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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2012 Schedule Update!

Over the course of the summer these posts will pop up as more and more is learned about next year's schedule

Feel free to email, comment, or tweet any schedule news that you have atlantic10softball@gmail.com

Weekend #1 February 10-12
FIU Combat Classic will feature host FIU, UMass, Illinois, Louisville, UAB, Michigan State

Analysis: After getting off to a rocky start in 2011, UMass will look to get off to a strong start on the opening weekend in 2012. UMass had a great opening weekend at FIU in 2010 and the Minutewomen will try to do the same in 2012. All six teams in this tournament are fairly even on paper and they should all be in the hunt for a bid to Regionals at the end of the year. This tournament is not too tough for UMass, nor is it too easy, Coach Elaine Sortino found a great tournament to start the Minutewomen's season.

Additional comments: Teams that start on the first weekend generally tend to do better on the field and hopefully other A10 teams have picked up on that. Every A10 team should try to get out on the field as soon as possible. When teams start later, they end up going up against teams that have already had one, two, or possibly three weeks of play, putting teams at a serious disadvantage.

Weekend #2 February 17-19
ECU Tournament will feature host East Carolina, Fordham, Virginia, and UNC Greensboro

Analysis: After losing an amazing senior class, Fordham will look to get off to a fast start and build some confidence for its young squad. This is a great tournament for the Rams, as it features some young and beatable teams. Fordham should do well at this tournament with its biggest test coming from Virginia.

Weekend #3 February 24-26
Cathedral City Classic will feature host Oregon State, Fordham, Arizona, Boise State, BYU, Cal Poly, California, Colorado State, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Northridge, Florida, Fresno State, Georgia, Iowa, Iowa State, Long Beach State, Long Island, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico State, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pacific, SDSU, Stanford, Syracuse, Texas, Texas A&M, UC Davis, UCLA, Washington

Analysis: This is the best tournament in the nation and in 2012 it will feature 5 WCWS teams, including 2011 runner up Florida. Coach Bridget Orchard likes to challenge her squad against the best teams in the nation and the Rams will certainly be put to the test. This is one of those instances where the nation is watching and Fordham has an opportunity to really put itself in a good position for an at large bid if they can pick up some wins. This is the tournament that all A10 teams should strive to attend.

NFCA Leadoff Classic will feature UMass, Boston University, USF, and many other teams that have not been announced yet

Analysis: The Leadoff Classic was once the premier college softball tournament in the country, but due to the Cathedral City Classic and consistent bad weather year in and year out in Columbus, GA, it has lost a bit of its luster, including a hiatus in 2011. The Leadoff Classic is back and it will be played in Clearwater, FL at the Eddie C. Moore Complex. The move to Clearwater with its wonderful weather could lead to a rebirth of this tournament. This tournament will challenge UMass, though it will not be as brutal as the Cathedral City Classic was for the Minutewomen last year. After seeing the Cathedral City Classic field, the Leadoff Classic will likely include many of the top teams on the east coast, especially teams from the Big Ten, ACC, and SEC.

USC Upstate Tournament will feature host USC Upstate, La Salle, and some other teams that haven't been announced

Analysis: This is a good tournament for the Explorers to attend. USC Upstate is a very solid team in the Atlantic Sun and they should test La Salle early. The other teams at the tournament probably won't be as tough as USC Upstate and La Salle should be able to pick up some wins. La Salle needs to build some confidence early and this is a great tournament to do that.

Coastal Carolina Tournament will feature host Coastal Carolina, Temple, and some other teams that haven't been announced yet

Analysis: Temple is going to be a young, but experienced team in 2012 and they will look to pick up some wins down in Conway, SC. Coastal Carolina is a solid team, but with the way Temple played last year, the Owls should do well on this weekend. It will be interesting to see the other teams that end up going to this tournament.

Weekend #4 March 2-4
Citrus Classic will feature Fordham, Temple, Auburn, Baylor, Long Island, Louisiana-Lafayette, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, and some others that haven't been announced

Analysis: The Citrus Classic is quickly becoming one of the top tournaments in the country and for the second straight year Fordham and Temple will be apart of it. Both the Rams and the Owls will be put to the test, but they will be better because of it both in terms of RPI and being ready for conference play. Another great aspect of this tournament is that a select number of games will be streamed on ESPN3.com, which is wonderful exposure. This is another tournament that A10 teams should look to attend in future years.

Weekend #5 March 9-11
USF Under Armour Showcase will feature host USF, Fordham, Temple, Boston University, Canisius, ETSU, Long Island, Virginia Tech and other teams that haven't been announced

Analysis: Over the years, A10 teams have performed well at USF tournaments and hopefully this year will be no different. USF's tournaments feature a wide range of teams ranging from powerhouses to cupcakes and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the field shapes up. It is also fairly likely that a couple other A10 teams will also attend this tournament.

War Eagle Classic will feature host Auburn, George Washington, Drexel, Evansville, Louisiana Tech, and Presbyterian

Analysis: George Washington has played a rather mundane schedule for the past few seasons, but 2nd year Coach Stacey Schramm has this program on the upswing and she is going to challenge her squad. This tournament will give the opportunity to go up against an SEC power, while also getting a chance to pick up some wins against the other teams that will be attending the tournament.

Coastal Carolina Tournament will feature host Coastal Carolina, La Salle, and some other teams that are not known at this point in time

Analysis: After a rough 2011 campaign, La Salle needs to challenge itself in nonconference play, but they also need to pick up wins to build some confidence. This is another opportunity for the Explorers to do just that and they will need to be ready to play.

Weekend #6 March 16-18
James Madison Tournament will feature host James Madison, Fordham, and Pittsburgh

Analysis: This is a solid tournament, but it is also one that Fordham should do well at. James Madison and Pittsburgh are both solid teams and they should challenge the Rams, but Fordham is just too talented at the end of the day. This tournament won't be a big RPI boost, but it won't hurt RPI either.

UMBC Spring Classic will feature hosts UMBC and Coppin State, as well as Rhode Island, Cornell, Georgetown, Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, Siena, and St. Francis

Analysis: Hopefully Rhode Island can pick up some wins at this tournament, otherwise it is absolutely going to decimate the Rams' and as a result the conference's RPI. If A10 teams are going to attend weaker tournaments, they must pick up wins. Some of these teams could be solid, but this is not a tournament that an A10 team should be at.

Delaware State Tournament will feature host Delaware State, La Salle, and some teams that haven't been announced yet

Analysis: Along the same lines as Rhode Island at the UMBC Tournament, La Salle must pick up wins at this tournament. Otherwise the Explorers could once again drag down the RPI of the rest of the A10.

Additional comments: The A10 has received multiple bids twice and the conference has the talent to do it almost every year. However, that means that every team in the conference needs to make a conscious effort to schedule tough games and there are some teams that are hurting others' postseason chances because they are unwilling to schedule tougher games.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

High School Players to keep an eye on

Briana Chiusano, OF, RI Thunder: Is a talented lefty slapper for the RI Thunder travel team and she is lightning fast. Chiusano terrorized teams in HS ball and has done the same on the travel circuit. Chiusano hit .512 for the Thunder this past fall and she racked up 27 steals without being caught once. Chiusano would be a very nice addition to an A10 lineup. UPDATE Signed with Coastal Carolina

Gabrielle Klecko, OF, NJ Intensity: Is the daughter of former Jets player Joe Klecko and she is an athlete. Klecko plays for the talented NJ Intensity travel team under Kevin O'Donnell and she has really developed into a talented player. Klecko mainly hits for average at the moment, but she definitely has some power there that can be developed. Klecko is also a nightmare on the bases for opposing teams, as she recorded 31 steals for her HS team this year. UPDATE Signed with Delaware

Lindsay Mayer, SS, RI Thunder: Just finished her sophomore season, but she is already shaping up to be one of the top prospects in her class. Mayer has an absolute cannon for an arm (clocked at 64 mph overhand) and that alone should be reason enough for teams to take a look at her, but she can also hit the ball as well. Mayer is definitely a recruit to watch and there will definitely be some competition to land her. UPDATE Verballed to Virginia

Michiko McGivney, OF, NJ Inferno: Plays for one of the top teams in the Tri-state area and she is a solid all around player. McGivney led her HS team to an area championship before they fell to Charlotte signee Chelsea Lisikatos in the NY state playoffs. McGivney is a lefthanded hitter and she will most likely play in the outfield in college. She has faced and performed against top competition, including a solid performance at last year's premier nationals, hitting .286 while recording 3 steals. UPDATE Committed to Cornell

Shannon Smith, P, RI Thunder: Despite just finishing her sophomore year of high school, Smith is all over the recruiting radars of every major program in the northeast. Smith plays for the RI Thunder, which is one of the top teams in the northeast and she has been battle tested. Smith throws in the upper 60s and she still has a ton of room for improvement. Smith has already taken unofficial visits to at least three A10 schools... UPDATE Verbal to Kentucky


Janelle Bouchard, C, Maine Frozen Ropes UPDATE Signed with Valporaiso
Monica Macchiarulo, OF UPDATE Verballed to George Washington
Madison Gilman, C/1B, Richmond Diamonds

Note: These are just players within the geographical footprint of the A10

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

News and notes

Shanie McConnell of East Gaston has indicated that she would like to walk on to Charlotte after spending a year at a junior college. McConnell is a pitcher who can also swing the bat as well and it will be interesting to see if she ever takes the field for the 49ers.

Erica Willis of Wayne Hills will be attempting to walk on to Fordham this upcoming season. Willis has been a pitcher in her high school career, but she may make her biggest impact at the plate in college. Willis hit .538 in her her senior season, so it will be interesting to see what she can do at the college level.

In the Massachusetts Division 1 State Title, King Philip defeated Amherst 1-0 in a game that featured 7 future Division 1 players, including 4 future A10 players. George Washington verbal commitment Meghan Rico was dominating, as she finished with a 4 hitter and 19 SO. It looks like the Colonials will have a battle tested ace when Rico comes to Mount Vernon. UMass signee Quianna Diaz-Patterson gave Rico fits at the plate and on the bases going 2-3 with 3 steals. Diaz-Patterson's speed can absolutely change the course of a game and it looks like she will be a fixture at the top of the order for UMass.

Fordham signee Sam Smith was named to the All-Sachem team, after hitting .754 for Sachem East. Her current HS teammate and future college teammate Samantha Laird was also named to the All-Sachem team.

Candace Waldie will be transferring from UMass to Merrimack. Waldie was a star field hockey player in HS and she will return to field hockey at Merrimack.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gatorade State Player of the Year

The Atlantic 10 had one recruit named as a Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2011: Fordham recruit Brianna Turgeon in Connecticut. Turgeon had originally verballed to UConn in high school, but she decided to reopen her recruitment and Fordham was the lucky recipient of her talents.

Some past winners who went on to play in the A10
Gina Allen 2006 North Carolina

Brianna Turgeon 2010 Connecticut
Chelsea Plimpton 2007 New York
Mary Beth Puccio 2004 New York

Paige Hansen 2009 New Hampshire
Whitney Mollica 2006 New Hampshire
Michelle Libby 2005 Maine
Emily Robustelli 1998 Connecticut

Rhode Island
Sam Bedore 2010 Maine
Fallon Scorpio 2009 Rhode Island
Jenna Thurston 2002 Massachusetts

St. Joseph's
Dana Travis 1999-2000 Delaware

Adrienne Repsher 2003 Pennsylvania

News and notes

Jen Mineau is currently trying out for the US National team out in Chula Vista, CA. Best of luck to her as she is the lone representative from the Atlantic 10 and the Northeast

Former Dayton player Amanda Daly will be transferring to Western Illinois. The Leathernecks have a great softball tradition and Daly should be a welcome addition to the squad.

High school playoff action:
Charlotte recruit Chelsea Lisikatos and her Haldane team fell 2-0 in the Class C State Final in New York.

Fordham recruit Taylor Pirone and her Ursuline squad fell in the Class AA Section 1 Semifinals in New York 7-0.

Fordham recruit Kayla Lombardo and her Pequannock squad could not complete an undefeated season, as they fell 2-1 in the Group 2 state final in New Jersey.

Newsday writes about Brittany Julich's sister Paige and her impact on the King's Park softball team.

King Philip with George Washington recruit Meghan Rico and UMass recruits Anna Kelley and Olivia Godin advanced to the state title game in Massachusetts, where they will look to complete an undefeated season.

UMass recruit Bridget Lemire lost in her sectional final 3-2 in a 13 inning battle, which saw Shannon Smith a very talented 2013 pitcher outduel her.

UMass recruit Quianna Diaz-Patterson and her Amherst team will now face Milford and Shannon Smith and the winner will advance on to face King Philip on Saturday in the state final.

UMass recruit Mikayla Panko and her Benet Academy squad took 3rd at the Illinois state championships.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

News and notes

This story about a Charlotte 49ers' fan is a real tear jerked and it is a must read. Charlotte does things the right way and this story is another reminder of that. David Perlmutt of the Charlotte Observer did an outstanding job with this article.

Sara Plourde was named a 2nd team Easton All American.

Temple announced the signings of two more players for next season: Jess Mahoney and Alex Stermel. Mahoney is a pitcher from Northern Virginia, while Stermel is a utility player from Philadelphia. Coach DiPietro is very excited about this class and he has high hopes for them.

St. Joseph's has picked up a verbal from Sarah Yoos who is the shortstop for Chaos Gold. Chaos Gold's center fielder Melissa Ruf signed on to play for the Hawks earlier this fall.

Fordham signee Kayla Lombardo will be playing in the New Jersey high school state final for Pequannock in the Group 2 Division.

George Washington 2012 verbal Meghan Rico continues to dominate the competition in Massachusetts pitching for King Philip High School. Rico along with UMass signee Anna Kelley and verbal Olivia Godin will play for the sectional title this Saturday.

UMass signee Quianna Diaz-Patterson led her team to the sectional championship game on Saturday. Diaz-Patterson hit an inside the park home run to start things off for her team and she just missed adding another later in the game.

UMass signee Bridget Lemire also led her team to the sectional semifinals with her efforts in the circle and at the plate. Lemire's St. Peter's-Marion squad will play in the semifinals on Thursday.

If anyone has any other news feel free to comment, tweet, or email

Thursday, June 2, 2011

International Players in the A10

With the recent signings of Sydney Cicchetti and Leah Sitter, both natives of Canada, it is worth looking at some other international players who could make an impact in the A10.

Australia: is a hotbed of softball talent, including current NCAA players Kaia Parnaby of Hawaii, Simone Freeman of Oklahoma State, Ellen Roberts of Memphis, and Nikki Hollett of Troy. More players are coming next year, including Georgia Casey who is headed to Oklahoma.

Here are a few players that A10 teams should take a look at:

Emily Smethurst: the sister of Australian national team ace Justine Smethurst, Emily pitched for Tallahassee CC this past year going 15-9 with a 1.95 ERA and she could be a valuable pitcher for some team.

Rachael Sechi: is on Australia's Junior National team and she is a very versatile player with the ability to play catcher, 3B, and outfield. She has been the catcher for Oklahoma recruit Georgia Casey and she called the pitches as well for her squad that won the U19 Australian National Championship.

Jessica Meyer: is a middle infielder for the Australian Junior National team and she was named the best batter at Australia's U19 Championships. Meyer is a stud and she is going to be a fun one to watch.

Marina Walker: is also a middle infielder for the Aussie Pride and may be the best young player in Australia. Walker was named the most valuable player at the U19 Championships and she would be an outstanding pickup for an A10 team.

Brazil: hasn't been known for producing softball talent, but that notion has been changing thanks to Chattanooga's Vivian Morimoto who hit a scorching .402 this year for the Mocs. More players have matriculated to the US and the Brazilians will be making their presence known in the year to come.

Here are some players to take a look at:
Sayumi Akamine

Sayumi Akamine: played for Chipola College in Florida and she hit .336 with 24 steals. Akamine's speed could make her a valuable asset to any program. Her lefthanded bat should find a home with a four year program.

Veronika Fukunishi: played for Miami Dade CC this past season and she hit a respectable .374 with 7 HR and 43 RBI. Fukunishi is a lefthanded hitting outfielder/catcher and she swings a powerful bat.

Cynthia Takahashi: played for Miami Dade CC and the Brazilian National team member hit .400 with 25 RBI, while picking up 15 steals. Takahashi is a solid well rounded player who swings a solid lefthanded bat and does a nice job patrolling the outfield.

Samira Tanaka: played for Miami Dade CC as well and she has an outstanding season in 2011, hitting .430 with 65 hits and 21 steals. Tanaka is a lefthanded hitting 2nd basemen and she has some good wheels on her.

Canada: has produced some great talent, including former NCAA player of the year Danielle Lawrie, A10 pitcher of the year Kaila Holtz, Big East pitcher of the year Jenna Caira, and All Americans Jen Yee and Jenn Salling. There is a lot of good talent in Canada and A10 teams should definitely take advantage of that.

Here some players that could make an impact in the A10:

Charlotte Dolan
Charlotte Dolan: was on UCLA's national championship team last year, but the powerful catcher is no longer at UCLA and she could make a huge impact at any school that she chooses to attend.

Shannon Davidson: was the 5-hole hitter for Canada's Junior National team at the Junior Pan-Am Championships. Davidson can play second base and she can also see some time in the circle as well. She is a left handed bat that will be a nice addition to some program.

Olivia Hornstein: was one of the youngest players on Canada's Junior National team and her international experience could definitely help any team. Hornstein is a throws and hit lefty and she is capable of playing 1B or any of the outfield positions.

Netherlands: most people don't think of the Netherlands as a hotbed for softball talent, but they should rethink that thought, especially after watching Cal's fabulous freshmen Britt Vonk. The Netherlands has one of the top developmental programs in Europe and there are some more talented players who could make a big impact on any program that they choose to join.

Here are some players that A10 teams should look at:

Eva Voortman
Anne and Maaike Blaauwgeers: are twin outfielders who play Junior College ball for Central Arizona and they  could add instant depth to an outfield somewhere. Anne hit .324 with 16 steals for Central Arizona, while Maaike hit .429. Both of them are D1 ready.

Eva Voortman: is a young lefthanded pitcher hailing from the Netherlands and she could be a nice addition to an A10 pitching staff. Voortman threw 8 innings on the Dutch National team's US tour earlier this year allowing just 2 ER in 8 innings against college competition.

New Zealand: the Kiwis are known for playing solid fundamental softball and while there are only a few playing right now: Lara Andrews of Delaware and Melanie Gettins of Iona, the success of those two should encourage other teams to take a look.

Here are a couple players to keep an eye on:

Rita Hokianga: one of the youngest members of the New Zealand national team, Hokianga would bring international experience to any team's pitching staff. Hokianga is already being recruited by some other colleges in the US and A10 teams should take a serious look at her. Hokianga threw 27 innings for New Zealand last year, picking up 19 SO, while maintaining a 1.01 ERA. One other thing that makes Hokianga intriguing is the fact that she is lefthanded.

Kingsley Avery: is a young outfielder on the New Zealand national team and she has a very high upside. Avery hit .421 with a HR, 8 RBI, and 7 steals in 16 games for the national team. Avery is definitely a special talent and she is going to make an impact somewhere.

Beth Stavert is another Kiwi pitcher to watch

The ISF Junior World Championships will be played this June and it could be an excellent opportunity for to see some more New Zealand players.

Puerto Rico:

Here are a few to watch:

Kiara Nazario: played for Miami Dade CC and hit .374 with 58 hits and she had a staggering 35 steals on the year. With that speed she is definitely a player to watch. Nazario also served as the leadoff hitter for Puerto Rico's Junior National team.

Dayton adds Leah Sitter

Leah Sitter
After signing Sydney Cicchetti of Seward Community College earlier this spring, Coach Cara LaPlaca announced the signing of one of Cicchetti's teammates: outfielder Leah Sitter. Sitter, like Cicchetti also hails from Canada and she looks like she will be an excellent addition to Dayton next year.

Sitter is a fast left handed hitter and she should form a great 1-2 combo at the top of Dayton's order with Rachel Archer. Sitter hit a scorching .413 at the plate this year for Seward, while racking up 35 steals this past season. Sitter's speed adds a whole other dimension to the Flyer's offense and Dayton's offense is looking pretty dangerous right now.

Dayton is a program that is on the rise in the A10 and these two recruits from Seward are a sign of that. Dayton already has some very powerful bats in the lineup with Kathleen Maloof and Lauren Nacke and now with Sitter on the squad they are potent on the bases as well. Dayton's offense is going to be very dangerous next year and they are poised for an even better season in 2012. Coach LaPlaca has this team moving in the right direction and 2012 should be a great year for the Flyers and the A10.

Charlotte: Seniors

Carol Buchan
Carol Buchan: after serving as the 49ers' top pinch runner for most of her career, Buchan started the final 6 games of her career and played some outstanding softball. Buchan hit a scorching .333 with 11 hits, including 4 doubles, while driving in 4 runs. Buchan really solidified Charlotte's lineup in the designated player position and the 49ers went 6-3 with her in the starting lineup. During the first two seasons, Buchan was an excellent runner for Coach Aimee DeVos and she found a way to run around the bases and score. Buchan made the most of appearances and she came up with some clutch hits for the 49ers. Buchan showed how hard work and perseverance can pay off and that is something that everyone should take notice of. It is important to show up to the field and practice hard every day and you can find a way into the starting lineup. Buchan's work ethic will be missed at the DL Phillips Complex.

Katy Hackett
Katy Hackett: will go down as one of the top pitchers in Charlotte history and her resiliency in the circle was second to none. Hackett finished her career on a high note, having her best season going 21-12 with a 1.89 ERA and 229 SO in 244.1 innings. The 229 SO are good for third in Charlotte single season history and her 62 career wins are fourth in 49er history. Hackett will go down as one of Charlotte's best pitchers, statistically speaking, but the numbers don't do her justice. She featured a devastating changeup that literally made batters go weak at the knees. The one pitch gave batters fits and she had no problem throwing it in any count. Hackett was named to the A10 All Rookie team in her freshman season and to the A10 2nd team in 2011. She pitched in four Atlantic 10 Tournaments, including a runner up finish in 2008 and two 3rd place finishes. In her final A10 season, she was outstanding in the circle from start to finish. To open up A10 play she defeated UMass 3-2 in an extra inning battle and the toughness and resiliency that she showed were reoccurring themes in her season. In the Atlantic 10 Tournament, she was named to the All Tournament Team after going 2-2 with a 1.36 ERA and 24 SO in 30.2 innings. She found herself in countless tough situations, but everytime she needed to make a big pitch, she executed it. Charlotte is going to miss her presence in the circle and A10 fans will miss her bounce in the circle. Katy Hackett will continue her playing career over in Europe playing for the Vermins in Germany.

Kendra McCall
Kendra McCall: was an excellent slapper for the 49ers and she held down the number two spot in the order very well in her final two seasons. McCall had a breakout season in 2010, hitting .355 with 66 hits and 18 steals. McCall has been an excellent contact hitter for the 49ers, but she also showed that she has some power as well. McCall shocked the conference last year at the Atlantic 10 tournament by pulling a Sara Plourde rise ball out of the park for a HR to give her squad a 2-0 lead. McCall showed that the HR was no fluke, as she hit 2 more this season. McCall has been a steady and consistent performer for the 49ers and while she may not have had her best season statistically speaking in 2011, but she was a big reason why the Charlotte offense was so productive. McCall was also a solid outfielder for Charlotte and she really used her speed to chase down balls in the outfield. The 49ers are going to miss the spunk of McCall and her clutch hitting at the plate.

Tenaya Tucker
Tenaya Tucker: closed her career by having one of the best offensive seasons in Charlotte history. Tucker was always a consistent performer for the 49ers, but in her senior season she elevated her game to a whole other level. Tucker hit .388 with 66 hits, 12 HR, and 47 RBI, which were each career highs. The 12 HR that she hit set a new Charlotte single season mark, while her 47 RBI are tied for second and her .388 batting average is good for third. Tucker was not just a force at the plate, but behind it as well. Tucker was outstanding at catcher for Coach Aimee DeVos, gunning down 22 runners on the bases, in addition to calling the pitches for the 49ers. Tucker was one of the most feared hitters in the A10 this year and she racked up 20 BB, while striking out just 9 times. Tucker held down the three hole in Charlotte's lineup and she really dictated how opposing pitchers threw to the Charlotte lineup, both before and after her. Tucker was consistent, reliable, and productive and above all that she was a leader and Charlotte is going to miss her presence.

Whitney Williams
Whitney Williams: one of the top leadoff hitters in A10 history, Williams was one of the top base stealers in conference history. Williams was a fixture at the top of the 49ers order for her four years at Charlotte. Williams got off to a bit of a slow start in 2011, but she came on strong at the end of the year, finishing with a .305 average with 53 hits and 27 steals. In addition, Williams was an outstanding center fielder for the 49ers, finishing her final campaign with a perfect fielding percentage. She ends her career as Charlotte's single season and career leader in steals with 101. Williams was a excellent slapper, as she could lay down a bunt, beat out an infield hit, or place the ball into the outfield. In 2010, Williams hit .330 en route to setting an A10 single season record for steals with 40. Williams earned All Rookie honors in her freshman year and 1st Team All Conference honors this season. Williams was a consistent performer for the 49ers and Coach DeVos could always count on her to reach base.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sara Plourde and Jen Mineau have been named NFCA All Americans

Sara Plourde
The NFCA announced its All American teams today and for the second consecutive year, Sara Plourde and Jen Mineau were named All American, as both were named to the 3rd team. Plourde and Mineau have been absolutely dominating over the past two years and it is nice to see that the nation is taking notice.
Jen Mineau

The most impressive thing about Plourde and Mineau is 2011 is that they were both battling injuries coming into the year. Plourde was dealing with a stress fracture in her hip that she sustained at the end of last year, while Mineau was dealing with a stress fracture in her plant foot. Both pitchers had great seasons, but you could tell that the injuries did impact their performance. However as the season went on both really rounded into form and they put their teams their back. The scary thing about that is that in 2012 they could be downright dominant in the circle.

St. Joseph's: Seniors

Dana Bieniek
Dana Bieniek: after missing the 2010 season to have a beautiful baby girl, Bieniek came back to the field in 2011 and she closed her career in style. Bieniek returned to her role as starting shortstop and she was outstanding both in the field and at the plate. Bieniek finished 2011 with a .955 fielding percentage, which is an outstanding number for a shortstop, especially with all of the groundballs that Erin Gallagher induces. Bieniek also upped her game at the plate, hitting a career best .306 with 2 HR and 19 RBI. In postseason play, Bieniek elevated her game to another level and she was named to the Atlantic 10 All Tournament team twice (2009 and 2011). When the Hawks needed a big play or a big hit, she always seemed to come through. On offense, she could do a little bit of everything, hitting for average, power, and she could show off her wheels by swiping a few bases as well. Bieniek really left it all on the field in her final and she was a great role model for players who want to start a family and continue playing softball. Coach Terri Adams is going to miss Bieniek leadership and her diving plays at shortstop.

Laura Cardone
Laura Cardone: was a mainstay for the Hawks at the top of the order during her career, including three seasons in the number 2 spot in the lineup and one season as the leadoff hitter. Cardone was a slapper with outstanding bat control and she was one of the top bunters in the conference, including 13 sacrifice bunts this past year. That number might have been even higher if not for her speed out of the box. Cardone was an excellent slapper for Coach Adams and she was part of the terrific trio at the top of the Hawks order, along with Bernadette Moran and Dana Parks. Cardone will gone down as one of the fastest players in St. Joe's history, finishing 2nd in career steals with 35. Cardone was just a steady performer for the Hawks, especially on defense, where she was a four year starter. Cardone patrolled the outfield for the Hawks in all three spots during the course of her career and she could be counted on to make some special plays in the outfield. St. Joseph's is going to miss Cardone's steady presence at the top of the order and in the outfield and she has been a big part of the Hawks' success over the course of her career.

Taylor Korpita
Taylor Korpita: was a very underrated player over the course of her career and she really came on towards the end of her senior season. Korpita grew up near UMass and it is only fitting that she was responsible for delivering the final blow to end UMass' season. Korpita always seemed to step up her game to another level against UMass, as she also blasted a 2-run HR against the Minutewomen in the regular season, giving the Hawks their first win over UMass since the 2004 Atlantic 10 Championship. Both of those games showed that the Hawks are a force to be reckoned with in the Atlantic 10 and Korpita played an important role in that. Korpita was the consummate team player and she performed in every role that she was called on to do. She saw a lot of action as a defensive specialist in her first two seasons, before she picked it up at the plate in her final two years, including 4 HR in her junior season. Korpita was a valuable member of the Hawks and St. Joseph's will miss her in the dugout and on the field.

Summer Update

Fordham assistant softball coach Emily Friedman has retired from the NPF. Friedman was a standout at California during her college days before moving on to play pro ball for the Chicago Bandits in the NPF. Friedman played five seasons in the NPF and her final season was her best, as she hit .304 with 6 HR and 19 RBI. Friedman has done a great job with the Fordham program and she has also been fun to watch on the field.

After sitting out the final few months of the season with a lacerated liver, 2010 Atlantic 10 Co-Player of the Year Katie Bettencourt will also play for the Brakettes this summer when she returns to the field. It will be great to see her make a return to the field.

St. Bonaventure's outstanding freshmen Ashley Snider and Jen Sansano will be playing for La Nova this summer. La Nova's roster is littered with talent from the four local schools in the Buffalo area.

Teea Rogers and Samantha Gray of UMass will be playing summer ball for NWS Elite. Rogers and Gray are two of four Division 1 players on the roster and they will probably see some significant playing time this summer.

Amy Gleason of Rhode Island will be playing for the New England Shock this summer, it was Gleason's travel team in high school and they have decided to add a 23U team this year.