Wednesday, February 6, 2013

2013 MAAC Preview - St. Peter's Peahens

Coach Ranae Bart continues to rebuild the St. Peter's softball program
  • 1 Shelby Beaver P Senior
  • 9 Alexis Gallagher OF Senior
  • 23 Sierra Parker INF Senior
  • 3 Stephanie Gilronan OF Redshirt Junior
  • 5 Erica Colon P Junior
  • 6 Aimee Schnecker OF Junior
  • 11 Kristen Kaneyuki 1B Junior
  • 12 Michelle Tinajero INF/C Junior
  • 4 Maria Maresca OF Sophomore
  • 10 Chelsea Crews C Sophomore
  • 20 Francesca D'Amato SS Sophomore
  • 21 Taylor Corretjer 3B Sophomore
  • 22 Nicole Olmedo 1B Sophomore
  • 32 Tori Feorenzo P Sophomore
  • 14 Amber Velasquez SS Freshman
  • 18 Lee Harrison P/UT Freshman
The St. Peter's Peahens brought in a good freshman class last season as they attempt to return to former days of glory. They showed some improvement, but still have more steps to climb. This season they need to concentrate on becoming more competitive in the MAAC.

Leading the senior class will be pitcher Shelby Beaver (pictured left). Shelby was 2-20 in 2012 with a 6.05 ERA, but she did much better once MAAC play began, finishing with a 4.59. She pitched a great game against eventual champion Iona, on their home field no less, losing 2-1 on a pair of unearned runs while throwing a four hitter. She also threw a four hitter in beating Rachael Matreale and Rider, also on the road. Shelby has proven that she can be a factor in conference play, but she will need some help in the circle this season. Outfielder Alexis Gallagher proved to be the best runner on the the team last season, leading the Peahens in runs (22) and stolen bases (7-11) to go along with her .239 average. Senior infielder Sierra Parker has transferred to St. Peter's for her final season from Caldwell College, a top division 2 team where she was a .300 hitter. Her experience should help this season.

Stephanie Gilronan (pictured left) returns to the team as a redshirt junior this season after recovering from injury. She's another very good runner who led the team in runs as a sophomore. In 2011, she was very productive in MAAC games, hitting .314, best on the team. The Peahens are hopeful that pitcher Erica Colon will reach the potential she showed as a high schooler; she improved her ERA a bit in 2012. Aimee Schnecker was used mostly defensively last season, getting only 14 at bats. First baseman Kristin Kaneyuki also did not see much plate action in 2012; but she showed some offensive spark as a sophomore when she was second on the team in RBIs. Catcher Michelle Tinajero did improve her average last season, but still finished at only .157. She was, though, very steady behind the plate.

The sophomore features a player this blog chose as the conference freshman of the year, first baseman Nicole Olmedo (pictured left). Nicole started her heavy hitting early last season, and proved she was no fluke, leading the team with a .312 average. She also led the Peahens in home runs (8); RBIs (23); and slugging percentage (.539). She among the conference's leaders in offensive numbers all season. She was also outstanding in the field.

Shortstop Fran D'Amato (pictured left) was also a bright newcomer for the Peahens in 2012. Sporting a solid .266 overall average, which included 10 doubles and 13 RBIs, Fran really excelled during conference play with a .325 average, which placed her amongst the MAAC's leaders. Nicole and Fran should be the core around which the team will be built looking ahead. Third baseman Taylor Corretjer finished with a .195 average in starting 41 games in 2012, but showed lots of promise. She's another good runner, with four stolen bases last year, and was solid in the field. Catcher Chelsea Crews got 20 starts as a freshman, hitting .217 with four RBIs. Pitcher Tori Feorenzo gained experience with 46 innings of work in the circle, finishing with a 2-5 record. Outfielder Maria Maresca saw limited action as a freshman.

The Peahens will have two freshmen joining the squad this season. Amber Velasquez is a shortstop coming from a top high school program, New York State champs the John Jay Patriots. Lee Harrison is a pitcher and infielder from Coronado High School in Las Vegas, NV. A  high .400 hitter, Lee is also a control pitcher.

It's been a tough climb back up the hill for St. Peter's the past four seasons, but last year showed some real progress and hope. I think their offense will improve even more this season; what they need to prioritize is the stabilization of their pitching staff. The Peahens had a lot of close, competitive conference games in 2012. They now need to believe they can start winning more of those, especially at home. BTW, call them St. Peter's University this season, as they have changed designation.

Next up: The season begins!!

No comments: