team that had lost most of it's lineup to graduation. In that pressure situation, she led the Stags to the MAAC Championship game, and was named the conference's Rookie Of The Year.

Lauren began her freshman season by striking out her first two at bats---but then she went on a season long tear. A versatile player who catches and plays shortstop, Lauren can hit for average (.304), and for power (7 homers; 35 RBIs). She led the Stags in many offensive categories, including home runs, RBIs, triples, doubles, slugging percentage and total bases. Lauren is outstanding in the field also, with a .985 fielding percentage in 2011. Behind the plate, she gunned down 15 runners attempting to steal.

Lauren is one of the bright young stars of the MAAC who will keep Fairfield in contention for the next three years!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

MAAC Players---Jessika-Jo Sandrini, Siena

Versatile Jessika-Jo Sandrini scores for the resurgent Siena softball program

After an astounding freshman season, Siena's Jessika-Jo Sandrini was inexplicably left off the All-MAAC team. She was on this blog's All-MAAC team though, and although I told you a year in advance that she would be a dynamic player in the MAAC, I have to admit that she exceeded my own projections.

Jessika-Jo was at or above .400 all season in 2011, finishing third in the MAAC with a .387 average; more importantly, she was number one in on base percentage (.532) with only the great Teresa Healy being anywhere near her. Amongst the leaders in runs, doubles, slugging percentage, walks, HBPs and fewest strikeouts, J-J was part of a formidable one-two punch with teammate Shannon Jones.

As great as Jessika-Jo is in the batter's box, it's her pitching that the rest of the MAAC is really going to have to worry about the next three seasons. Her 12-9 record with a 2.99 ERA is just the tip of the iceberg with her, and don't be surprised if she becomes dominant very soon. As a freshman, she led the Saints to the third best ERA in MAAC play.

Jessika-Jo will beat teams with her bat and her arm for the next three years!

St. Peter's 2012 Softball Schedule

The Peahens will get an early start this coming spring when they open on February 24 at the Longwood Classic, bolstering their schedule this season with a couple more tournaments, including the Spring Rebel Games and a trip to UMBC in March.
St. Peter's will open at home against Columbia on March 24, and will open MAAC play at Rider on April 7. They will have 7 home dates.

Head Coach Ranae Bart will enter her second season with a very different looking team, bringing in 9 freshmen, all of whom presumably will have a chance to play immediately. Coach Bart has expanded her recruiting scope, more on that later in the year, in an effort to change the culture at St. Peter's, a once very competitive team that had fallen on hard times. Let's hope she succeeds, because the MAAC needs a strong softball program in Jersey City.