Sunday, December 30, 2012

2013 MAAC Preview - Iona Gaels

  •  37 Jodi Petersen OF Senior
  • 11 Eileen McCann OF Senior
  • 12 Beth Kann UT Senior
  • 45 Cari Anderson C Senior
  • 33 Paige Murray OF Junior
  • 17 Katie Jansson C Junior
  • 8 Brianna Schauer SS Sophomore
  • 1 Allison Hand IF/OF Sophomore
  • 10 Carly Argyle P Sophomore
  • 18 Sarah Schutz IF Freshman
  • 2 Brianna King C Freshman
  • 13 Sydney Dimon IF Freshman
  • 24 Jordan Courage P Freshman
  • 5 Christine Costello P Freshman

Christmas is over, and I hope you all had a very nice one. For us though, that means that we are in countdown mode to the new MAAC softball season! Over the next month, I will give my take on the state of MAAC softball with individual school previews, beginning with the defending champion Iona College Gaels.

See that photo above? That's the 2010 edition of the Gaels; the one that was beginning a dynasty by winning their first of three consecutive titles. Most everyone in that photo is gone now, including the coach. College careers are short; turnover is constant. No one in the MAAC will have a more profound turnover than the Gaels. The Sarah Jackson era is over (she's a pitching coach with George Washington currently). She'll never be forgotten, but now Iona softball must move on.

The Gaels are this season's biggest question mark. They have a new head coach, Melissa Inouye, who has a very impressive background as an assistant, most recently at Fordham. She's also a former division 1 student-athlete and captain. This will be her first head coaching opportunity. She inherits a team that knows nothing but winning; yet she will have to reshape them after the loss, to graduation, of a pair of All-MAAC pitchers that dominated the other teams in the conference...even intimidated them.

The college game dictates that sometimes young players have a lot put on their plate, and this season it looks like sophomore Carly Argyle (pictured left) is going to be number one in the circle. "Gnarly" Carly has big shoes to fill; and it would be unfair to expect her to be the next Sarah Jackson. However, Carly is a pitching prospect with an impressive pedigree dating back to her days in the California softball scene when she was an all-league performer at Glendora High School. Another circle prospect for the Gaels is Jordan Courage, a freshman by way of Del Oro High School in California. I understand that Jordan was recovering from surgery this past fall, but will be ready by February as the season begins. The Gaels have yet another California pitcher on the roster, freshman Christine Costello. Also dominant in her high school career at La Reina, Christine is more of a power pitcher than Carly and Jordan. She brings leadership and dedication to her game; and may play other positions as well. This season's pitching scenario at Iona could go either way. Carly Argyle pitched 12 innings last season; other than that there is no experience on the staff. They will certainly obtain it this season. There may be growing pains. However, you'll remember that in 2010 Canisius faced the exact same situation, and went 13-3 in the conference while seeing both their young pitchers on the All-MAAC team at season's end. Only time will tell how the Gaels' young pitchers will fare.

The Gaels will be led this season by a pair of senior All-MAAC outfielders. One of the conference's top players, Eileen McCann (pictured left), enters her final season already holding the school's all-time career home run record. She had a great 2012 season, leading the team in hitting and runs scored. More importantly, she's a dedicated athlete who shows up for every game.  Most importantly, she knows how to win once MAAC season begins. So Eileen has two missions this season. First off, I know she wants to win it all again in spite of this being a very different Gael team from the previous three seasons. But also, and in particular with a brand new coach, she will be passing along the legacy of Iona softball to the young players. Eileen has played like a champion from the start, and the Iona program will want to keep that attitude after she has departed. Senior Jodi Petersen did suffer a sophomore slump after winning MAAC Rookie Of The Year; but she came back strong in 2012, particularly later in the season during the big games. The Gaels' leadoff hitter can do it all; she can hit for average or power, and is a very good runner. Jodi stole 15 bases in 2012, which was three more than her combined career total entering that season. Of course, Jodi is part of the winning tradition also. The other two seniors on the team, Beth Kann and Cari Anderson have not seen as much action as Eileen and Jodi, but should be in the lineup more often in 2012, lending experience.

Junior Katie Jansson saw her average fall under .200 after a solid freshman season. The Gaels will be looking for her to pick her game up as she enters the second half of her career. Katie has good all around skills, and I did get the impression that she was fighting through injury last season. Joining the team this season as a walk on is junior Paige Murray. The two non pitcher sophomores, Allison Hand and Brianna Schauer (pictured left) both made significant contributions as freshmen. As a matter of fact, I thought Brianna was one of the team's better players down the stretch. She had a terrific MAAC Championship, landing a spot on the All-Tournament team. Allison hit a homer in the epic 15 inning tournament game vs. Fairfield which almost held up as the winner. She hit .333 at the tournament, with at least one hit in each of the five games. Brianna and Allison will be everyday players this season, counted upon to be major contributors. The Gaels have an interesting freshman class coming aboard; aside from the aforementioned Jordan Courage and Christine Costello is Sarah Schutz, a hard hitting third baseman out of Florida. Also joining the team is Brianna King, a strong hitting and strong armed catcher by way of the New Jersey Intensity. Sydney Dimon, an All-American from Elmira, NY who averaged two RBIs per game in high school looks to break into the lineup immediately. Actually, everyone will get a chance to play this season, as the Gaels will have a roster of only 14 players.

Yes, the Iona Gaels are the big mystery of the MAAC in 2013. During their championship runs, the Gaels were never the team to get into shootouts with their opponents. They had their lock down pitcher, and oftentimes scratching out a few runs was all they needed. Suddenly, the spotlight is on the circle. With their experience, if the Gaels get at least decent pitching, they can make a run for a tournament spot. If one of their young pitchers performs at an All-MAAC level, we could be hearing "fourpeat!". At the very least, the new staff will obtain the seasoning necessary to compete in the future.

Next up: The Fairfield Stags

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Manhattan 2013 Softball Schedule

Manhattan College will open their 48 game softball schedule on the weekend of February 22-24 at North Carolina A&T's Invitational. Their first game will be a rare non conference matchup against MAAC rival Canisius. They will also play St. Francis, Maryland-Eastern Shore and the host Aggies. They will then open their home schedule on March 13 with a doubleheader against St. John's. On the weekend of March 15-17, the Lady Jaspers will participate in the Stony Brook tournament, playing Yale, Providence, Holy Cross and the host school. Then it's off to Kissimmee, FL and the Rebel Spring Games where over three days they will play Albany, Wisconsin-Green Bay and Columbia. They will play a doubleheader against Cornell on the 23rd in Clermont, FL before returning north.

The LJs will open MAAC play at home vs. St. Peter's on April 6, which will be one of eight home dates in 2013. They close conference play early, on April 28 against Siena in Riverdale; and will end the regular season with a doubleheader at future MAAC rival Quinnipiac on May 4.

Manhattan 2013 Softball Schedule

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gianna Kinhofer Signs With Fairfield

A recruit I missed, which was reported by the Fairfield site yesterday. Gianna Kinhofer of Ocean, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Fairfield University beginning in the 2014 season.

Gianna Kinhofer is a shortstop and pitcher at Ocean Township High School. And although she has won all-county recognition for her work in the circle, Gianna is being mainly recruited for her batting skills. Last season, she hit .494 to go along with an impressive .818 slugging percentage. She also led her team in RBIs. Gianna plays travel ball with the Morris County Belles Gold, one of New Jersey's top teams where she was a teammate of current Stags Sam Frungillo and Taylor August.

Congratulations Gianna!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Siena 2013 Softball Schedule

Siena College will launch their 55 game softball schedule on February 23-24 when they play three games at East Tennessee State. The Saints will begin tournament action on the weekend of March 8-10 at the Lady Pirates Classic in Hampton, VA, where they will play Delaware, Central Connecticut St., Maryland-Eastern Shore and Hampton. They will then head to Baltimore, MD, playing a doubleheader at Coppin State on the 14th before participating in the UMBC Spring Classic on the weekend of March 15-17 with Princeton, Morgan State and Georgetown among their opponents. Siena will then go west, landing in Albuquerque, NM for a game against Oklahoma State and a pair against New Mexico on March 23-24. On the 25th they will be in Las Cruces for a doubleheader vs. New Mexico State. The Saints then travel to Texas for a pair of doubleheaders at Texas-El Paso on March 26-27 to close out a challenging month.

On April 3, the Saints will be back home, but on the field of local rival Albany for a doubleheader. They begin MAAC play on April 6 when they host Iona, the first of nine home dates in 2013. They will close the regular season on May 5 at MAAC rival Marist.

Siena 2013 Softball Schedule

Marist 2013 Softball Schedule

Marist College will begin their 55 game softball schedule on March 2-3 at the Norfolk State tournament with games against Delaware, Army and the host school. The Red Foxes then head to UMBC for the Dawg Pound Classic on the weekend of March 8-10 where they will play Rhode Island, Mount St. Mary's, Howard, George Washington and the Retrievers. The team will then head to the west coast to participate in the San Diego Classic, with games against Bryant, Nevada-Las Vegas, San Jose State, Texas Tech and San Diego. On March 19, Marist will play a game in high altitude when they visit Brigham Young University. Staying in state, they will then visit Utah Valley on the 20th. From there, the Red Foxes will head to Fort Collins, CO to play in Colorado State's Spring tournament March 22-24. That's one busy March!

After coming back east and playing doubleheaders at Army, Hofstra and Seton Hall, Marist will open MAAC play on April 7 at home against Fairfield. This will be the first of eight home dates. The Red Foxes close the regular season with a MAAC matchup at Siena on May 5. Again this year, Marist will have the chance of extra homes games due to the MAAC Tournament being played in Poughkeepsie.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The MAAC's Newest Teams

Yesterday the MAAC announced the expansion of the conference, welcoming Quinnipiac and Monmouth to the fold. Both schools have solid softball programs, and will begin competition as full fledged members of the MAAC in the 2014 season. Here's a brief look at the two newcomers.

2012 Quinnipiac Bobcats

Quinnipiac is coached by Germaine Fairchild, who has won 276 games during her 12 year career with the Bobcats. The team has won 32 games in each of their previous two seasons; and have participated in seven NEC tournaments.Quinnipiac plays fellow Connecticut school Fairfield every year in a home and home series; that rivalry will really heat up beginning in 2014.

QU's Ashley Heiberger slides against Fairfield's Lauren Liseth. The two Connecticut based teams are already very familiar with each other.
2012 Monmouth Hawks
The Monmouth Hawks are coached by Louie Berndt, who completed her third season with the school in 2012. She's a coach with lots of experience however, spending a decade as associate head coach at Florida State where she helped that team to two World Series appearances. She has notched 75 wins in her three years at Monmouth, leading the Hawks to two NEC tournament appearances in that time. Monmouth has made a total of 15 NEC tournaments. In 2014, MAAC fans will get a chance to watch reigning NEC Player Of The Year Kaitie Schumacher, who will be a senior that season.

NEC POY Kaitie Schumacher hit .388 in 2012
Although no announcement has yet been made, it is likely that the MAAC conference schedule will be expanded to 20 games. Hopefully the tournament field will also be expanded. In my opinion, the inclusion of these two programs will raise the level of play in the softball MAAC.

Quinnipiac vs. Monmouth, 2012 NEC Tournament  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Quinnipiac University Joins The MAAC

Quinnipiac University has accepted the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's invitation of membership beginning in the 2013-14 school year.

Wow, it's a huge day for the MAAC as they welcome another school into the fold. Quinnipiac University is located in Hamden, CT, not far from MAAC school Fairfield. Quinnipiac does have a softball program, meaning it looks like the MAAC will go to a 20 game conference schedule in 2014 (with Monmouth University also joining; see previous post). And perhaps an expansion of the tournament field? The Bobcats had a very good team in 2012, finishing with a 34-18 record, including a 6-2 record against MAAC schools. We will follow the Bobcats' final season in the NEC.

Welcome to the MAAC Quinnipiac!

Quinnipiac Announcement

Monmouth University Joins The MAAC

Monmouth University has announced that it will accept the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's invitation of membership beginning in the 2013-14 school year. Monmouth University is located in West Long Branch, NJ, and is quite close to many MAAC schools.

Monmouth does have a softball program; last season the Hawks finished 24-20, ending their season playing in the NEC tournament. We'll follow the softball Hawks as they play their last season in the NEC.

Welcome to the MAAC Monmouth!

Monmouth President's Announcement

Iona 2013 Softball Schedule

The Iona Gaels begin their 55 game softball schedule on February 8 at the Wilmington Beach Blast in North Carolina, playing Detroit Mercy, Nebraska-Omaha, and the host school. On the weekend of February 22, the Gaels will play in the North Carolina Classic against the Tar Heels, North Dakota State, Iowa State and George Washington, who this season have as their pitching coach Sarah Jackson. Iona begins play in March at the Towson Classic before heading for the west coast. After three weekday games in San Diego, they will participate in the Riverside tournament that will feature a pair of games against Notre Dame. The Gaels will have only six home dates this season, beginning with their home opener on March 20 vs. Temple. They open MAAC play on March 30 when they host Fairfield in a rematch of last season's MAAC Championship. The Gaels close their regular season on May 4 at Saint Peter's.

Iona 2013 Softball Schedule

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Canisius 2013 Softball Schedule

Canisius College will open its 53 game softball schedule indoors on February 16-17 at the Cleveland State Dome tournament, playing the host Vikings, St. Bonaventure, and Bucknell, plus a rare non conference matchup with MAAC rival Niagara. The next weekend, at the North Carolina A&T Invitational, they will play another rare non conference game against a MAAC rival; this time vs. Manhattan. In early March, the Golden Griffins will play in tournaments at Hampton, VA (Pirate Invitational); and Fairfax, VA (Cherry Blossom Classic).
Canisius will open MAAC play on April 6 at Rider. Canisius will then play eight home dates in a row, which makes up their entire home schedule. They close their regular season on May 4 at Siena.

Canisius 2013 Softball Schedule

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rider 2013 Softball Schedule

The Rider Broncs will open their 2013 softball season on February 9-10 when they take part in the Pirate Classic at East Carolina University. They will play Towson, Cleveland State, Ohio and the host school that weekend. The Broncs will be at the Patriot Classic in Fairfax, VA on the weekend of March 1-3, with games against Rutgers, Cornell and George Mason. After a road doubleheader at Drexel, Rider will open their home slate on March 13 with a game against Monmouth. They then head south again, this time to Kissimmee, FL for a week at the Rebel Spring Games. The Broncs will open MAAC play on March 30 at Saint Peter's; and close the regular season on May 4 when they host conference rival Fairfield. Rider will have nine home dates in 2013.
Currently, the Rider schedule indicates 60 games, with opponents at the Spring Games still to be announced.

Rider Softball Schedule

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Taylor Decker Signs With Canisius

The Griffs once again look to Arizona for talent!
Taylor Decker of Scottsdale, AZ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Canisius College beginning in the 2014 season.

Taylor Decker is a catcher and outfielder at Cactus Shadows High School (love that name!) in Cave Creek, AZ.  A starter behind the plate since her freshman season, she has a strong and accurate arm, earning second team All-Arizona honors in 2011. In the batter's box, Taylor had a great 2012 season, hitting for a .484 average which included a team leading 12 doubles. She also had a .677 slugging percentage, and drove home 16 runs. Taylor currently plays travel ball with the Arizona Storm, and is a teammate of recent Canisius signee Sarah Andrews.

Congratulations Taylor!

Friday, December 7, 2012

MAAC All-American Scholar-Athletes

Senior Eileen McCann can hit and is smarter than you!
The NFCA today released its list of 2011-12 Division 1 Scholar-Athlete All-Americans, recognizing excellence in the classroom. The following MAAC players were so honored:

Canisius College
Lauryn Chris
Jen Consaul
Michelle DelPrince
Lizzy Gatto
Katie Lancellotti
Caroline Main
Val Nappo

Fairfield University
Lauren Liseth

Iona College
Deanne Algeo
Cari Anderson
Melanie Hay
Allyssa James
Katie Jansson
Eileen McCann
Jodi Petersen
Brianna Schauer

Manhattan College
Amanda Babcock
Katie Bowen
Amy Bright
Anna Gallacher
Kelly Murray
Amanda Paxson
Mickayla Romero

Congratulations to all!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Joelle Morey Signs With St. Peter's

Courtesy of Lehigh Valley Express-Times
Joelle Morey of Northamptom, PA has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at St. Peter's University beginning in the 2014 season.

Excellent signing by the Peahens as they fill a need in the circle and at the plate with one move. Joelle Morey is a pitcher and third baseman for Bethlehem Catholic High School where she has received much recognition for her play, including being named to the Max Preps underclassmen All-America team, as well as the All-Pennsylvania team, Lehigh Valley Player Of The Year and Pitcher Of The Year. In leading her team to a second consecutive Lehigh Valley Conference championship, Joelle produced great numbers. As a pitcher last season she had a record of 10-6 and an ERA of 1.06. She pitched a perfect game in 2011. At the plate, she hit .521 with four home runs and 29 RBIs. She can hit for average and power; and shows up in the big games. She plays travel ball with the New Jersey Inferno Gold.

Congratulations Joelle!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fairfield 2013 Softball Schedule

The Fairfield Stags will open their 49 game 2013 softball schedule on the weekend of February 22-24 when they play in the East Carolina Pirate Classic in Greenville, NC. They will face off against the host school plus Lehigh and Liberty. On March 12, the Stags head west for a series of games in San Diego, CA, including matchups against Texas Tech, and culminating with tournament action at San Diego University where they will play the host school and Long Beach State, Colorado State and San Jose State.

Fairfield will open their home schedule on March 20, hosting Central Connecticut State for a doubleheader. After visits to UConn, Quinnipiac, Yale and Stony Brook, they will begin MAAC play at Iona on March 30. The Stags will have 12 home dates in 2013, including non conference games against Hofstra, Boston University and Providence College.

2013 Fairfield Schedule

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Megan McDonough Signs With Rider

Courtesy of the Washington Post
Megan McDonough of Sandy Spring, MD has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2014 season.

Megan is a first baseman and outfielder for Sherwood High School, who she led to an undefeated season and the Maryland State championship in 2012. Megan hit for a .508 average last season, which included 20 RBIs and 11 extra base hits. She plays travel ball with the Maryland Black Ice.

Congratulations Megan!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Molly Roche Signs With Fairfield

Courtesy of the Peekskill Patch
Molly Roche of Cortlandt Manor, NY has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Fairfield University beginning in the 2014 season.

Molly is a first baseman and outfielder at Walter Panas High School where she has been producing impressive power numbers. In 2012 she hit for a .478 average; this included 8 home runs and 32 RBIs in just 21 games. Adding 8 doubles and a pair of triples raised her slugging percentage to a lofty 1.000. She plays travel ball with the Frozen Ropes Gold; and has also played with the East Coast Elite.

Congratulations Molly!


Lauren Visconti Signs With Manhattan

Courtesy of the Bethlehem Patch
Lauren Visconti of Stewartsville, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Manhattan College beginning in the 2014 season.

Lauren is a senior at Bethlehem Catholic High School right across the border in Pennsylvania. She's an outfielder who was honored as an All-Pennsylvania selection by that state's coaches association after a great 2012 season which saw her hit for a .418 average. She drove home 22 runs and scored 26 times in 24 games, and is a leadoff type hitter with great speed who knows how to get on base and manufacture runs. She shows up for the big games, leading her team to back-to-back Lehigh Valley Championships. Lauren is very athletic, playing multiple sports, and is a Field Hockey all-star. She plays travel ball with the Northwest Explosion.

Congratulations Lauren!

Hard slide into first!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Jenn Vazquez Signs With Manhattan

Jenn denies a run. Courtesy of the CT News
Jenn Vazquez of Trumbull, CT has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Manhattan College beginning in the 2014 season.

Looks like the LJs found their future defensive anchor when they signed the two time All-Connecticut catcher. Jenn is currently completing her senior year at St. Joseph High School where she had a great 2012 season and was named FCIAC Spring Athlete Of The Year. She is a stalwart behind the plate, a catcher against whom steals are nearly impossible. She works very well with pitchers, and is the captain of her team. At the plate she swings a heavy bat, hitting .468 in 2012 with 8 homers and 30 RBIs. She had a slugging percentage of .877, and rarely strikes out.

 Congratulations Jenn!

Ashlyn Morris Signs With Iona

Courtesy of the Redlands Daily Facts
Ashlyn Morris of Redlands, CA has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Iona College beginning in the 2014 season.

The Gaels will have to replace a pair of All-MAAC outfielders after this season concludes, so they went out and recruited a good one---Max Preps small school All-American Ashlyn Morris. Ashlyn is a center fielder for the Citrus Valley High School Blackhawks; she had a great 2012 season that saw her honored as the CIF-Southern Section Division 6 Player Of The Year. She hit .543 last season, scoring 40 runs while driving home 20. An excellent runner, she stole safely on all 13 of her attempts. She's outstanding in the field as well, committing only one error in the past two seasons. She has played travel ball with the USA Athletics Gold.

Congratulations Ashlyn!


Friday, November 16, 2012

Stephanie Reinhardt Signs With Manhattan

Stephanie officially became a Lady Jasper this week
Stephanie Reinhardt of Albany, NY signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Manhattan College beginning in the 2014 season.

Stephanie is currently a senior at Colonie Central High School, where she is an outstanding defensive shortstop and .400 hitter. She plays travel ball with the STPS Ponies.

Congratulations Stephanie!

Kaitlyn Kallert Signs With Rider

Kaitlyn officially becomes a Bronc
Kaitlyn Kallert of Woodland Park, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2014 season.

Kaitlyn is a pitcher in her senior year at Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls, NJ. The All-Passaic County first teamer is a good one too, posting a 16-10 record in 2012 with a stingy 1.63 ERA. This included a pair of perfect games and ten shutouts. She also threw a perfect game her sophomore season. She struck out 222 batters in 175 innings in '12; and shows very good control, walking less than a batter per game. She can hit as well, posting a .375 batting average and .530 slugging percentage last season at the plate. She plays travel ball with the New Jersey Heist Gold.

Congratulations Kaitlyn!

Kristen Turner Signs With Iona

Courtesy of Gloucester County Times
Kristen Turner of Turnersville, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Iona College beginning in the 2014 season.

Kristen is a first baseman in her senior year at Washington Township High School. Known for coming up with a timely hit, she can hit for average and power. In 23 games in 2012, Kristen hit for a .363 average, which included 11 extra base hits and 30 RBIs. She plays travel ball with the New Jersey Gators Gold.

Congratulations Kristen!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sarah Andrews Commits To Canisius

Sarah Andrews of Vail, AZ will sign a national letter of intent this week to play softball at Canisius College beginning in the 2014 season.

Sarah is a pitcher and outfielder at one of Arizona's top high school programs, the Cienega High Bobcats, a team that has made it to the Arizona State title game three consecutive seasons, winning once. An All-Southern Arizona First team selection, Sarah hit .406 in 2012 which earned her the team's Offensive Player Of The Year award. In the circle last season, she saw more time as a reliever; in 2011 as a starter, she had a record of 13-2 with a 2.51 ERA, walking only one batter per seven innings. Sarah plays travel ball with the Arizona Storm Gold.

 Congratulations Sarah!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Rachel Ziarnowski Commits To Niagara

Rachel Ziarnowski of Wheatfield, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Niagara University beginning in the 2014 season.

With all the pitchers that the Purple Eagles have been recruiting of late, it makes perfect sense for Coach Ellie Chan to go get herself a catcher, and she has done exactly that. Rachel Ziarnowski is currently a senior at Holy Angels Academy in Buffalo, NY where this past season she was named to the All-New York State team as well as the All-Western New York team. The strong armed catcher had a great 2012 season, hitting .521 with six triples, and a slugging percentage of .750. Rachel is a great all around athlete, who also plays volleyball and ice hockey. She plays travel ball with the New Era Diamond Girls.

Congratulations Rachel!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Tori Reed Commits To Fairfield

Tori Reed of Dover, DE has verbally committed to play softball at Fairfield University beginning in the 2014 season.

Tori is a catcher and shortstop currently in her senior year at Polytech High School in Dover. As captain and MVP of the Hornets, she shows a lot of power at the plate, driving home 30 runs in only 60 at bats last season with a .483 average that included six triples. Tori currently plays travel ball with the Severna Park Green Hornets Gold, out of Maryland. She has also played for the two-time Delaware state champs Delaware Cobras.

Congratulations Tori!

Tori triples at Rising Stars in FLA

Thursday, November 1, 2012

MAAC Players---Rae Ball, Fairfield

Fairfield's Rae Ball raised the level of her pitching game during the 2012 season, suddenly giving the Stags a potent circle tandem which led them all the way to the MAAC Championship game. In conference play last season, Rae had a sparkling 1.90 ERA to rank among the conference's leaders. She has a record of 20-12 over her first two season at Fairfield, but also swings a heavy bat, with 12 home runs and 60 RBIs in her career thus far. Rae led the Stags in home runs, RBIs and slugging percentage in 2012, which earned her All-MAAC status as a sophomore.

Rae Ball will continue to be double trouble for the rest of the MAAC in the next two seasons!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ali VanGiesen Commits To Niagara

Courtesy of the Auburn Citizen

Ali VanGiesen of Auburn, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Niagara University beginning in the 2014 season.

Ellie Chan keeps on stockpiling great young pitchers; this time it's Ali VanGiesen, a strikeout pitcher who also can hit. Ali pitches for Auburn High School, where in 2012 she compiled a 16-3 record, to go along with a 1.26 ERA. For her career, Ali has struck out 436 batters; last season she hit double digit Ks in nine games, including a 16 strikeout performance. But Ali is also a great at the plate, hitting .600 last season. She's a good runner too, stealing 14 bases in 2012. She plays her travel ball with the Battery Lightning Gold.

 Congratulations Ali!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Bridget Hogan Commits To Niagara

Purple Eagles add to impressive young staff
Bridget Hogan of Boston, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Niagara University beginning in the 2014 season.

New Niagara coach Ellie Chan continues to build her version of the Purple Eagles with an emphasis on strong pitching. Today she received a commitment from All-New York State first teamer Bridget Hogan. Bridget is in her senior year at Hamburg High School, after having led the Bulldogs to their first ever New York State championship appearance this past season. She was dominant in the circle, posting a 17-1 record with a miniscule 0.28 ERA. She has a full array of pitches, striking out 211 batters in 123 innings. She showed great control, walking only 15. Bridget can hit also, batting .423 in '12 with 13 extra base hits and a slugging percentage of over .600. She plays travel ball with Team Mizuno Gold, the 2012 ASA Eastern National champions.

Congratulations Bridget!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Samantha Sharkey Commits To Canisius

Newest Golden Griffin Sam Sharkey
Samantha Sharkey of Fort Lauderdale, FL has verbally committed to play softball at Canisius College beginning in the 2014 season.

 Another south Florida girl is headed north; this time it's Sam Sharkey, a shortstop and outfielder at St. Thomas Aquinas High School, one of Florida's top high school programs. Sam has been an All-Broward County selection three times (the same county where Fairfield's Sammi Ruffolo played). She plays travel ball with the Gold Coast Hurricane, who this past summer played in the ASA Nationals, where Sam hit .375. She has also played for the Fort Lauderdale Lightning.

 Congratulations Sammy!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sandrini Sisters Storm Siena!

Jordan (left) joins Jessika-Jo at Siena this season

When the Siena Saints recently opened the 2012 fall season, their lineup showed two Sandrinis. The rest of the MAAC wasn't all that thrilled to have to face one; now they have another to worry about!

Looking back at last season's statistics, one could make a compelling argument that Jessika-Jo Sandrini was the MAAC's most valuable player. J-J dominated conference play, leading the MAAC in hitting (.522); hits (24); home runs (6); RBIs (18); doubles (6); and total bases (45). No one was anywhere near her in slugging percentage (1.043!) and on base percentage (.600). And she was second in ERA (1.43) as a pitcher. All as a sophomore. Kind of scary. And now comes her sister to join her.

Siena wasn't doing Jessika-Jo any favor by recruiting her sister Jordan; it would be more accurate to say the opposite is true. The Sandrini sisters became somewhat legendary in Adna, WA after bringing that small town a state championship in 2009. Jordan repeated the feat in 2011. A great player in her own right, Jordan was an All-Washington State honoree, and a star athlete in volleyball and basketball. She had a remarkable senior season for the Pirates, hitting .543 with an on base percentage of over .700. She is also outstanding in the field at shortstop. And like her sister, she is a fierce competitor.

Can the Sandrinis do for Siena College what they did for Adna in bringing a long hoped for championship? There's no doubt that the Saints will be one of the favorites headed into the 2013 MAAC season. Will this be the season when they get "over the hump"? Only time will tell, but they now have two players who know what it takes to get to the top.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Ellie Chan Interview

New Niagara Head Coach Ellie (Hanover) Chan gives her thoughts on her new team as the fall season gets underway.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Marist 2012 Fall Schedule

September 15
Colgate 12 pm
LeMoyne 2 pm
Binghamton, NY

September 29
Long Island (DH) 12 pm
Poughkeepsie, NY

September 30
@Army (DH) 1 pm

October 6
Seton Hall 11 am
Sacred Heart 3 pm
Poughkeepsie, NY

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Niagara 2012 Fall Schedule


September 15
Canisius 11:30 am
Buffalo 1:30 pm

September 16
St. Bonaventure 11:30 am
Championship/Consolation 1:30 pm
Amherst, NY

September 22
@Buffalo (DH) 12 pm

October 6
Mercyhurst (DH) 1 pm
Niagara Field

Canisius 2012 Fall Schedule


September 15
Niagara 11:30 am
St. Bonaventure 1:30 pm

September 16
Buffalo 11:30 am
Championship/Consolation 1:30 pm
Amherst, NY

September 22
Edinboro 3 pm
Demske Sports Complex

September 30
Monroe Community 12 pm
Niagara Falls, NY

October 7
Mercyhurst 4 pm
Demske Sports Complex

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mikayla Powlowsky Commits To Siena

Courtesy Of New Hampshire High School Sports

Mikayla Powlowsky of Hudson, NH has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2014 season.

If the name seems familiar, of course Mikayla is the younger sister of recently graduated Saint, All-MAAC Nastasha Powlowsky. While Nastasha was a catcher, Mikayla is a speedy center fielder; a player with the ability to get on base any way she can, and a constant base stealing threat. She is a teammate of future Saint Chelsey Drew at New Hampshire state champion Alvirne High School. Mikayla is currently on the roster of the New Jersey Intensity, a top east coast travel team; and has also played for the Polar Crush.

Congratulations Mikayla!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sarah Jackson Beats Russians At European Cup

Going for a 4th championship, this time overseas!

Sarah shutout out the Tex Town Tigers (the Netherlands) Thursday 7-0, improving her record to 3-0.

Former Iona College pitcher Sarah Jackson improved her record to 2-0 at the 2012 European Cup, leading Italy to a 3-2 win over Russia today in Enschede, the Netherlands.

It was a classic Sarah Jackson performance today, but this time it took place in the uniform of the Caserta softball club, which is representing Italy at the annual European Softball Cup. Carrousel of Russia touched Sarah for two runs in the first inning, helped along with a throwing error; but she shut down the Russian attack after that, ending the game with six shutout innings. Caserta chipped away at the lead, scoring once in the second and fourth innings. A seventh inning, two out single by Bianca Novelli brought home the winner, with Sarah closing the door in the bottom of the same frame. For the game, Sarah finished with eight strikeouts; walking only one batter in a five hit effort.

The playoffs begin Thursday, culminating in the championship game Saturday.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Chelsey Drew Commits To Siena

Chelsey Drew sliding hard into second base

Chelsey Drew of Belmont, NH has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2014 season.

Seems like the MAAC schools are signing nothing but state champions lately! The Siena Saints have just received a verbal from Chelsey Drew, a shortstop for two time defending New Hampshire State champion Alvirne High School (Nashua, NH). The Broncos are a very talented squad, and Chelsey is a big part of their success. She's a tall, athletic player with a hefty bat who hit over .400 in 2011, and .500 this past season. She smashed a towering homer for the game winner in the '12 Championship game. She has been an All-New Hampshire and All-Nashua selection the past two seasons. Chelsey plays travel ball with the Polar Crush.

Congratulations Chelsey!

Photo courtesy of the Nashua Telegraph

Amanda Crimarco Commits To Rider

Courtesy of Newsday

Amanda Crimarco of Long Island, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2014 season.

Amanda is the starting shortstop at Kellenberg Memorial High School in Uniondale, NY, where she helped the Firebirds earlier this year win their first ever New York State CHSAA Championship, capping off a 29-0 season. She was named to the All Nassau-Suffolk League team for her play in 2012. Amanda plays travel ball with the Long Island Sudden Impact, a program that has provided a lot of great players to the MAAC, including Haley Birnbaum, Melissa Donnelly and Erika Sullivan.

Congratulations Amanda!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

St. Peter's Completes Designation Transition

Founded in 1872, the Jesuit institution of higher learning formerly known as Saint Peter's College yesterday completed its designation transition and will from here on be known as Saint Peter's University.

The good news for us here at MAAC Softball is that the University has a brand new sports web site, which is a great improvement:

...and, unlike its predecessor, comes complete with an RSS feed, which means that current updates will now be found in our blog roll (on the right hand side of this page)!