Monday, January 25, 2016

Niagara 2016 Softball Schedule

The Niagara Purple Eagles will open their 45 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 12 indoors at the Cleveland State Dome Tournament. They will then be off until the weekend of March 11 when they head down to North Carolina to take part in Elon's tournament.

The Purple Eagles will visit Syracuse (March 23), Cleveland State again (March 25) and Binghamton (March 31) for doubleheaders before beginning conference play on April 2-3 at Marist and Quinnipiac. An interesting quirk in the Niagara schedule has the team traveling to Reno, Nevada on April 8-9 for a three game set vs. the Nevada Wolfpack. The Purple Eagles will open their home slate on April 14 with a doubleheader vs. local rival St. Bonaventure. They close their regular season on May 7 with a MAAC doubleheader at Siena. Niagara will have seven home dates in 2016.

Niagara 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, January 22, 2016

2016 MAAC Softball Preview - Iona Gaels

Kristen "Grand Slam" Turner had another powerful season in '15
2015 Record: 12-8 (16-28) 6th Place
Head Coach: Melissa Inouye (4th Season)

Carly Argyle (P/DP) Redshirted in 2015

Sarah Schutz (3B) .250 BA; 5 HR; 16 RBI

Jordan Courage (P) 5-12; 5.81 ERA

Brianna King (C) .283 BA

Allyne Clark (C) .138 BA

Kristen Turner (1B) .360 BA: 12 HR; 32 RBI; 28 R

Katie Newton (SS) .303 BA; 14 RBI; 8 SB

Christine Costello (P/DP) 6-8; 2.71 ERA; .254 BA; 4 HR; 27 RBI

Ashlyn Morris (OF) .276 BA; 20 R

Kelsey Long (OF) .164 BA

Courtney Miller (OF) .205 BA; 2 HR

Tori Danner (C) .158 BA; 2 HR

Jessica Harkness (P) 1-4; 6.73 ERA

Kimberly Chiapparelli (IF)
Lani Evans (P)
Marisa Gergel (OF/1B)
Samantha Mello (OF)
Hailey Thompson (IF)

Are the Iona Gaels the favorites to win the MAAC in 2016? After picking them not to make the tournament in 2010 (the year they began their championship run), I no longer make predictions! But the 2016 team looks dangerous. They have a head coach, Melissa Inouye, and a number of players with championship experience. They have a very strong upper class that includes the returning redshirt senior "Gnarly" Carly Argyle. There was no doubt the Gaels missed Carly last year, who was All-MAAC and NFCA All-Region in their championship season of 2014. She's healthy, and looks to be one of the top pitchers in the conference. She's a fine hitter also.

The Gaels have a hitting lineup that is balanced and can strike at any time. Junior Kristen Turner is coming off another big season, among the MAAC leaders in batting. She can hit for power and average, and is known for clutch hitting. Senior Sarah Schutz also swings a powerful bat, as does pitcher Christine Costello. Speaking of pitching, the Gaels look to have a deeper staff this season, led by the aforementioned Carly Argyle. Junior Christine Costello picked up the slack last season, and by tournament time, I thought she was one of the top pitchers in the conference. The Gaels should have a potent one-two punch in the circle. But they also have senior Jordan Courage and sophomore Jessica Harkness who can be very capable. The unknown entity for now is freshman Lani Evans, the highly touted pitcher from SoCal.

Coach Inouye has prepared for her team a very challenging pre-MAAC season schedule. Monmouth did the same last season, and nearly won it all. Keep an eye on the Gaels this season!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Marist 2016 Softball Schedule

The Marist Red Foxes will open their 56 game 2016 season on the weekend of February 19 in Tampa, Florida at a tournament hosted by Eastern Michigan. On the weekend of March 4 the Red Foxes will be in Virginia to participate in the George Mason tournament. On the weekend of March 11, Marist will be in Baltimore for five games hosted for UMBC. Then it's back to Florida to close out the tournament portion of their season at one of the South Florida's tourneys plus a pair of doubleheaders at Bethune-Cookman and Stetson.

Marist will open their home schedule on March 30 when they host Cornell for a doubleheader, then stay home to open conference play vs. Niagara on April 2. They close out their regular season on May 7 with a home MAAC tilt vs. Canisius. The Red Foxes will have nine home dates in 2016.

Marist 2016 Softball Schedule

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Canisius 2016 Softball Schedule

The Canisius Golden Griffins will open their 57 game 2016 season on the weekend of February 12 in Fullerton, CA with a set of five games hosted by the Titans. The Griffs will stay in Cali then for a doubleheader at Riverside on February 15. On the weekend of February 26, Canisius will take part in Winthrop's tournament in Rock Hill, SC. It's off to Oxford, OH on the weekend of March 5 for the Miami Invitational, although oddly they won't be playing the host. The Golden Griffins will close out the tournament portion of their schedule by visiting George Washington (March 11-13), and George Mason (March 18-20).

Canisius will open their home schedule vs. crosstown rival Buffalo on March 23, and visit the same team on March 29. In between they'll visit Columbia to play four games vs. the host Lions and Farleigh Dickinson (March 25-26). The Griffs will open MAAC play at Quinnipiac on April 2. They will close their regular season on May 7 at conference rival Marist. The Griffs will have seven home dates in 2016.

Canisius 2016 Softball Schedule

Friday, January 8, 2016

Rider 2016 Softball Schedule

The Rider Broncs will open their 47 game 2016 softball season on the weekend of February 26 with a set of five games at Winthrop's tournament in Rock Hill, SC. They will then open their home schedule with a pair of games vs. North Carolina A&T on March 7 and 8. On March 13, the Broncs will head to Florida for a week to play eight games at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee.

After heading back north to play seven local games, including a home doubleheader vs. Army on March 20, Rider will open MAAC play at Monmouth on April 2. They will close their regular season on May 7 when they host Quinnipiac. The Broncs will have 11 home dates in 2016.

Rider 2016 Softball Schedule

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rider Names Jaci Timko New Head Coach

Former Robert Morris great to lead Broncs
The Rider Broncs have named Jaci Timko as their new head coach today.

The former Robert Morris star outfielder becomes the Broncs' fifth head coach in history, replacing Tricia Carroll who was at the helm for over 20 years. Coach Timko spent two seasons after her playing career ended mentoring under RMU long time coach Craig Coleman as an assistant. New Jersey City University hired her as head coach in 2014 to help rebuild their softball program.

I saw Jaci play a couple times live during her playing career, and I remember her as an outstanding leadoff hitter with a noticeable competitive drive. She holds the RMU career batting record, finishing with a .359 average.

Congratulations Coach Timko!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 MAAC Softball Preview - Canisius Golden Griffins

Junior Jessica Berzins joined an elite group at Canisius after hitting .444
2015 Record: 15-5 (26-19) 1st Place
Head Coach: Kim Griffin (2nd season)

Alexis Roman (SS) .311 BA; 27 R; 18 RBI

Meghan Cuda (2B) .291 BA; 25 R; 13 SB

Tori Nappo (OF) .125 BA

Jessica Berzins (OF) .444 BA; 41 R; 22 RBI

Samantha Sharkey (3B) .336 BA; 26 RBI; 11 SB

Lindsey Silfer (OF/C) .387 BA; 6 HR; 38 RBI

Taylor Decker (C) .111 BA 

Erika Mackie (P) 14-7; 3.39 ERA

Madi Weathers (P) 11-10; 3.34 ERA

Moriah Harris (1B) .316 BA; 19 R; 14 RBI

Allie Block (P)
Lauren Castro (P/2B)
Maddie Aston (C)
Destiny Holani (C)
Denver Keller (IF/OF)

2015 was a season of regrowth for the Canisius Golden Griffins, climbing their way not only back to the the MAAC tournament, but all the way to first place for the first time since 2010. They stumbled in the tournament, but with many key returning players, and a strong freshman class, look to continue in 2016 where they left off last spring.

Outfielder Jessica Berzins had one of the best seasons in Canisius history, and that's including a lot of great players. She's the best leadoff hitter in the conference, but the Griffs have plenty of offensive firepower in the lineup to complement her, with Lindsey Silfer, Sami Sharkey, Alexis Roman and Moriah Harris all hitting over .300 in '15. Pitching was a huge question mark heading into 2015, but the freshman duo of Erika Mackie and Madi Weathers came through with flying colors; Erika winning Rookie of the Year honors. They're both back with a season's experience under their belts, and will be supplemented by two very promising freshman pitchers.

Head coach Kim Griffin did an admirable job last season under the pressure of replacing a legend. She's settled in now, it's her team, and she should continue building the team back into a perennial contender. The Griffs will certainly be in the hunt in 2016 in a very competitive MAAC.

2016 MAAC Softball Preview - Fairfield Stags

MAAC 2015 Defensive Player Of Year Lauren Filicia
2015 Record: 15-5 (25-24) MAAC CHAMPIONS
HEAD COACH: Julie Brzezinski (19th season)

Lauren Filicia (OF) .404 BA; 45 R; 23 RBI; 17 SB

Lauren Falkanger (P) 11-12; 4.35 ERA; 99 Ks

Nicole Capra (3B) .215 BA; 3 HR; 19 R

Shelby Butwell (OF) .103 BA

Tori Reed (C) .355 BA; 6 HR; 33 RBI; .558 S%

Molly Roche (OF) .234 BA; 4 HR

Gianna Kinhofer (IF/DP) .232 BA; 12 R

Nicole Gardon (P) 3-3; 3.90 ERA

Destinee Pallotto (P) 11-9; 3.92 ERA; 90 Ks

Kate Robinson (OF/DP) .313 BA: 5 HR; 29 RBI

Angelina McGuire (OF) .228 BA; 17 R

Lauren Petersen (C) .174 BA

Rachel Sieber (IF) .125 BA

Makenna DiGuilio (OF) .308

Kristen Ball (IF) .192 BA

Alex Corrigan (IF)
Courtney Hankins (C/3B)
Karisa Hughen (P)
Alisha Marshall (IF)
Cynthia Meringer (IF)
Madison Roberts (P)

The Fairfield Stags finally got to the top of the MAAC hill in 2015 after so many close finishes over recent seasons, winning the conference championship and making their first ever NCAA tournament appearance. Now that they've gotten that monkey off their backs, how will they perform as defending champs? Head coach Julie Brzezinski is now the longest tenured coach in the MAAC, and she has a solid reputation of keeping the Stags a competitor season after season. Her new goal will be to make sure her team isn't satisfied with winning it all once.

 The Stags will be led by senior Lauren Filicia, who had a tremendous 2015 season.  The best defensive player in the conference, she is also the team's offensive spark plug. She gets on base and moves around them quickly. The Stags have shown themselves to be a team that can strike suddenly, and hit and score in clusters. They can spread the offense around; five players drove home 20 or more runs in '15. In the circle, the Stags got steady performances from three pitchers last year, all of whom will be returning in 2016.

It looks to be a very competitive MAAC this coming season, but Fairfield's experience from last year rates them one of the top favorites to gain the crown in 2016!