Saturday, February 6, 2016

2016 MAAC Softball Preview - Manhattan Jaspers

Senior Elena Bowman hopes to lead Jaspers to the title
2015 Record: 13-7 (26-20) 3rd Place
Head Coach: Tom Pardalis (7th Season)

Elena Bowman (C) .448 BA; 16 HR; 41 RBI; .920 Slugging %; 1.000 Field %

Emily Cutler (OF) .216 BA; 20 R; 1.000 Field %

Meredith Bryant (OF) .173 BA

Madison Bailey (OF) .250 BA

Zee Pierce (1B) .200 BA

Andi Stallard (C/OF) .145 BA

Anna Crowley (P/OF) 0-1; 3.60 ERA; .206 BA

Erin Hamm (P) 1-2; 3.39 ERA

Kelsey Brennan (IF) .000

Jenn Vazquez (1B) .336 BA; 11 HR; 41 RBI; 25 R

Stephanie Reinhardt (SS) .260 BA; 22 RBI; 23 R

Danielle Gabriel (P) 1-1; 6.08 ERA

Rachael Mumma 2B .250 BA

Briana Matazinsky (P/IF) 9-7; 3.91 ERA; .276 BA; 6 HR; 25 RBI

Victoria Ross (C/OF) .154 BA

Shannon Puthe (OF) Transfer (St. Joseph's)

Esther Gonsalez (IF)
Stephanie Kristo (P)
Lauren Pitney (IF)
Alexa Dawid (OF)
Kat Prevo (IF)
Dominique Palagruto (OF) 

The Manhattan Jaspers feel they have some unfinished business this year after a great season in 2015 that saw them fall just short in their championship quest. The player in the spotlight for the Jaspers, of course, is catcher Elena Bowman. Now a senior, Elena has been recognized as one of the top players in the nation after an epic 2015 season. She is deadly at the plate, with the ability to hit one out at any given time. She drives home runs; she scores runs; and she owns an astronomical slugging percentage. Somewhat overlooked is her defensive ability. Elena is the best catcher in the MAAC, and had a perfect fielding percentage in '15. An outstanding field leader who handles her pitchers very well.

MAAC teams rightly fear Elena Bowman, but if they choose to pitch around her (Elena was walked 34 times in 2015), they have another problem awaiting them by the name of Jenn Vazquez. Jenn's swing is just as powerful as her teammate's, and in fact she tied for the team lead in RBIs. Many a time she made teams pay for pitching around Elena Bowman. Overall, the Jaspers are a very good hitting team. Briana Matazinsky showed as a freshman that she too can hit for power. Junior Stephanie Reinhardt proved herself to be a very good all around hitter.

Manhattan lost stalwart Amy Bright to graduation, but will have a deep pitching staff this coming season. I think it is still to be played out as to who will emerge as the "go to" pitcher on the team. Erin Hamm and Anna Crowley are the seniors on the staff, and have both pitched well at times. Junior Danielle Gabriel, who pitched that fabulous MAAC tournament shutout as a freshman, was sidelined for much of 2015 with illness. Sophomore Briana Matazinsky posted a 9-7 record in 2015, and will make a strong bid for more innings. The Jaspers also have a very promising freshman, Stephanie Kristo, who as a senior at nationally renowned Archbishop Mitty high boasted an ERA of 0.95.

The Jaspers are one of the best coached teams in the MAAC, and I'm sure Tom Pardalis has set a high goal for his team this season.They are certainly one of the favorites to win it all.

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