Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013 MAAC Preview - Marist Red Foxes

Senior Dani Koltz will lead the Red Foxes in '13

  • 5 Sarah Carmody C Senior
  • 3 Dani Koltz 3B Senior
  • 7 Christina Lausch IF/OF Senior
  • 14 Emily Osterhaus P Senior
  • 9 Joelle Zahka 1B Senior
  • 13 Haley Birnbaum 2B Junior
  • 11 Aly Klemmer OF Junior
  • 25 Paige Lewis P Junior
  • 12 Alyssa Zahka SS Junior
  • 4 Taylor Kuzma OF Sophomore
  • 1 Janine Lalli P Sophomore
  • 19 Melanie White P Sophomore
  • 22 Nicole Cheek OF Freshman
  • 6 Maureen Duddy OF Freshman
  • 17 Alex Hraniotis C Freshman
  • 2 Colleen McWilliams OF
  • 10 Kyrsten Van Natta SS Freshman
The Marist Red Foxes lost some talented players to graduation, but roster depth and a pitching staff that remains intact from last season will keep them in contention for a MAAC championship in 2013.

Leading this season's senior class will be third baseman Dani Koltz, who is coming off a great 2012 season which saw her named to the All-MAAC team. She led the team in home runs (8), RBIs (39) and slugging percentage (.529) while finishing with a .314 average. Dani is a clutch hitter; a telling statistic shows that 23 of her 39 RBIs came with two outs. Solid under pressure. Emily Osterhaus (pictured left) will lead the pitching staff, and although she struggled early last year, by the time MAAC season rolled around she was Coach Ausanio's "go to" arm. And with good reason...Emily was among the MAAC's leaders in conference games, posting a 1.77 ERA and a 6-3 record. Catcher Sarah Carmody will look to return to her 2011 form which saw her named to the All-MAAC team after hitting .316 for that season. Her average dropped nearly 100 points in 2012. Christina Lausch has been a steady utility player for the Red Foxes during her career, able to play multiple positions. Joelle Zahka enjoyed her best season in 2012, hitting .250 in the conference. I would expect her to see more action this season.

The Red Foxes will field a very strong junior class in 2013, led by All-MAAC first teamer Alyssa Zahka (pictured left). Alyssa had a great 2012 season, hitting a team leading .327 along with five homers and 31 RBIs. She led the team in runs scored (40), and also stole five bases. In conference only games, she ranked third in the MAAC with a .396 average; third with 14 RBIs. Primarily a shortstop, she can also fill in behind the plate. Second Baseman Haley Birnbaum had another solid season in 2012, hitting .283 with five homers and 23 RBIs. She's hit 13 out in her career; but she's also a very good runner, stealing 11 bases last season. She was also solid in MAAC play, hitting .292. Outfielder Aly Klemmer had a powerful season in 2012, hitting seven homers and 27 RBIs. Pitcher Paige Lewis slumped a bit in 2012 after a freshman season which saw her finish with a 15-8 record. Getting her back into that form is a top priority for Marist this season.

The Red Foxes' sophomore class all made big contributions as freshmen, in particular outfielder Taylor Kuzma (pictured left). Taylor had a solid overall season in 2012, hitting .262 with 17 runs and 10 stolen bases. She was at her best, however, during conference games, among the MAAC's leaders with a .350 average. Two pitchers round out the sophomore class. Janine Lalli finished 2012 with an 8-1 record; Melanie White was 5-10, with a 3.07 ERA. Melanie's most noteworthy performance was against then #1 California, in which she scattered six hits in a 1-0 loss.

Marist will have a talented group of freshmen joining the team in 2013, including: Nicole Cheek, Maureen Duddy and Colleen McWilliams, all hailing from California; and Kyrsten Van Natta and Alex Hraniotis.

Marist led the MAAC in offense in 2012; their depth and added newcomers should keep their production at about the same level. If their pitching staff, all returnees from last season, builds on their experience, the Red Foxes will be one of the favorites to win the MAAC in 2013.

Next up: Siena.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your insightful information/updates on the MAAC softball teams. As the parent of a freshman softball player it is a great tool to become familiar with the teams & players in the MAAC.

WNY Softball said...

Thank you! Still five more teams to go..