Monday, December 23, 2013

MAAC Softball Tournament To Expand!

Breaking news from the MAAC...

The MAAC announced today that they will be expanding the conference's softball championship tournament to six teams and four days, effective this season.

The 2014 MAAC Softball Championship format has been expanded (to) a six team format over four days of competition with the first day of competition beginning on Wednesday, May 7. The championship will be held at Alumni Softball Field on the campus of Fairfield University from May 7 – 10 with the Sunday, May 11 as the rain day. The Committee on Athletic Administration plans to review the bracket for the six team format to provide the best experience for the student athletes participating.

With the conference having expanded for this season this is a great idea, and will make the regular season much more exciting.

MAAC announcement

2014 MAAC Preview - Marist College

Last season: The Red Foxes won the MAAC championship, finishing with a 30-26 record, 10-6 in the conference. They lose key players to graduation, but bring aboard a talented freshman class.

2014 roster:  All-MAAC catcher Alyssa Zahka will lead a productive and experienced senior class this season. Alyssa had a fabulous junior season, hitting .371 with eight home runs and 41 RBIs. She's also outstanding behind the plate, committing only three errors last year. Aly Klemmer has been very consistent over her career, hitting 19 home runs while averaging over 20 RBIs per season. She had her best season in 2013, hitting .316. She will play first base and outfield. Infielder Haley Birnbaum saw limited action in 2013, but she's a player who drove home 59 runs her first two seasons of play. Pitcher Paige Lewis has a career record of 25-20, and will have the opportunity to step into a primary circle role.

Junior pitchers Melanie White and Janine Lalli will be called upon to take a greater role in the circle this season with the graduation of Emily Osterhaus. Both have had periods of great pitching. Janine has a career record of 15-4; Melanie stands at 8-16, but with an ERA of 3.16. Outfielder Taylor Kuzma slumped last season, and will look to return to her freshman season form when she hit .262 and stole 10 bases.

Nicole Cheek leads a talented sophomore class. Nicole was named twice to the All-MAAC team (as a designated player and outfielder). She pounded out 15 homers, and set the Marist RBI record with 52 as a freshman. She hit .348, led the team with a .663 slugging percentage and also scored 43 runs. After a slow start, speedy outfielder Maureen Duddy surged in the second half of the 2013 season, finishing with a .311 average. She stole 14 bases, and scored 39 runs. Infielder Kyrsten Van Natta was setting the MAAC on fire early in the season, before settling into a final .266 batting average, stealing 15 bases. Colleen McWilliams hit only .138 in limited action as a freshman, but did hit two homers with 10 RBIs.

The Red Foxes have another strong class of recruits joining the team this season, and they all figure to see significant playing time. Janna Korak and Rebecca Freeman can hit for power. Jordynn Jo Barrera has all around ability. Jayne Oberdorf will have a chance for significant circle time. Under Coach Ausanio, if a freshman can produce, she will play regularly.

Outlook: Although Marist lost some key players to graduation, they still have the pieces in place to repeat as MAAC champions. They are a well coached team with a well rounded and versatile roster. Add to that the invaluable experience of winning it all, and the Red Foxes should be in the thick of things in 2014.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

2014 Iona Softball Schedule

The Iona Gaels will open their 51 game schedule on the weekend of February 21 at the Elon Phoenix tournament in North Carolina. On the weekend of March 8, the Gaels will play in Hampton's Lady Pirate Classic in Virginia before heading down to Florida to participate in one of South Florida's tournaments on the weekend of March 14. They will stay in the sunshine state for three more games later that week.

Coming back north, Iona will open their home schedule on March 25 when they host local rival St. John's. MAAC play for the Gaels will begin at home vs. St. Peter's on March 29. They will host Monmouth for the first ever MAAC doubleheader with that school on April 12. The next day the Gaels travel to Quinnipiac for the first conference meeting with the Bobcats. Iona will have 11 home dates, including a doubleheader vs. regional power Hofstra on April 9.

2014 Iona schedule

2014 Marist Softball Schedule

Defending MAAC champion Marist will open their 54 game schedule on the weekend of February 28 at the Mercer Bear Classic in Macon, GA. After participating in the Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, SC on the weekend of March 7, the Red Foxes head down to Florida for a week of games in various cities, including Daytona Beach, Orlando and Jacksonville.

Marist will open their home schedule on March 25 when they host Columbia for a doubleheader. On March 29, the champs will open MAAC play at Fairfield. They will play their first conference doubleheader vs. Monmouth on April 5 in West Long Branch, NJ. They will host new MAAC rival on April 26. Marist will have nine home dates in 2014.

2014 Marist schedule

2014 Canisius Softball Schedule

The Canisius Golden Griffins will open their 55 game 2014 softball schedule on the weekend of February 8 when they return to the Cleveland State Indoor Tournament, where they will play the host school plus Bucknell, Robert Morris and Bowling Green. On the weekend of February 21, the Griffs will play in the Western Kentucky tournament. After participating at the Towson tournament in the beginning of March, Canisius will head to the west coast, first to play in the Titan Classic hosted by Fullerton. After that, the Golden Griffins will play a week of games in the Los Angeles area.

Canisius will travel back east, and immediately begin MAAC play with a doubleheader at local rival Niagara on March 29. The Griffs will open their home schedule on April 1 against another local rival, Buffalo. New MAAC rival Monmouth will make their first ever appearance at the Demske Sports Complex on April 27. Canisius will play their first ever conference doubleheader vs. Quinnipiac on May 4 in Hamden, CT.

Canisius will have nine home dates in 2014, highlighted by a doubleheader vs. state rival Syracuse on April 24.

2014 Canisius schedule

Monday, November 25, 2013

Nicole Feoli Signs With St. Peter's

Nicole Feoli of Burlington, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at St. Peter's University beginning in the 2015 season.

Nicole Feoli is a shortstop at Burlington Township High School where she was named All-New Jersey and the team's defensive player of the year as a junior. She is a career .381 hitter who has improved her average each season, hitting .390 in 2013. She's fast and can hit for extra bases, and also steal a few. Nicole plays travel ball with the Jersey Inferno Gold.

Congratulations Nicole!

Jill Silvanic Signs With St. Peter's

Jill Silvanic of Owego, NY has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at St. Peter's University beginning in the 2015 season.

Jill Silvanic is a catcher at Owego Free Academy where she has been playing varsity softball since she was a 7th grader. She has hit over .400 her past two seasons, and is an outstanding fielder who can also play first base. But the Peacocks will want her behind the plate. Jill plays travel ball with the TC Tremors Gold out of Binghamton, NY.

Congratulations Jill!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

2014 Fairfield Softball Schedule

The Fairfield Stags will open their 2014 softball season with four tournaments, beginning on the weekend of February 20 at the Citrus Classic in Orlando, FL. On the weekend of February 28, they will participate at the James Madison tournament down in Virginia.  They will return to the northeast on March 14 to take part in the Hofstra tournament before heading down to Lexington, KY on March 21 to play in Kentucky's tournament.

The Stags will open their home schedule on March 26 with a doubleheader against Yale. The next day they are at crosstown rival Sacred Heart, all in preparation for their MAAC opener on March 29 when they host defending champ Marist, who they lost to in the conference championship last season. Fairfield will play state rival Quinnipiac for the first time as a conference foe when they travel to Hamden, CT on April 2. They will host Monmouth for their first MAAC matchup with the New Jersey school on April 13. They will close out their regular season schedule on May 3 with a  conference doubleheader at Manhattan. The Stags will have eight home dates in 2014, but Fairfield will be hosting the MAAC Championship so it could be more.

Fairfield Softball Schedule

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Chloe Howerth Signs With Monmouth

Chloe applies a tag
Chloe Howerth of Rockton, IL has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Monmouth University beginning in the 2015 season.

Chloe Howerth is a second baseman and outfielder at Hononegah High School in Illinois. Actually, she's originally from softball rich Orange County, CA, but her family moved east recently. Chloe enrolled in her new school and impressed her new coach on her first day with her obvious softball skills. She is a very speedy slap hitter, who is a tough out and can reach on a bunt at any given time. Defensively, she's proficient at second base, but also excellent in center field where she has shown great range. Chloe plays travel ball with the Illinois Chill Gold.

Congratulations Chloe!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Toni Nino Signs With Rider

Toni Nino (right) scores
Antonia Nino of Adelanto, CA has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2015 season.

Toni Nino is a middle infielder at Silverado High School in Victorville, CA. She is a slap hitter with terrific speed, hitting .455 last season. She stole 20 bases in 23 attempts, and is a high run producer as shown in the photo above of her scoring the winning run in the ninth inning in a game last season. She always makes contact, striking out rarely, and looks to be a leadoff hitter with the Broncs. Toni plays travel ball with the So Cal Wicked.

Congratulations Toni!

Jessica Harkness Signs With Iona

Jessica Harkness of Milford, CT has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Iona College beginning in the 2015 season.

Jessica Harkness is a left handed pitcher at Foran High School, where she was named All-Connecticut state the last two seasons. Jessica is a hard throwing pitcher who posted a 23-2 record in 2012, with a miniscule ERA of 0.87. She struck out 269 batters in 186 innings pitched. This also earned her New Haven Area Player Of The Year honors. She was 19-6 and had an ERA of 0.92 last season, striking out 233 batters in 168 innings. Jessica plays travel ball with the Connecticut Charmers Gold.

Congratulations Jess!

Angelina McGuire Signs With Fairfield

Angelina McGuire of Washington Township, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Fairfield University beginning in the 2015 season.

Angelina McGuire is an outfielder at Immaculate Heart Academy in New Jersey who has shown marked improvement over the course of her career, culminating in an All-New Jersey state honor last season after she hit .350. She's known for showing up in the big games. Angelina has played travel ball with the New Jersey Pride Gold and New Jersey Heist Gold.

Congratulations Angelina!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Mia Baldassari Signs With Siena

Mia Baldassari of Rockaway, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2015 season.

The Siena Saints land another .500 hitter this early signing week, this time All-New Jersey state centerfielder Mia Baldassari. This is a big signing for the Saints; I think Mia will be an immediate impact player in the MAAC. She set a Morris Knolls High School record last season as a junior, batting a whopping .515. The 2013 NFCA All-American is a left handed hitter who led her school in all offensive categories. Mia is tall, athletic, and has a strong arm in the outfield. She plays travel ball with the New Jersey Pride Gold.

Congratulations Mia!

Samantha Reilly Signs With Marist

Samantha Reilly of Toms River, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Marist College beginning in the 2015 season.

Samantha Reilly is a catcher at Toms River North High School, where she has earned All-Ocean County honors. She plays travel ball with the Jersey Flames Gold, with future Marist teammate Gabrielle Kelliher.

Congratulations Sam!

Victoria Ross Signs With Manhattan

Victoria Ross of Bloomfield, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Manhattan College beginning in the 2015 season.

Victoria Ross is a catcher at Bloomfield High School , and has shown she can hit for average and power. In her sophomore season, she was a .460 hitter; in her junior season, she drove home 30 runs in 26 games, with five homers. Solid behind the plate, Victoria has also played infield and outfield during her career. She plays travel ball with the New Jersey Heist, where she played with current Lady Jasper Amanda Paxson.

Congratulations Victoria!

Monica Clark Signs With Rider

Monica Clark of Radnor, PA has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2015 season.

Monica Clark is a third baseman/shortstop at Archbishop Carroll High School in Pennsylvania where she was named All-Catholic and All-Delco as a junior in 2013. Monica bats leadoff and is a .400 hitter. She plays travel ball with the Delco Diamonds Gold.

Congratulations Monica!

Paige Hess Signs With Siena

Paige Hess of Gilbert, AZ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2015 season.

Paige Hess is a shortstop/third baseman at Camp Verde High School, where she was named Most Valuable Player following her junior season. Paige is a career .483 hitter, batting a remarkable .505 in 2013. She's an extra bases hitter who has also shown some power, hitting seven out of the park last season. She's a good run producer and also has high RBI numbers. Her fielding percentage has improved yearly; she has a good arm and quick release. Paige plays travel ball with the Arizona Hotshots.

Congratulations Paige!

Gabrielle Kelliher Signs With Marist

Gabrielle Kelliher of East Brunswick, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Marist College beginning in the 2015 season.

Coach Ausanio likes to bring power to his Red Foxes lineup, and Gabrielle Kelliher is certainly going to continue that trend. The senior outfielder last season set a bunch of records at East Brunswick High School when she hit .478 with a 1.056 slugging percentage as a junior. She also set school records for home runs (14) and RBIs (43). Gabrielle plays travel ball with the Jersey Flames Gold, and has also played with the Central Jersey Lightning Gold.

Congratulations Gabrielle!

Friday, November 8, 2013

2014 Monmouth Softball Schedule

The Monmouth Hawks will open their 2014 schedule on the weekend of March 1 at the Spartan Clash in Norfolk, VA. The next weekend they will play at George Mason's tournament, and then it's their home opener on March 11 vs. Hampton. Monmouth will then head west, first for a tournament at Santa Barbara, then a series of games in San Diego and Riverside.

The Hawks will make their MAAC debut at old NEC rival Quinnipiac on March 30; their first conference games against an old MAAC school will be April 5 when they host defending champion Marist. Also on their home field they will play Siena, St. Peter's, Manhattan and Rider. Their first MAAC road matchups will also include trips to Iona, Fairfield, Niagara and Canisius.

2014 Monmouth Schedule

Thursday, November 7, 2013

2014 Quinnipiac Softball Schedule

The Quinnipiac Bobcats will open their 55 game 2014 schedule on the weekend of February 14 at the North Florida tournament in Jacksonville. They will return to Florida on the 28th of February, participating in three consecutive USF tournaments. Lucky players! After playing in the Towson tournament on the weekend of March 21, the Bobcats will return north for their home opener, hosting state rival Connecticut on the 27th of March.

QU will make their MAAC debut on March 29 when they travel to Riverdale, NY to take on Manhattan. Their home MAAC opener will be the next day, vs. old Northeast Conference rival Monmouth. For their first season of MAAC play, they will also host local rival Fairfield, Iona, Niagara and Canisius. They will also play at St. Peter's, Marist, Siena and Rider. The Bobcats have nine home dates scheduled for the upcoming season.

Quinnipiac 2014 schedule

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 Rider Softball Schedule

The Rider Broncs will play what is at the moment a 49 game schedule, although not all their games are yet listed. They will be opening the 2014 season on the weekend of February 21 in Greensboro, NC at North Carolina A&T's Aggie Classic. On the weekend of March 1, they will return to the George Mason tournament, with opponents to be named later. They will play their final early season tournament on the weekend of March 7 when they participate in the Coppin State tourney. The Broncs will not play in the Rebel Games this season.

After heading south for a series of games against the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern and Norfolk State, Rider will return north for local doubleheaders at Columbia and Army in preparation for their MAAC opener, which will be against St. Peter's and will serve as their home opener March 30. The Broncs have 11 home dates scheduled for the 2014 season.

2014 Rider softball schedule

Friday, October 11, 2013

2014 Manhattan Softball Schedule

Manhattan College became the first MAAC school to unveil their 2014 softball schedule as the countdown to the new season is on.

The Lady Jaspers will play 53 games in 2014, 25 of them at home. Highlighting the schedule of course is the new 20 game conference slate. The LJs will open MAAC play on March 29 when they host new rival Quinnipiac. They will play the other new member of the conference, Monmouth, on the final day of the regular season at Monmouth.

Manhattan will open their season on February 14 at the North Carolina A&T tournament. On the weekend of February 28, they will take part in the Towson tournament. After that, the LJs will open their home schedule with a pair of doubleheaders; vs. Hartford on March 4, then Hampton on March 13. They will then play one more tournament, at George Washington, on the weekend of March 14. On March 21 and 22, the Lady Jaspers will play home and home single games with local school Long Island. On April 5, new division 1 school UMass-Lowell will pay a visit to Manhattan for a doubleheader. Lehigh, Wagner and Sacred Heart will be other non conference foes coming to Gaelic Park in '14.

Even though there are two new teams, and four more games, only four teams will qualify for the MAAC tournament. Competition will be tight.

2014 Manhattan Schedule

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Erika Mackie Commits To Canisius

Erika Mackie of Scranton, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Canisius College beginning in the 2015 season.

Erika Mackie is a hard throwing left handed pitcher who is in her senior year at Holy Cross High School in Scranton. She had a record of 13-6 with a 1.13 ERA her junior season, averaging over a strikeout per inning while walking only one batter per game. Erika played in the prestigious Rising Stars All-American game last year, and currently plays travel ball with the TC Tremors with fellow Canisius commit Moriah Harris.

Congratulations Erika!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Fall Ball Scores

Fairfield's Lauren Falkanger earned a circle win

A couple scores to report in MAAC fall season action. The Iona Gaels split a doubleheader Saturday at Seton Hall. The Gaels won the first game, 4-2; Allie Hand hit a three run homer. Iona dropped game two, 1-0. The Fairfield Stags went 1-1 at the St. John's tournament, beating Columbia 11-4, and dropping a game to the host team 8-2.

Quinnipiac and Siena opened fall ball today, but no scores to report thus far. Niagara and Canisius saw their weekend tournament rained out.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Casey Herzog Commits To Quinnipiac

Casey Herzog of Wappingers Falls, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Quinnipiac University beginning in the 2015 season.

Casey Herzog is a right handed pitcher in her senior year at Roy C. Ketcham High School. Last season she finished with an 18-4 record, leading her team to the New York Section 1 Class "AA" championship game. She earned All-New York State honors in 2013. Casey plays travel ball with Team Long Island Gold.

Congratulations Casey!

Friday, August 30, 2013

More Coaching Shake Ups In The MAAC

Ranae Bart will not be returning as head coach of St. Peter's. As of this writing, her replacement has not been hired. Whether she resigned, or was terminated is not known at this time. I'll update the situation when/if more information becomes available.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Kourtney Paul Commits To Marist

Kourtney Paul of Twinsburg, OH has verbally committed to play softball at Marist College beginning in the 2015 season.

Kourtney Paul is an outfielder just beginning her senior year at Twinsburg High School (the alma mater incidentally of Niagara's Ambur Farmer). She is a .400 hitter, and solid RBI producer who was named to the All-Ohio team this past season. She is outstanding defensively, with a great glove and very strong arm. She can also play in the infield. Kourtney plays travel ball with the Ohio Outlaws.

Congratulations Kourtney!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Quinnipiac Searching For Interim Head Coach

Quinnipiac has named Jill Karwoski as their interim head coach for the 2014 season.  Coach Karwoski was previously an assistant at Providence and Boston College. She also was a head coach at Morehead State and Merrimack College.

I have learned that Quinnipiac has hired an interim coach, although I do not know at this time who it is.

Within the last week, the Quinnipiac softball program began searching for an interim head coach. Germaine Fairchild has coached the Bobcats for the past 13 seasons, so this search so close to the beginning of the fall semester raises questions. But I don't care to speculate, as no further information on this development is currently available.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Morgan Divello Commits To Rider

Morgan Divello of Hammonton, NJ has verbally committed to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2015 season.

Morgan Divello is a middle infielder at Hammonton High School, able to play second base or shortstop. She has also pitched, throwing a no hitter in 2012, but I'm not sure if she will be asked to do that with the Broncs. She can hit for power and average, and is good in pressure situations. This past season she sent her team to the New Jersey Group 3 final after hitting a dramatic sixth inning grand slam home run for a 7-6 win. She plays travel ball with the South Jersey Mystics.

Congratulations Morgan!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Jen Hare Returns To Niagara

Former Niagara first baseman Jen Hare will be joining her old team as an assistant coach to Larry Puzan for the 2014 season. Jen played four seasons at Monteagle Ridge, graduating in 2012 with a .289 career average. She was an All-MAAC selection in 2011. Jen joins another alum, Felicia (Coffey) Kinney who will be retained as an assistant by Coach Puzan.

Congratulations Jen!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two Late Signings For Iona

Katie Newton of Aloha, OR has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Iona College beginning in the 2014 season.

Katie Newton is a third baseman with a strong arm and quick release who just finished her high school career with Aloha, where she excelled at three sports. She was the captain of her softball and basketball teams, while also playing soccer. She was a career .400 hitter, and can hit for average and power. She plays travel ball with the Oregon Blaze.

Congratulations Katie!

Also signing a national letter of intent to play softball at Iona in 2014 is Kelsey Long of Yucaipa, CA.

Kelsey just completed her career at Yucaipa High School. The speedy outfielder is also a .400 hitter and has proven to be a very proficient base stealer. She also ran track in high school. Kelsey plays travel ball with Team Easton Gold.

Congratulations Kelsey!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Alyssa Ruiz Signs With St. Peter's

Alyssa Ruiz of Howell, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at St. Peter's University beginning in the 2014 season.

St. Peter's continues to rebuild from the circle out with another signing of a fine pitcher. Alyssa Ruiz just completed her senior year at Howell High School in New Jersey, and was named to the All-New Jersey Shore team. In 2013, Alyssa finished with a record of 16-8 and a 2.03 ERA. She plays travel ball with the Howell Heat.

Congratulations Alyssa!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Crystal Carlucci Signs With St. Peter's

A signing I missed from earlier this year...

Crystal Carlucci of Iselin, NJ has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at St. Peter's University beginning in the 2014 season. St. Peter's continues to build from the circle out with this important signing. Crystal Carlucci is a pitcher who just finished her senior season at John F. Kennedy Memorial, where she is considered one of the best athletes in that school's history. She also played soccer and basketball, but has excelled in softball. She's a hard throwing pitcher who strikes out well over one batter per inning; she walks very few. Crystal is also a career .357 hitter who has power. She plays travel ball with the East Coast Elite Gold.

Congratulations Crystal!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Larry Puzan Is In As Coach Of Niagara

The Niagara Purple Eagles will promote Larry Puzan to the position of head coach of their softball program for the 2014 season.

The long time pitching coach filled in as an interim coach during the 2013 season, leading Niagara to the MAAC tournament for the first time since 2010. After a 1-5 start, the Purple Eagles went on an 8-2 run to qualify for the post season. Under his guidance, Jen Sansano was named the conference's Pitcher Of The Year. Coach Puzan will retain his staff of assistants, which include Felicia Coffey Kinney and Joel Patterson.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

ECAC All-Stars

Two players from the MAAC were named to the Eastern College Athletic Conference division 1 All-Star team today. Both were freshmen in the 2013 season.

Elena Bowman of the Manhattan Lady Jaspers was named to the first team. Elena had a great first season, hitting .358 with 12 home runs and 36 RBIs.

Nicole Cheek of the MAAC champion Marist Red Foxes was named to the second team. She hit .348, and led the conference in homers (15) and RBIs (52). Nicole was also named the ECAC's Co-Rookie Of The Year.

 ECAC All-Stars

Congratulations to both!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Monmouth And Quinnipiac Are Officially In The MAAC

Quinnipiac University and Monmouth University officially become member schools of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference as of today!

The upcoming MAAC softball season will include a 20 game conference schedule. As of now, the tournament format will remain the same, although it's possible that may change.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rachael Mumma Commits To Manhattan

Rachael Mumma of Dauphin, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Manhattan College beginning in the 2015 season.

Rachael is a second baseman at Cumberland Valley High School, which recently won the mid-Pennsylvania championship. Also able to play shortstop, she hit .424 last season with 20 RBIs. She plays travel ball with the Central PA Krunch.

Congratulations Rachael!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Lindsey Silfer Ends High School Career With Championship

Canisius recruit Lindsey Silfer ended her career at Cicero-North Syracuse High School this past weekend by winning the Class "AA" New York State championship. Lindsey had a great final day, driving home five runs in two wins. In the Northstars' 4-0 semi final win, she drove home all four runs with a home run and double. She hit over .430 her senior season with 30 RBIs. Lindsey will join the Golden Griffins this fall.

Bridget Hogan Ends High School Career With Championship

Courtesy of the Buffalo News
Niagara recruit Bridget Hogan ended her career at Hamburg High School with the Class "A" New York State championship this past weekend, winning twice in one day. In the state semi final game, Bridget pitched an eight inning shutout, striking out 12. She also drove home the winning run in the 1-0 game in remarkable fashion. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, and with runners on second and third base, the opposing team was attempting to intentionally walk her when she reached out for a pitch and drove it into the outfield for an RBI! Bridget finished with a career ERA of under 1.00. She will join the Purple Eagles this fall.

Kristen Turner Ends High School Career With Championship

Kristen celebrates homer in championship game

Iona recruit Kristen Turner ended her career at Washington Township High School by winning the Group IV New Jersey State championship this past weekend. Kristen had a great finale, hitting 3 for 5 with a home run, double, three RBIs and three runs. For her senior season, she hit .453 with 11 home runs and 46 RBIs in 32 games played.
Kristen will join the Gaels this fall.

Lauren Petersen Commits To Fairfield

Lauren Petersen of Bayport, NY has verbally committed to play softball at Fairfield University beginning in the 2015 season.

Lauren is a catcher at Bayport-Blue Point High School in Long Island, and is a speedy, extra bases kind of hitter. While researching her, the one quote that really stood out was "Lauren was 4 for 4 with two triples, a double and three runs."! Typical Fairfield recruit I would say.  She plays travel ball with the Long Island Sudden Impact Gold.

Congratulations Lauren!

Delany DeMello Signs With Rider

Delany DeMello of Roseville, CA in May signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Rider University beginning in the 2014 season.

The Rider Broncs continue to shore up their young pitching staff with the signing of Delany, who played at Roseville High School in the Sacramento area, where she had a career ERA of under 2.00. She plays travel ball with All-American Sports Academy, which was the team Iona's Jordan Courage played with before traveling east.

Congratulations Delany!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Just A Game

Iona Gaels' All-MAAC outfielder Eileen McCann was kind enough to share her experiences of this past season, a season which saw her injured and red shirted. It's a thought provoking read.

Just A Game
by Eileen McCann, Iona College

Our 2013 season was vastly different than any other I’ve had in my career as a Gael. To go into every detail of how this season contrasted with my others will create a blog post so long that even I wouldn’t give it a second look, so I’ll spare you that rambling disaster.

Strictly from my perspective, the biggest difference this season was that I didn’t play. I sustained an injury in early spring, and while I didn’t know it at the time, I was not to pick up a softball again for the rest of the season. I haven’t posted an entry since I was shut down, and that’s not a coincidence. I never made the conscious decision to stop posting, but whenever I thought that it was a good time to write I always decided against it. I struggled with not playing. I had a hard time establishing a new, but practical role for myself that would help the team be successful. It was because of this that I was reluctant to post throughout the season, I almost felt as if it wasn’t my place to do so, as someone that was only watching from the dugout. Looking back now, I realize how foolish that thinking was. So I come to you now with this post, better late than never.

While I have been no stranger to injuries in my career, this last one was unlike any other because I simply could not play through it. For the first time in my life, I was completely and entirely shut down from playing. No hitting, running, throwing or catching. I was even instructed to cheer modestly (which I disregarded).
 When I first got the news that I was to finish out the remainder of my senior year from the dugout, I felt a swelling wave of claustrophobia. The walls caved in and the tears started to fall. But throwing myself a "pity-party" wasn’t going to help my team. It wasn’t about me. Our season didn’t come to a halt simply because I could no longer play, and that was something I have to admit I had a hard time accepting. And so the show went on, and as each game passed I watched as my teammates and best friends pushed through a season with more peaks and valleys than Yosemite National Park.

I have played in three, very eventful, full seasons at Iona. In those three seasons I’ve been a part of three championships, played in three NCAA regionals and played against some of the best players in the country. In those three years I’ve made life-long friends with which I’ve shared beautiful and inspirational moments, the memories of which I’ll carry for the rest of my life. But it was this time I spent sitting in the dugout over the past three months watching my team play that will prove to be the most important experience of my college career.

As I mentioned earlier, I have never been so separated from the game of softball as I was this past spring (and currently remain). In the beginning, I spent a few weeks in denial. Thinking that if I down-played the gravity of the situation, maybe it would disappear and I’d be back on the field in time for MAAC play. Once I snapped out of my delusional state, I began to watch the games calmly knowing that I had no place on the field. I shifted my perspective and I began watching as a fan and a friend, rather than a player and a teammate.
When you’ve been doing something your entire life and you practice it every week of each month of every year, you can get wrapped up in it. It can swallow you up and cause you to lose sight of yourself, or why you got started with it in the first place. During nearly every pre-game huddle it seemed that someone would remind the rest of us to “just have fun”. It is a game, after all. But we so easily forget how fun it can be when the stakes seem so high; if you’ve been slumping, if your boyfriend is in the stands (insert eye-roll here) or if one swing of your bat can get your team to playoffs.

More than anything, my injury-induced hiatus allowed me to truly understand the meaning of the phrase: IT'S JUST A GAME. I was there game after game after game and watched as we would lose and then beat ourselves up over and over again. I watched as my teammates would shut down after a bad at-bat or making an error, just as I had done so often. It’s a vicious cycle that’s easy to get lost in without even being aware. Witnessing this made me realize how worthless and detrimental these emotions are. It made me aware of how much of my time spent in the Iona uniform I’ve wasted with these feelings, beating myself up over things that didn’t matter and allowing pressure to mount on my shoulders when it was completely unnecessary.

Softball is just a game. It’s a game that I’ve structured my entire life around. It’s a game that I can thank for shaping  my personality, friendships, education and physical and mental strength. For everything that this game has given me, it deserves the absolute best out of me in return, every practice, every at-bat, every game. I can not honestly say I’ve given that in the entirety of my career. I’ve let my emotions and expectations get the best of me at times and, without realizing it, I handicapped myself in the process.

I am so grateful to have been granted another year of eligibility. I can’t recall a time in my career that I have so drastically readjusted my perspective of the game and how I see myself within it. I feel as though this is a realization that many athletes have after their career has ended, and they watch the game they once played carry on without them, wishing they could do it all over again and just have fun. I am lucky enough to have that chance.

Throughout my posts I’ve always expressed our program's hunger for the championship. While I have no intention of readjusting that within myself or our team’s culture, I no longer believe that it dictates the success of our season. What matters most isn’t where we end up, but rather how we get there. What matters most is to recognize what a privilege it is to be playing this game, at this level, with these girls who are your best friends. To never to take a single throw, hit or dive for granted as it may be your last. If we succeed in doing that, then all that other stuff; wins, records, championships, and everything in between is just icing on the cake.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Brittany Colombo Commits To Marist

Brittany Colombo of Philadelphia, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Marist College beginning in the 2015 season.

Brittany is an infielder, having played second and third bases, at Nazareth Academy High School. She's the kind of hitter that gives defenses headaches - she can smash a pitch over the fence, or drop a bunt and beat it out with her great speed. Brittany plays travel ball with the New Jersey Nightmare, who have provided the MAAC already with players such as Dana Sensi, Mel Kalesse and Taylor Kuzma, to name a few.

Congratulations Brittany!

Skills video:

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Lauren Butts Commits To Siena

Lauren Butts of West Chester, PA has verbally committed to play softball at Siena College beginning in the 2015 season.

Lauren is a powerful pitcher who just completed her junior season at Henderson High School, during which she posted an 18-1 record with a miniscule 0.60 ERA. She struck out 179 batters in 128 innings pitched. She had double figure strikeouts in eight of her 19 games. Lauren plays travel ball with the Jersey Nightmare.

Congratulations Lauren!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Recent Signings by St. Peter's

St. Peter's recently signed two players, both of whom currently play for the Orland Park Sparks travel team out of Illinois. Both will begin their careers in the 2014 season.

Samantha Storms, Williams Bay, WI. Samantha is a pitcher and infielder at Williams Bay High School, where she is a career high .400s hitter who averages over an RBI per game. As a pitcher, she has averaged 11 strikeouts per game.

Candice Koch, Orland Park, IL. Candice is a shortstop at Sanburg High School. Below is a video of the left handed hitter: