A10 Softball Blog

An Atlantic 10 Conference Softball Fan Blog written from a fan's perspective. It is not affiliated with the conference or any of the teams.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

How does the A10 match up statistically speaking against the rest of the NCAA?

Batting Average (Individual)
88. Dana Parks .414
94. Tenaya Tucker .412
97. Monica Aguilar .410

Batting Average (Team)
87. Temple .283

Doubles per game (Individual)
7. Chelsea Lenhart 0.43
25. Tenaya Tucker 0.36
45. Kalie Lang 0.34
83. Rachel Faletto 0.29

Doubles per game (Team)

44. Charlotte 1.42
46. St. Louis 1.42
86. George Washington 1.26

Triples per game (Individual)
21. Jocelyn Dearborn 0.13
55. Kristin Nicoletti 0.10

Home Runs per game (Individual)
76. Lauren Nacke 0.27
78. Ashley Snider 0.27

Home Runs per game (Team)
38. St. Bonaventure 0.93
40. Dayton 0.92
49. Temple 0.86

Stolen Bases per game (Individual)
23. Amanda Zakeri 0.63
78. Whitney Williams 0.45
82. Kristin Nicoletti 0.45

Stolen Bases per game (Team)
31. George Washington 1.65
69. UMass 1.35
89. St. Joseph's 1.19

Earned Run Average (Individual)
45. Erin Gallagher 1.53
60. Jen Mineau 1.69
84. Sara Plourde 1.89
85. Katy Hackett 1.90

Earned Run Average (Team)
47. Fordham 2.18
56. St. Joseph's 2.32
57. UMass 2.32

21. Erin Gallagher 14
31. Katy Hackett 13
79. Chelsea Plimpton 9

Strikeouts/7 innings
6.  Sara Plourde 11.4
68. Jen Mineau 7.7
76. Kelcie Matesa 7.5

Fielding Percentage
6. Fordham .979
50. Charlotte .968
88. St. Louis .962

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Live Chat

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Atlantic 10 and NCAA RPI

The NCAA released its first official RPI of the year and here is how the A10 stacked up as individual teams out of 289 teams in Division 1 softball.

28 Fordham
68 UMass
87 St. Joseph's
124 St. Louis
132 Dayton
162 Charlotte
173 Temple
225 George Washington
254 Rhode Island
268 La Salle
283 St. Bonaventure

So what does this mean? To be frank it really doesn't mean much to teams not named Fordham. Fordham is well within striking distance for an at-large bid and if the Rams can take care of business the rest of the way they will lock up a spot in Regionals. That is a good sign for the A10 and it is some well deserved recognition for the Rams and the results they have produced against a brutal schedule.

For everyone else it is essentially reflects the strength of their non conference schedule and how they did against that schedule. At this point an at large bid is pretty much out of reach for all the other A10 teams, unless UMass or St. Joseph's are able to run the table.

Here is how the conference as a whole stacked up against other conferences

 Rank Conference AVG
 1 Big 12 27.3
 2 Pac-10 29.4
 3 SEC 49.1
 4 Big Ten 60.2
 5 ACC 71.1
 6 CUSA 89.3
 7 Mountain West 92.2
 8 Sun Belt 96.3
 9 Big West 98
 10 Big East 108.6
 11 WAC 116.5
 12 Atlantic Sun 123.3
 13 Missouri Valley 126.6
 14 Mid-American 139.1
 15 Southern 148.6
 16 Southland 153.9
 17 Big South 162.1
 18 Horizon 163
 19 Atlantic 10 164 
 20 OVC 167
 21 CAA 172.6
 22 Summit 189.1
 23 America East 191.8
 24 Independent 201.3
 25 Pacific Coast 201.6
 26 Northeast 206.5
 27 Ivy 209.3
 28 Metro-Atlantic 211.6
 29 Patriot 233.1
 30 Mid-Eastern 251.9
 31 SWAC 262.8

The A10 currently sits 19th out of 31 conferences (I included Independent as a conference). It's not bad spot or a good spot, more than anything it really just represents the wide range of teams in the A10. It is a number that I am fully expecting and hoping to see improve as the season progress, especially if those A10 teams in the 200s can get on a roll and win some game. Towards the end of the year I would like to see the A10 in the 12 to 15 range, as that is where I feel the conference belongs.

Weekday Scoreboard

Tuesday, March 29th
Temple lost to Marist 1-0
WP-Paige Lewis (6-5)
LP-Kristen Marris (7-8)

Temple lost to Marist 12-4 (5 innings)

WP-Emily Osterhaus (6-5)
LP-Brooklin White (5-7)

Rhode Island lost to Harvard 15-7 (5 innings)
WP-Rachel Brown (10-4)
LP-Erika Szymanski (0-4)

Rhode Island lost to Harvard 10-0 (5 innings)
WP-Laura Ricciardone (4-3)
LP-Sam Bedore (0-7)

Wednesday, March 30th
George Washington vs Towson 12:00 PM Postponed

UMass beat Dartmouth 1-0
WP-Sara Plourde (9-10)
LP-Evan Gray (2-5)

UMass beat Dartmouth 6-2
WP-Caroline Raymond (2-1)
LP-Hillary Barker (3-3)

Rhode Island beat Holy Cross 8-4
WP-Jayshree Narendran (1-3)
LP-Caitlin Belanger (1-5)
Rhode Island beat Holy Cross 13-6
WP-Sam Bedore (1-7)
LP-Kali Haas (2-5) 

Lehigh lost to Fordham 9-1 (5 innings) 
WP-Chelsea Plimpton (10-8)
LP-Becca Bliss (6-3)

Lehigh lost to Fordham 9-0 (5 innings)
WP-Jen Mineau (9-5)
LP-Ashley Quigley (5-7)
Rider lost to Saint Joseph's 6-1
WP-Erin Gallagher (15-5)
LP-Rachel Matreale (3-9)

Winthrop vs Charlotte 4:00 PM Postponed
Winthrop vs Charlotte 6:00 PM 

Penn beat La Salle 6-0
WP-Mikenzie Voves (6-3)
LP-DJ Guinn (1-3)

Southern Illinois beat St. Louis 3-2
WP-Danielle Glosson (11-6)
LP-Hannah Huebbe (8-4)

Southern Illinois beat St. Louis 5-1
WP-Alex Peters (6-3)
LP-Kelcie Matesa (7-4)

Thursday, March 31st
Binghamton vs St. Bonaventure 3:00 PM POSTPONED
Binghamton vs St. Bonaventure 5:00 PM 
Dayton vs Youngstown State 3:00 PM 
Dayton vs Youngstown State 5:00 PM 

Weekend Recap

Briana Gwaltney
Charlotte: Clearly I should not have been so quick to count out the 49ers at the beginning of the year. This squad is not as flashy as the 2009 or 2010 version, but they are getting the job done. Coach DeVos is definitely getting all that she can out of her squad this year and I like the mentality of the 49ers. Charlotte may be the toughest team mentally in the A10 and I think that was shown this weekend with a split against St. Louis. Charlotte lost the 1st game 5-4 before coming back to win the 2nd in comeback and walkoff fashion 8-6.  This team is battling and the fight that this team is showing makes them very dangerous. Katy Hackett is not the dominant strikeout pitcher that former ace Emily Jeffery was, but she is confident and composed which is contagious on this 49er squad. Charlotte also has some big bats this year and they have been coming through again and again. Tenaya Tucker has continued her torrid pace, but one of the key's to Tucker's success has been the players behind her. Briana Gwaltney is having one heck of a year and she is in the zone right now at the plate. Behind Gwaltney, Kalie Lang is doing very well in her rookie campaign and this trio has been giving opposing pitchers fits. Each player has more than 27 RBI which is remarkable. This powerful trio does need some help from the rest of the lineup, Jalisa Rock is doing a nice job, but hitters 7-9 have produced almost nothing for Charlotte. If Charlotte can get those hitters going this team is going to start looking better and better.

Dayton: The Flyers split with George Washington, but the have to be a little disappointed with that outcome. The Flyers had leads in both games before blowing each one. They did manage to come back in the second game to at least salvage some momentum heading into next weekend. The Flyers had the long ball working again including four against the Colonials in game 2 of the doubleheader. Kathleen Maloof has been one of the offensive stars in the A10 this year and she continued to get it done at the plate. Lauren Nacke and her powerful bat stayed hot as well, but I would like to see more from this offense. Dayton has shown that it can score with homeruns, but the Flyers aren't getting those big hits can they find a way to score? This offense carries an enormous load and so far they have produced and they find themselves right in the heart of the A10 standings. In the circle, Dayton continues to pitch by committee and the Flyers are seeing mixed results. Alysha Isaacson has done a great job as a freshman and she has providing some stability out there. Sarah Wedel has done a nice job as well, but they haven't always had solid defense played behind them. Wedel and Isaacson are not big strikeout pitchers and they need a good defense behind them to keep runs off the board. That is one area the Flyers have to improve on moving forward. Dayton has gotten away with splits so far, but they are going to need to sweep some teams to make it to the A10 tournament.
Lauren Nacke

Fordham: Jen Mineau had been having a solid year for the Rams, but this week she elevated her game to that All-American level again. She was dominant allowing just two hits in 10 innings of work against St. Bonaventure and St. John's and she struck out 21 batters. If she can return to her 2010 form the rest of the A10 better watch out because she can pitch lights out. Coach Orchard's strategy of limiting Mineau's use early on seems to be paying off, as she is starting to pitch her best when Fordham needs her the most. Chelsea Plimpton has continued to be effective in the circle and this 1-2 combo for the Rams is getting the job done. Mineau and Plimpton have been helped out by an outstanding defense behind them and that defense does not get the credit that it deserves. On offense, the Rams are heating up, including Nicole Callahan and Samantha Pellechio who have been on fire as of late. These two are leading the Rams offensive charge right now and the players around them are beginning to get involved as well, including last year's Rookie of the Year Jamie LaBovick. The next step for Fordham is to get Beckah Wiggins involved. Wiggins really completes this lineup and when she is feeling at the plate the entire team feeds off her energy. Fordham had a battle in game 1 vs. St. Bonaventure, but the Rams took it one pitch at a time and began taking solid cuts at good pitches. Then the Rams had an offensive explosion in game 2, where everyone got involved. I am really interested in seeing if they can build off of that game moving forward.

George Washington: The Colonials perfect start in the A10 has ended, but the confidence and swagger in this squad remain. George Washington is leaving it all out on the field this year and that's what I like to see. The Colonials are a bit shorthanded right now in the circle without Kara Clauss and Heidi Penna has done an admirable job in her absence. Penna just ran out of gas against Dayton in the 2nd game of the doubleheader, but she is really showing that poise that made her sister so successful at Stanford. She really needs some help and hopefully she will get it, especially with the way the rest of the team is playing. On offense, what more can you say about freshman Chelsea Lenhart she is hitting the ball well and she is setting the tone for this squad with a .373 BA with 10 doubles and 16 RBI. Lenhart is making a serious case for A10 Rookie of the Year and honestly if she keeps it up she will be the hands down favorite. The rest of the order has taken its cue from Lenhart and they are finding ways to scratch across runs. The Colonials are not an explosive offense by any means, but they have been staying close in most of their games. George Washington is going to see some tougher competition this weekend when St. Joseph's and Temple come to town and the Colonials have a chance to send a big statement to the rest of the conference with a good weekend.

La Salle: Well as bad as things were for La Salle, at least they were competitive. The Explorers are in a skid, but they have had opportunities to pick up wins. In fact, La Salle was right in both games till the very end, but they just could not close out either game. DJ Guinn continued her strong work in the circle throwing 10 solid innings against St. Bonaventure and she is really due for a win. Laura Beth McCreesh and Kristen Paoletti are still looking to get things on track in the circle. At the plate, freshmen Jackie McBride and Susan Moran had good days and they are going to be the future for this program. La Salle cannot be discouraged by the fact that they did not pick up a single win; this is a young team and they are fighting every game. This program is definitely improving, even though the results on the field don't necessarily indicate that.

UMass: Maybe we are seeing the end of a dynasty. UMass had another split this weekend down in Philadelphia and now has 3 losses in A10 play, which is as many as the Minutewomen had in 2006. I am not expecting this team to run the table and we may see a new high in losses for UMass. The champs have fallen and we appear to be entering a new era in the A10. Things are starting to look up a bit for UMass, but the Minutewomen still have some significant issues to work through. The Minutewomen are struggling to hit the ball right now, but the offense did get some help with the addition of Sara Plourde to the lineup. This squad does not have the depth of previous UMass squads, especially with a couple key contributors out with injuries so Coach Sortino needs to put her best out on the field. The impact of Plourde was evident right away as Plourde drove in runs in 3 of UMass' 4 games. The rest of the lineup really needs to put good swings on the ball and cut down on strikeouts. In the circle, Sara Plourde is pitching okay. Plourde is not dominating the way she was last year and she is getting into trouble with walks and HR. She must be sharper moving forward, but she did see her load lighten in the circle. Caroline Raymond was given the start in two games this weekend and she delivered in both. She picked up her first win against Temple and then suffered the loss against St. Joseph's despite allowing just 2 ER. Her defense unfortunately let her down with 4 errors in that game and 4 others on the weekend for a total of 8. Those defensive numbers have to improve especially with St. Louis up next for UMass.

Rhode Island: This has just been rough year for the Rams any way you slice it. They really need to catch a break right now. A couple positives to take out of the weekend are the offensive performance in the second game against St. Joseph's and the pitching performance of Erika Szymanski against Temple in game 2, other than that there weren't many positives. Brittany Julich, Szymanski, and Kelly Coker all had RBI against the Hawks, as they did manage to score a couple of runs against Erin Gallagher. Fallon Scorpio and Jocelyn Mattison had the other lone hits on the day for St. Joe's. It didn't get much better against Temple, as URI was no-hit in game 1 and they only managed 3 hits in game 2. Brittany Julich had two of those hits and the other was an Erika Szymanski solo shot.

Jen Sansano
St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies ran into a hot Fordham team on Saturday, but they did manage to put up a good fight in game 1 and then on Sunday, the Bonnies swept a doubleheader from La Salle. The Bonnies team has truly put in work at the batting cages and it is paying off. The Bonnies have now hit 14 HR in 15 games and they are hitting a respectable .268 at the plate. Maureen Wells and freshman Ashley Snider both hit multiple homeruns on the weekend and they are providing this team a power element that they did not have last year. The Bonnies are aggressive at the plate and taking good swings and if they can continue to do they will be right in the hunt for one of those final A10 tournament spots. I just love the improvement that St. Bonaventure has shown and it is not just limited to the plate. In the circle, Coach Threehouse has found himself two very capable pitchers in Diana Phalon and Jen Sansano. Sansano just looks like a pitcher with a tall and lanky figure and she did a fine job against Fordham despite the fact that she had had not pitched since St. Bonaventure's opening weekend. Then the next day she bounced back to throw over 11 innings in helping the Bonnies pick up 2 wins against La Salle. Clearly, Sansano is going to be a special pitcher and once she gets some more game experience she could be a force in the A10. Now Sansano does not need to do all the work in the circle for St. Bonaventure thanks to Diana Phalon. Phalon has really emerged as a solid option for Coach Threehouse and she keeps proving herself out there. Phalon may not have the imposing presence of Sansano, but she has that strong will and fight to win. Now the one area of play that the Bonnies have not improved on is defense. The Bonnies have hurt themselves on the field by committing 29 errors in 15 games, including 17 in just 6 A10 games. That figure has to go down dramatically.
Shannon Kramer

St. Joseph's: The Hawks had a very good weekend going 3-1 against UMass and Rhode Island, yet they come away wanting more. In the past, St. Joseph's would be happy with a split against UMass, but this squad feels that they belong. I am loving the confidence and swagger that I am seeing in this team and I am very excited in how far this program has come under Terri Adams. In the circle, Erin Gallagher is finding her groove and her team has backed her her up on defense minus a 7th inning lapse against UMass. The Hawks have shown that they can beat anyone with Gallagher in the circle. Gallagher is throwing as well as anyone in the conference right now and while she may not be as flashy as Sara Plourde or Jen Mineau, but she gets the job done and it is time for her to get the recognition that she deserves. Taryn Ashway and Lauren Pembleton have done a nice job along with Gallagher and they have an important role in keeping her fresh heading into a postseason run. On offense, Monica Aguilar continued to swing the bat well and she has continued to pour it on at the plate. She is just taking care of business in so many ways for the Hawks and she is proving to be a very tough out for opposing hitters. Aguilar continued to perform, but the big star of the weekend for St. Joseph's was Shannon Kramer. Kramer was clutch this weekend and she was really feeling it at the dish hitting .438 with 2 big HR and 8 RBI. Kramer is providing some much needed protection to Aguilar and this Hawks offense is getting the job done. The Hawks will have another big weekend coming up and with a good weekend they could find themselves in the driver's seat in the A10 race. 

Kelcie Matesa
St. Louis: The Billikens went down to Charlotte and earned a hard fought split. St. Louis could have won both or lost both depending on a couple pitches here or there, but they came away with a split. Each game was a battle and this series did not belong on the second weekend on conference play. In the circle, Kelcie Matesa really got things going with a solid outing in game 1 and she really battled through a tough 49er lineup. Matesa did a nice job of keeping the 49ers at bay before Hannah Huebbe came in to shut the door. Huebbe was effective in closing out game 1, but the 49ers had her figured out in game 2 and they knocked her out early on. Julian Austin saw her first taste of A10 action and had somewhat mixed results. Austin was effective for stretches, but the 49ers had her figured out at the end of the game. On offense, Kristin Nicoletto wreaked havoc on Charlotte with both her speed and her bat. Nicoletti was all over the basepaths, but she also managed to drive in 4 runs. Aly Brand and Jessica Van Nostrand also got the job done at the plate, as the Billikens showed off their depth once again. I would like to see this team keep the pressure on opponents. The Billikens picked up leads in both games and then seemed to slow down on offense. I want to see this squad keep the pedal to the metal moving forward, especially as one of the favorites in the A10.

Temple: The Owls wasted no time in jumping all over Sara Plourde and UMass and they did not look back finishing with a 7-1 win over the Minutewomen. Temple took advantage of walks and timely hits including a 3 run HR by Stephanie Pasquale en route to a 7 run 1st inning. After that inning, it was all Kristen Marris. Marris was masterful in limiting the Minutewomen to just 4 hits and 1 run and she really got herself in a groove that she would continue in the rest of the weekend. Marris was dominant on Sunday in a sweep of Rhode Island going the distance in both games, including a no-hitter in game 1. Coach DiPietro has his ace in the circle and it looks like she is going to get the start in every meaningful game the rest of the way. Coach DiPietro sees the A10 tournament within his grasps and he does not want to fall short again. Game 2 against UMass was the complete opposite of Game 1 for Temple, but the Owls did see Ali Robinson have nice game at the plate against her former Pennsbury Gems teammate. The Owls are beginning to find their comfort zone at the plate and proof of that is all of the softballs flying out of the Ambler complex. Against Rhode Island on Sunday, the Owls hit 4 dingers and this squad is seeing the ball very well right now. Temple is going to look to keep it up next weekend when they hit the road to face two teams who sit above them in the standings. This is going to be a big weekend for the Owls and we will find out just how good they really are.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Atlantic 10 Standings

Team                         Overall   A10
Fordham                    18-13      3-1  
George Washington    11-11-1  3-1  
St. Louis                    19-12      4-2  
Charlotte                    18-15     4-2  
St. Joseph's                19-11     4-2  
Temple                       13-15     4-2  

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sunday Results

*Tune into Twitter...we are doing the best we can to tack down scores*
If you have any info on scores please leave a comment down below

St. Bonaventure beat La Salle 7-6
WP-Diana Phalon (3-4)
LP-Kristen Paoletti (0-10)

St. Bonaventure beat La Salle 3-2
WP-Jen Sansano (1-3)
LP-Laura Beth McCreesh (1-1)

Rhode Island lost Temple 10-0 (5 innings)
WP-Kristen Marris (6-7)
LP-Alison Hartzell (1-9)

Rhode Island lost to Temple 2-1
WP-Kristen Marris (7-7)
LP-Erika Szymanski (0-3)

UMass beat St. Joseph's 6-4 (8 innings)
WP-Sara Plourde (8-10)
LP-Lauren Pembleton (2-1)

UMass lost to St. Joseph's 5-2
WP-Erin Gallagher (14-5)
LP-Caroline Raymond (1-1)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Saturday Results

Jen Mineau

Fordham beat St. Bonaventure 5-2
WP-Chelsea Plimpton (9-8)
LP-Jen Sansano (0-3)
S-Jen Mineau (4)

Fordham beat St. Bonaventure 13-0 (5 innings)
WP-Jen Mineau (8-5)
LP-Diana Phalon (2-4)

Ambler, Pa.

Massachusetts lost to Temple 7-1
WP-Kristen Marris (5-7)
LP-Sara Plourde (7-10)

Massachusetts beat Temple 12-2 (5 innings)
WP-Caroline Raymond (1-0)
LP-Brooklin White (5-6)

Villanova, Pa.

St. Joseph's beat Rhode Island 8-0 (5 innings) 
WP-Erin Gallagher (12-5)
LP-Jayshree Narendran (0-3)

St. Joseph's beat Rhode Island 10-4
WP-Erin Gallagher (13-5)
LP-Allison Hartzell (1-8)

Saint Louis beat Charlotte 5-4
WP-Kelcie Matesa (7-3)
LP-Katy Hackett (12-8)
S-Hannah Huebbe (1)

Saint Louis lost to Charlotte 8-6
WP-Katy Hackett (13-8)
LP-Julian Austin (4-6) 

George Washington beat Dayton 5-4
WP-Heidi Penna (3-4)
LP-Amanda Daly (2-4)

George Washington beat Dayton 10-9 (8 innings)
WP-Sarah Wedel (4-5)
LP-Ali Pardo (0-1)

Weekend Preview

North to South this weekend

Olean, NY   Bronx, NY

Well Fordham and La Salle were originally supposed to head to St. Bonaventure for this weekend's games, thanks to some genius scheduling by the A10. I am sorry, but it is just stupid to schedule games for Olean in March and that was something I thought of as soon as I saw the schedule. Thankfully, all the coaches and the conference worked out an agreement and St. Bonaventure will play at Fordham against the Rams on Saturday and against La Salle on Sunday.

Beckah Wiggins
Fordham comes in after a disappointing split and I feel that they are going to come out ready to play against St. Bonaventure. In the circle, Coach Orchard's pattern seems to be throwing Chelsea Plimpton in the 1st game and Jen Mineau in the 2nd and I think she will stick to that pattern. For St. Bonaventure, it is a little unclear how Coach Threehouse will use his pitching. Diana Phalon has seen the majority of the work lately, but that has been with Jen Sansano out the past two weekends. My guess is that they may each get a game to throw. If Chelsea Plimpton and Jen Sansano are matched up in the circle we could have a battle of two Western New Yorkers, which I am sure one of our readers would love to see. At the plate, the Bonnies must simplify the game against Mineau and Plimpton. Runs will be at a premium so St. Bonaventure must execute in key situations. For Fordham, I just want to see aggressive hacks at the plate. Fordham's mentality at the plate could be the difference between some run-rule victories for the Rams or some close losses. I am not sure how this one will turn out yet.

I really hate to say this on the 2nd weekend of conference play, but this might be a do or die doubleheader for both teams. Both teams could be coming into this doubleheader without a single win in conference play and if either wants to make the A10 tournament they need to get a sweep. La Salle will be counting on DJ Guinn in the circle to keep the Bonnies off the bases and hopefully she will get some help from Kristen Paoletti and Laura Beth McCreesh. At the plate, the Explorers must score more than 1 run at the plate and someone is going to need to step it up. The Bonnies had some offense last weekend against George Washington, but they will need to do it again this weekend. Jessenia Andujar is having a stellar year so far and La Salle will need to avoid giving her anything sweet to hit. Maureen Wells, Ashley Nowak, and Kara Morenus are also slamming the ball for this Bonnies squad which has hit the ball much better than last year. This is a crucial series for both teams.

Dayton, OH

George Washington is looking to remain the only undefeated team in the A10 this weekend and they will face a Dayton squad that has had an up and down year so far. The Colonials were the only A10 team that came away unscathed last weekend. I do have some questions about George Washington's pitching. Kara Clauss has been the star in the circle all year long, but she did not pitch in any of GW's midweek games, which raises a bit of a red flag. Heidi Penna has seen all of the action in the circle this week for the Colonials and I am expecting her to see the lion's share of work once again if Clauss is unable to go. On offense, Autumn Taylor and Chelsea Lenhart have led the way and I am very impressed with the way these two have hit the ball. Dayton has had some trouble keeping runs off the board so it will be important for George Washington to score early and often. Dayton will need its four pitchers Alysha Isaacson, Sarah Wedel, Amanda Daly, and Kelsi Seidlitz to have solid games. The Flyers need to tighten things up in the circle, especially when facing a gritty GW squad. On offense, the Flyers slammed the ball last weekend hitting 9 HR against Temple. Lauren Nacke has really heated up and she is seeing the ball very well right now and she forms a great 1-2 combo with Kathleen Maloof in Dayton's lineup.

 Philadelphia, PA

Caroline Raymond
Temple will host UMass in a doubleheader on Saturday and both teams come in with 1-1 records in conference play. Temple has gotten it done this year with the bats, including the 14 runs that they scored against Dayton last weekend. Kristen Marris has been heating up at the plate and she is a real triple threat for the Owls. Marris gets things going with her speed, behind her in the lineup Stephanie Pasquale and Christina Sykora have been hitting the ball very well. Coach DiPietro is going to need his entire lineup to be on top of its game against Sara Plourde. In the circle, Temple will look to Marris and Brooklin White to keep UMass off the board. The Minutewomen have struggled to hit the ball this year so Temple should not do them any favors by giving them free passes. Right now, Lindsey Webster is the only hitter in the UMass lineup who is hitting the ball well consistently and that needs to change. Kyllie Magill and Meg Carta really need to elevate their level of play and lead this squad. Sara Plourde has been very good in the circle, but I would like to see her only throw one game on Saturday. I think Lindsey Webster and Caroline Raymond have it in them to combine on the 2nd game and it would take a large weight off of Sara Plourde's shoulders.

St. Joseph's will host Rhode Island on Friday and Saturday at Villanova. The Hawks need to bounce from a somewhat disappointing split against Dayton last weekend and sweep both of these games. It is especially important for St. Joe's to take both games vs. Rhode Island because they will close the weekend with a doubleheader against UMass. Since this is in fact a doubleheader, I am curious how the pitching duties will be spread out. Erin Gallagher will definitely see a start, though I am not sure they need to start her. From what I have seen of Taryn Ashway and Lauren Pembleton either one would be fine against this lineup. I like the fact that the Hawks use all three pitchers and I think this is a great opportunity to get all three action before facing UMass on Sunday. For Rhode Island, things are not looking so hot all the way around. In the circle, the walks have to be cut down especially when up against a speedy time like St. Joe's. On offense, Nicole Massoni has hit 4 HR, but it has been a bit of a hit or miss, as she only has 8 hits total. Freshmen Charlotte Conaway and Jocelyn Mattison have done a nice job in their first seasons of college ball, but they should not have this much pressure placed on them to produce. If Rhode Island can come away with a win it would provide a big lift for this squad, but I don't think that's going to happen.

St. Joseph's will host UMass on Sunday at Villanova. I am really interested in seeing how this doubleheader turns out. Both teams have great pitching and I am not expecting to see a lot of runs on the board. UMass has struggled mightily this year at the plate and they have looked very uncomfortable against pitchers who mix speeds, which is exactly what St. Joe's pitching staff does. On the other hand, the Hawks have also struggled against Sara Plourde, in fact they have never even scored a run against her. St. Joe's is going to have to get runners on and they will need to put pressure on UMass' defense. The key for the Hawks will be getting runners on in front of Monica Aguilar, as she has been the only consistent run producer for St. Joe's so far. For UMass it all comes down to consistency at the plate, which is something that hasn't happened yet. This team needs a leader and it is really just a matter of someone stepping up and leading by example. Sara Plourde is doing a good job of that in the circle, perhaps she should also be doing it at the plate. This doubleheader should be a good one, my only wish for this series is that I wish it had streaming video.

Kristen Marris
Temple will host Rhode Island on Sunday in a doubleheader. This is another one of those doubleheader's that will have huge postseason implications and a sweep by either team could do some serious damage to the other's postseason aspirations. Most importantly, they may need to salvage the weekend after going up against two of the better teams in conference play on Saturday. Both teams have had similar problems in the circle giving up free passes and my guess is that we may see a bunch of runs on the board. Temple and URI both have four pitchers and this may be one of those days where each one needs to see some action. I do have some questions abut the health of Crystal Nyman since she has not thrown in over two weeks, but I am hoping that she will return soon. Right now the Owls need every arm that they have. The difference between these two teams might be that Temple has been a bit more productive at the plate than URI has. Temple is hitting almost .100 points higher than Rhode Island. With a sweep, Temple could do wonders for its postseason chances and at the same time place Rhode Island in a huge hole moving forward.

Charlotte, NC

St. Louis heads down to Charlotte, NC for its annual series with old Conference USA rival Charlotte and ever since these two teams joined the A10, this matchup has always had playoff implications. St. Louis comes in after a big weekend at home, which saw them sweep La Salle and split with Fordham. Charlotte also enters after a successful weekend, in which the 49ers swept Rhode Island and split with UMass. The two teams have very different make-ups and styles and it will be fun to see which comes out on top. St. Louis relies on three pitchers in the circle who have all shown flashes of brilliance this year. Based on the way last weekend turned out, my guess is that Kelcie Matesa and Hannah Huebbe will get the starts. Matesa throws the ball hard, while Huebbe is more of a movement and offspeed pitcher and they will definitely give St. Louis two distinct styles against Charlotte. For the 49ers, it is going to come down to Katy Hackett once again. Hackett was huge for the 49ers last weekend pitching both games vs. UMass and Charlotte is going to need her to do the same this weekend. She really kept the UMass hitters off balance and she will look to her changeup and rise ball to do the same against the Billikens. On offense, Charlotte is going to look to Whitney Williams and Kendra McCall to have big weekends. If these two can get on base it means Tenaya Tucker will get to see much better pitches, if not the Billikens will be able to throw around her. Equally important is the way Bri Gwaltney hits behind Tucker, Tucker must be protected otherwise I would just walk her and let someone else beat me. In other words, Charlotte needs a big weekend from the top of the order; because they are not getting much from the bottom of the order right now. St. Louis is going to rely on its speed and that starts with Kristin Nicoletti who can wreak havoc on the bases. Behind Nicoletti, Rachel Faletto and Aly Brand have been driving in the most runs and Coach Connoyer is going to be counting on them once again. I know that I am going to be tuned in to watch this one, especially since a sweep by either team would create separation in the standings.
Whitney Williams

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Game Coverage

The A10 is a very diverse conference in many ways, including the location, size, and resources of its member schools. Nowhere is this more evident than in the coverage of softball. This became especially evident this past weekend when Fordham and La Salle visited St. Louis. There was absolutely no coverage of the game, which for a Division 1 sport is frankly unacceptable. I am sympathetic to the fact that Gametracker was not working, but I am not sympathetic to the fact that no alternative was used. St. Louis could have used a liveblog like the one that has been used here or Twitter. St. Louis is geographically removed from all of the other schools in the A10, which makes it imperative that they have solid game coverage. It just isn't always feasible for parents to travel to the games when they are that far away. A simple tweet every couple innings or so would have worked well because everyone was completely in the dark. A10 softball is pretty darn good and it deserves to be treated as such.

The gold standard for softball coverage in the A10 is UMass. The Minutewomen travel with an SID who does audio for every road game, Gametracker, and Twitter. The Minutewomen do have the largest budget in the A10, but as you can tell they make sure their fans are never in the dark. For home games, UMass provides live video coverage with multiple camera angles, in addition to Gametracker and Twitter. My hope is that someday all A10 schools can cover softball like UMass.

After UMass, Fordham is another that covers games very well, however the school doesn't get all the credit on this one. Fordham does provide video and audio for most of its home games along with Gametracker, which is what we like to see. Charlotte and Temple also provide those services. But what separates Fordham from the rest of the A10 is the hard work and ingenuity of a parent known on Twitter as PaulTracker.  Much like Gametracker, PaulTracker provides play-by-play coverage for anyone interested in Fordham softball and he and his 'doppelgangers' have it down to a science. In addition, the coverage has been elevated to a whole other level with the use of Justin.tv to provide streaming video and/or audio on occasion. The Rams are very lucky to have such a dedicated parent. I really hope that he serves as the inspiration for some other parents to provide coverage.

Temple is the only team other than UMass and Fordham that attempts to do LiveStats on the road. That shows you that 8 of the 11 A10 schools can be very hard to follow. Now for home games, every A10 school tries to provide some sort of Gametracker or Gametracker-like program. Now the lone exception to this in St. Joseph's, but since they do not have their own field they get a pass on this one. Even though they have some significant structural limitations, someone with St. Joe's will update the athletic department's Twitter page after about every inning or so. I think it is reasonable to expect every A10 program to do this especially when Gametracker doesn't seem to be working.

Here at the A10 Softball Blog, we do our best to cover the games and when possible liveblogs like the ones today and on Sunday will exist. It is hard to track multiple games at the same time, but we are doing the best job we can to track every game. The liveblog should be back again this weekend

Sorry if this post seemed like a rant, but this is Division 1 softball in the A10 and it deserves to be covered. If anyone wishes to help cover games feel free to shoot me an email (email address is located on the side)

So to those schools hosting games this weekend, don't leave us in the dark. I don't want to make this post again

Some suggestions, assuming a computer is present:


And our favorite

And anyone with a phone can use this one...

Weekday Scoreboard

Tuesday, March 22nd
Fordham beat St. John's 5-4
WP-Jen Mineau (7-5)
LP-Linzee Sumrall (2-3)

George Washington beat Cornell 7-6
WP-Heidi Penna (2-3)
LP-Ali Tomlinson (2-3)

George Washington tied with Cornell 1-1

St. Joseph's beat Villanova 2-1
WP-Erin Gallagher (11-5)
LP-Caitlyn Delahaba (4-9)

St. Joseph's lost to Villanova 3-2
WP-Molly Manning (3-4)
LP-Taryn Ashway (3-5)
S-Caitlyn Delahaba (2)

Temple lost to UMBC 8-5
WP-Stephanie Weigman (8-5)
LP-Kristen Marris (4-7)
S-Heather Brown (1)

Temple lost to UMBC 12-4 (5 innings)
WP-Katie Ferguson (4-2)
LP-Brooklin White (5-5)

La Salle vs. St. Peters POSTPONED
La Salle vs. St. Peters

Wednesday, March 23rd
Rhode Island lost to UMBC 4-3
WP-Heather Brown (2-0)
LP-Sam Bedore (0-6)
S-Katie Ferguson (1)

Wright State beat Dayton 9-1 (5 innings)
WP-Krystian DeWitt (8-7)
LP-Alysha Isaacson (5-5)

Wright State beat Dayton 9-1 
WP-Krystian DeWitt (9-7)
LP-Sarah Wedel (3-5)

George Washington lost to Coppin State 5-4
WP-Arnold (3-4)
LP-Heidi Penna (2-4)

Charlotte beat Appalachian State 10-7
WP-Katy Hackett (12-7)
LP-Frannie Seader (1-5)

Charlotte lost to Appalachian State 9-1 (5 innings)
WP-Louise Gibson (4-3)
LP-Katie Watkins (3-5)

Thursday, March 24th
Rhode Island vs Delaware State 2:00 PM Dover, Del. Cancelled

Dayton lost to Ball State 10-2 (5 innings)
WP-Audrey Workman (6-4)
LP-Amanda Daly (2-3)

Dayton lost to Ball State 15-1 (5 innings)
WP-Audra Sanders (10-6)
LP-Kelsi Seidlitz (0-1)

Tuesday Live Chat

Edit it will now start at 2...but I will not be able to post regularly until 3

Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekend Recap

Katy Hackett
Charlotte: The 49ers went 3-1 on the weekend and may have been a pitch or two away from going 4-0. In this weekend of chaos in conference play Charlotte ended up on the better half of it. Katy Hackett was stellar all weekend long. Hackett lost 1-0 to UMass on Friday, before bouncing back to throw 14 innings in a win over the Minutewomen on Saturday and she closed out the weekend with a win over Rhode Island on Sunday. In the final game of the weekend Charlotte battled with Rhode Island before finally pulling away to win 5-4 in the bottom of the 7th. Tenaya Tucker, Kalie Lang, and Briana Gwaltney all had solid weekends at the plate and the 49ers need every bit of offense this weekend as Charlotte was involved in 3 one-run games this weekend. Charlotte is still a little vulnerable when Katy Hackett is not in the circle, but Katie Watkins and Kalie Lang seem to be getting better with every outing.

Dayton: The Flyers went 2-2 in Philadelphia, but they had a pretty darn good 2-2 weekend and I think they opened the eyes of some other teams in the A10. The Flyers bounced back Friday after dropping the first game of the double header to St. Joseph's by jumping out to an 8-0 lead before hanging on to win 8-4. That was a bit of a shocking result, as the Hawks came into that matchup heavily favored. Dayton really got going Sunday against Temple belting 9 HR over the two games, including 7 HR in game 1. Dayton has not shown this sort of firepower in a long time and I think it really sent the rest of the A10 a message. Dayton could not come back from the deficit they spotted the Owls in game 2, but they came fairly close. Lauren Nacke, Brandy Brown, and Megan Barrett all hit 2 HR on Sunday. I am really curious to see if the Flyers can keep it going at the plate. In the circle, Dayton just needs to keep the damage to a minimum. The Flyers' pitchers are not going to strikeout a lot of batters, instead they need to focus on keeping hitters off balance and limiting baserunners.

Nicole Callahan
Fordham: Well, the Rams up and down season continued on Sunday with a split at St. Louis and they cannot seem to find any sort of rhythm. I don't know if they are pressing too much at the plate or what, but this does not look like a Fordham offense right now. Coach Orchard's squads have been known for their aggressive approaches at the plate, unfortunately that confidence is just not there. The good thing is that the Rams have plenty of time to figure things out, as right now there isn't really a favorite in the A10. At the plate, Jocelyn Dearborn and Nicole Callahan have been the only consistent producers and they are going to need some help. I just want to see this squad relax a bit and start letting loose with its swings. In the circle, Chelsea Plimpton and Jen Mineau have pitched well enough to win almost every game this year. With this combo, Fordham will always be in the hunt. Mineau is having a very good year, even though it is not quite as good as last year's she is still a dominant force in the circle. Chelsea Plimpton has really excelled this year with more innings and she threw a great game on Sunday against St. Louis. If Plimpton and Mineau can get just 3 runs a game, I think they could win the A10 regular season title, but that is just my take on it.

George Washington: The Colonials came through and swept St. Bonaventure on Saturday and they are the only undefeated team after week 1 in the A10. George Washington beat the Bonnies 6-3 and 5-4 and Kara Clauss picked up both wins in the circle. I said in my preview how Clauss needed to have a big weekend and she did not disappoint, as she allowed just 3 ER in 10 IP, while striking out 14. Heidi Penna helped out by throwing 4 innings of her own. These two have really bought into Coach Schramm's philosophy and it has paid off. They have improved so much from last year and it is almost as if last year never happened. At the plate, I asked for a HR and I got it as Autumn Taylor went deep for the Colonials 1st longball of the year. The rest of the Colonials also did pretty well at the plate, including Lauren Wilson who went 3-4 with 3 RBI in game 1 and Chelsea Lenhart who was 1-2 with 2 RBI in game 2. The Colonials may not have the most talent in the A10, but they definitely seem to be getting the most out of what they do have. It will be interesting to see if they can keep it up against Dayton.

La Salle: This past weekend in St. Louis was the epitome of La Salle's season so far. The Explorers fought and battled, but in the end they just didn't quite have enough to pull out a win. DJ Guinn threw a very good game on Friday allowing just 5 hits and striking out 9, but the Billikens were able to push 1 run across to win the game. The Explorers only managed 3 hits against Kelcie Matesa and Liz Reed, Shannon Skomorucha, and Megan Hodgson picked up those hits. Then on Saturday, La Salle managed to get on the board with a run, unfortunately for them St. Louis scored 6 times. The Billikens came in with a much better game plan against DJ Guinn and were able to touch her up for 4 runs. Kristen Paoletti came into the game to relieve Guinn and she did not allow any ER, but she does need to cut down on her walks in the circle. La Salle was able to grab 4 hits and score 1 run, but they are going to need to do better than that. Heather Brabazon had 2 hits and Ali Shepherd and Kristen Paoletti added the other hits. Hopefully the Explorers can get things going on Tuesday against St. Peter's. La Salle really needs at least one of those games moving forward.  
Lindsey Webster

UMass: The Minutewomen went 1-1 in Charlotte this past weekend and suffered its 1st loss in conference play since a 5-4 loss to Fordham on May 3rd, 2009. On Friday, Sara Plourde was sharp in the circle throwing a 3-hitter with 8 SO and Audrey Boutin provided enough offense with her solo HR, as UMass won 1-0. On Saturday, nothing seemed to go right for the Minutewomen, but they still almost won the game. UMass was not sharp in any facet of the game and it showed. At the plate, the Minutewomen were not patient and Katy Hackett really had them on edge which led to some poor swings and outs. Sara Plourde was not especially sharp and had some trouble finding the zone at times and she did not help her own cause with an error that led to a run. One positive for UMass was the way this team was able to battle back when they were down 2-1 to take the lead, but unfortunately they could not hold on. The Minutewomen of this year don't seem to have that "UMass swagger" that other A10 teams had come to fear. This team is very young and they really need to figure things out at the plate if they want to turn things around. However, despite the struggles this team is still in the hunt.

Rhode Island: The Rams have to be disappointed after this weekend, first the Rams were swept at USC Upstate, then they were swept at Charlotte to open up conference play. There weren't many highlights from the double header with USC Upstate other than maybe the fact that URI held them to only 4 runs in one game and that they were not no-hit by Morgan Childers in the other. In game 1, Jocelyn Mattison and Shelby Marquis both went deep off of Katy Hackett to bring home URI's runs. Freshmen Fallon Scorpio and Charlotte Conaway also tallied hits for the Rams. In game 2, the Rams actually out hit Charlotte 10 to 5, unfortunately for the Rams the run totals were not correlated to the hit totals. Stacey Fox, Kelly Coker, and Conaway all had multi hit games and Brittany Julich also got in on the action with a hit and RBI. Allison Hartzell through a solid game, but she absolutely has to cut down on the walks. 7 walks in the circle is just now going to get it done. It could be another tough weekend for the Rams down in Philly so hopefully they can right things in the circle.

St. Bonaventure: The Bonnies definitely had their chances against George Washington, but they could not close it out. Jen Sansano was out once again due to some extenuating circumstances and I think the Bonnies missed her presence out in the circle. St. Bonaventure was in control of game 1 before the Colonials fought their way back in erasing a 4-0 deficit. These were two games that St. Bonaventure really needed to have and it puts them in a bit of a hole moving forward. On offense, Ashley Snider went 2-3 with a HR and 2 RBI in game 1 and Maureen Wells and Kara Morenus also came through with multi-hit games, but it wasn't enough. The Bonnies needed more runs, but they are much improved at the plate, which should be taken into account. Those two losses may loom over the Bonnies the rest of the year, as they will be battling conference rivals and weather the rest of the way. I think first and foremost this squad needs to get healthy and I think the importance of that cannot be understated.  

St. Joseph's: The Hawks went 1-1 on the weekend, splitting a doubleheader with Dayton on Friday. Erin Gallagher was on her game for game 1, tossing a 5-hit shutout of the Flyers. Then Dayton broke out the bats when Gallagher went out in the circle for game 2, putting up 3 runs on her and knocking her out of the game and in the next inning the Flyers added 5 more off of Taryn Ashway and Lauren Pembleton. Even though the Hawks went down early, they battled and put 10 hits on the board. Dana Parks and Monica Aguilar continued to hit the ball well and Rochelle Christman also had a solid game 2. In game 1, Maria Ficca and Dana Parks both hit triples to get things going for the Hawks. St. Joe's also got RBI from Parks, Aguilar, and Laura Cardone. One thing that the Hawks need to work on moving forward is defense, as they committed 5 errors over over the two games. The Hawks are also missing Dana Bienek who has been a great leader out on the field, but this adversity is only making St. Joe's stronger.

Hannah Huebbe
St. Louis: The Billikens went 3-1 on the weekend and definitely came out a winner. First the Billikens went out and took care of business against La Salle sweeping the games 1-0 and 6-1. That was exactly what the Billikens needed to do especially against a squad that has given them fits in the past. Then on Sunday the Billikens went toe to toe with Fordham, a squad that did not lose to an A10 team other than UMass last season. The Billikens came away not only with a split, but also the confidence that they could go toe to toe with this Fordham squad that advanced to regionals last year. Hannah Huebbe and Kelcie Matesa had great weekend and definitely showed that they are forces to be reckoned with. Matesa was flat out dominant against La Salle recording 13 strikeouts in a shutout win. Huebbe picked up the other win against La Salle, but against Fordham she brought her game to another level, firing a 3-hitter without allowing a single walk. If Huebbe and Matesa keep throwing like this St. Louis might be the favorites in the A10. On offense, the Billikens weren't great, but they were able to do enough.

Temple: The Owls split their double header with Dayton on Sunday losing the 1st game 13-4 and winning the  2nd 10-5. In game 1, Temple could not keep the Flyers in the ballpark, as Dayton hit an astonishing 7 HR. Kristen Marris and Kylie Kristovich were not sharp with their pitches and the Dayton hitters made them pay. At the plate, Temple was able to score 4 runs on 7 hits, but they may need to be even more productive. In game 2 the offense broke out of its shell a little, scoring 10 runs on 12 hits. Gina Sciarrone and Devynne Nelons both went deep and Kristen Marris, Samantha Schoell, and Christina Sykora all had multi hit games. Every starter in the Owls lineup scored a hit and if they can do that moving forward this may be a good year for the Owls in the A10. One of the best parts about Fordham's win was the way Brooklin White threw in the circle. White kept the Flyers off balance, but she does need to cut down on the free passes moving forward. Temple will have another big A10 weekend with UMass and URI coming to town.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A10 Softball Live Chat

We are going to try out this new feature today. Feel free to stop by and chat about the game and/or softball in general

Sunday Results

Dayton beat Temple 13-4
WP-Alysha Isaacson (5-4)
LP-Kristen Marris (4-6)
S-Sarah Wedel (1)

Dayton lost to Temple 10-5
WP-Brooklin White (5-4)
LP-Sarah Wedel (3-4)

Rhode Island lost to Charlotte 7-3
WP-Katy Hackett (11-7)
LP-Jayshree Narendran (0-2)

Rhode Island lost to Charlotte 5-4
WP-Katie Watkins (3-4)
LP-Allison Hartzell (1-7)

Fordham beat Saint Louis 3-1
WP-Chelsea Plimpton (8-8)
LP-Kelcie Matesa (6-3)
S-Jen Mineau (3)

Fordham lost to Saint Louis 2-0
WP-Hannah Huebbe (8-3)
LP-Jen Mineau (6-5)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Saturday Results

St. Bonaventure lost to George Washington 
WP-Kara Clauss (7-6)
LP-Diana Phalon (2-3)

St. Bonaventure lost to George Washington 
WP-Kara Clauss (8-6)
LP-Erin Nargi (3-4)
S-Heidi Penna (1)

Massachusetts lost to Charlotte 3-2 (14 innings)
WP-Katy Hackett (10-7)
LP-Sara Plourde (7-9)

La Salle lost to Saint Louis 6-1
WP-Hannah Huebbe (7-3)
LP-DJ Guinn (1-6)

USC Upstate beat Rhode Island 8-0 (5 innings)
WP-Morgan Childers (20-1)
LP-Sam Bedore (0-5)

USC Upstate beat Rhode Island 4-0
WP-Hannah Alexander (8-1)
LP-Erika Szymanski (0-7)