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.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Whitney Cooper verbals to UMass

Whitney Cooper
Coach Elaine Sortino has continued her 2012 recruiting by picking up a verbal from Whitney Cooper of the Arizona Storm.

Cooper is a talented 2B/SS and she swings an extremely powerful bat. Cooper plays high school ball for Sedona Red Rock, which is one of the top programs in the state. Cooper had an amazing junior season, which saw her hit .602 with 50 hits, 20 HR, 62 RBI, and 11 steals. She is a five-tool player and one that is ready to make an impact for the Minutewomen.

Cooper joins Olivia Godin and Taylor Carbone in UMass' 2012 recruiting class. This recruiting class will have to replace the talented senior class of Sara Plourde, Kyllie Magill, and Jordan Storro, among others (assuming of course that Katie Bettencourt receives her medical redshirt). It is looking strong so far, though more additions are probably on the way.

Cooper is the first member of the Arizona Storm to commit to an Atlantic 10 school, but hopefully she won't be the last. Arizona has supplied some great players to the A10 in the past, including Jamie LaBovick to Fordham, Dani Gonzales to St. Joseph's, Chelsea Lenhart to George Washington and Laura Bohning to St. Louis among others.  

She will be the 1st UMass player from Arizona since Jamie Cahalan, Anna Perey, and Ashley Bakken.

Recruiting Updates

If you have news please email atlantic10softball@gmail.com or tweet @A10SoftballBlog

I will try to get to individual updates at a later date, but for the moment it will just be a listing

2011 Natalie Capone SS from St. Charles, IL (travel team unknown) Originally signed with Indiana State before they fired their coach. Excellent late pick up for Coach Aimee DeVos

La Salle
2011 Alyssa Bitsimis P/IF (travel team unknown) and she is from Half Hollow, NY
2011 Linnette Siedler OF Windsor Wildcats and she is from Jackson, NJ
2012 Stacie DeNucci P/OF Philadelphia Spirit and she attends Conwell-Egan Catholic in Pennsylvania

Rhode Island
2011 Kelsey Gammell 1B/3B Central Mass Rapids and she attends La Salle Academy in Rhode Island
2012 Taylor Archer C/IF RI Thunder Elite and she attends Milford HS in Massachusetts
2012 Emily Hendricks OF NE Phoenix Gold and she attends Mount St. Charles HS in Rhode Island
2012 Olivia Hendricks SS NE Phoenix Gold and she attends Mount St. Charles HS in Rhode Island

St. Louis
Katie Kroeger OF has transferred from Iowa to St. Louis. Kroeger is from Brynes Mill, MO and this past year for the Hawkeyes, she hit .308 with 12 hits, 5 RBI, and 7 steals in just 17 games
2011 Michele Waggoner IF Glen Ellyn Phillies and she attends Glenbard West HS in Illinois
2012 Elizabeth Everingham P/3B New Lenox Lightning and she attends St. Joseph-Ogden in Illinois

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Patti Maloney verbals to Fordham

Fordham Coach Bridget Orchard continued her aggressive recruiting of 2012 recruits by picking up another verbal, her fourth of the class. Patti Maloney P/1B of the MD Heartbreakers decided that the Rams were the right choice after she considered Quinnipiac and Colgate among others.

Maloney is a tall pitcher who along with Morgan Eisenga will have the tall task of replacing the irreplaceable Jen Mineau. Maloney will be a powerful force for the Rams both in the circle and at the plate. Maloney could see time both at the plate and in the circle for Fordham.

Maloney joins Allie Bradian, Samantha Laird, and Morgan Eisenga in Fordham's class of 2012, which is already shaping up well.

The Heartbreakers have sent numerous players to the A10 in the past, including Taryn Ashway and Rochelle Christman to St. Joseph's, Katie Davis and the late Nicole Ayres at Fordham.

Tenaya Tucker has been named an assistant coach at the University of Delaware

Tenaya Tucker
After wrapping up a stellar career with an amazing senior season, Tenaya Tucker has been hired as an assistant coach at Delaware under second year head coach Jaime Wohlbach.

Tucker was a standout catcher for Coach Aimee DeVos, but most of all she was an outstanding representative for Charlotte and the Atlantic 10 both on and off the field. Tucker closed her career in style with an outstanding senior season. Tucker hit .388 with 66 hits, 12 HR, and 47 RBI en route to being named All-Conference and All-Region.

Tucker has all of the makings of an outstanding coach and it is easy to pick that up after watching her play. She really understands the game both on offense and behind the plate. The way she called games with fellow senior Katy Hackett this year was simply brilliant. Every time the 49ers needed a big pitch it seemed like Tucker and Hackett would make the right call. Delaware has picked up a coach who truly understands the game and her expertise should get the Blue Hens back in the CAA tournament in 2012.

Here is what Coach Wohlbach had to say:

"Tenaya is a great addition to our staff," Delaware head coach Jaime Wohlbach said. "She has a tremendous amount of knowledge and passion for the game. She has proven herself to be an outstanding player for the Charlotte softball team, setting several offensive records in addition to earning team MVP honors and conference accolades. Her maturity and leadership within the game will contribute in all areas on the field. I am very excited to have Tenaya as a part of my staff."
The official press releases from Delaware and Charlotte can be found here:



Sunday, July 17, 2011

Construction has started on St. Joseph's new home!

The Hawks' New Home

It's about time!

For the past three seasons Coach Terri Adams and her Hawks have not had a permanent home, but they have not used that as an excuse. St. Joseph's has had its best seasons in school history during that stretch, despite the fact that they did not have their own home.

First off, the other Philadelphia schools have been extremely supportive of the Hawks during this time period, allowing St. Joe's to play at their fields. Those schools did have some experience in the matter from when La Salle didn't have a field, but nonetheless they did the right thing.

When construction finishes on the Maguire Campus, the Hawks will be able to experience their own home field advantage, that may rival UMass, Charlotte, and Fordham's. This is something that the program has deserved and it's about time that the school stepped up.

St. Joseph's has been a program on the rise under Coach Terri Adams and with this new field the future looks even brighter.

Sarah Yoos and Brandi Harkness verbal to St. Joseph's

Coach Terri Adams continued her relentless work on the recruiting trail by picking up 2012 verbals from SS Sarah Yoos of the Delco Chaos and 3B Brandi Harkness of Cal Lite.

Yoos plays for Archbishop Wood HS and she has been successful in both HS and travel ball. In 2010, Yoos hit an impressive .409 for the Chaos, while earning All State Honorable Mention, 1st Team Courier Times All Golden, and 1st Team All Philadelphia Catholic League.

Yoos is a versatile player with the ability to play either SS or 2B and over the course of her career she will probably see time at both positions for the Hawks.

Past Chaos members that have played in the A10 include: Jackie McBride and Emily Moran who have gone on to La Salle, Bernadette Moran at St. Joseph's, and Melissa Robbins and Christine Schlicter at Temple. In addition, Yoos' teammate Melissa Ruf has signed with the Hawks and will be playing for them next year.

Harkness comes to Hawk Hill from Cal Lite and St. Lucy's Priory HS. Harkness is primarily a 3rd basemen, but she also has the ability to play 1st or the OF. Harkness has a very quick release and that will come in handy for the Hawks, while they deal with the speed of some of the other A10 teams.

Harkness is the embodiment of a student-athlete, as she has had success both on and off the field, earning 2nd Team All CIF in 2010 and California Scholastic Federation Scholar Athlete. For her HS team in 2011, Harkness hit .380 with 3 HR and 12 RBI. Harkness is going to add a lot to the St. Joseph's program both on and off the field and Coach Adams definitely scored with this one. Yoos and Harkness join Anna Lauterbach in the Hawks' 2012 class.

Cal Lite is a fairly young travel ball program and Harkness will the 1st player that they have sent to the A10. Hopefully they send more players to the A10 over the coming years.

Both Delco Chaos and Cal Lite have qualified for Premier Nationals in 2011, which is the top travel softball tournament.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Taylor Carbone verbals to UMass

Taylor Carbone

Coach Elaine Sortino returned to one of her favorite travel teams for the second member of her 2012 recruiting class. The Polar Crush program has treated Coach Sortino well over the years, including 2011 signee Quianna Diaz-Patterson, Jess Serio, Carly Morin, Bailey Sanders, Amanda Morin, Jenna Busa, Michea Holness, and Karen LaFrenier. Once again a Crush member will be headed to Amherst with the recent verbal commitment of Taylor Carbone from Alvirne, NH.

Carbone is a talented player who could see time both in the circle and at the plate for the Minutewomen. It is interesting to note however that the past two New Hampshire pitchers that attended or are attending UMass have not seen time in the circle (Whitney Mollica and Paige Hansen).

 Carbone had an outstanding junior season for Alvirne HS and she earned the NH Gatorade Player of the Year honor. Carbone led her squad to a state title in 2011 and she will continue an impressive NH pedigree at UMass. Other UMass players (past and present) hailing from the Granite State include Whitney Mollica, Katie Bettencourt, and Paige Hansen. That's some pretty good company.

Carbone has also shown that she can compete at the highest levels of competition, including an impressive performance at the 2010 ASA Gold Nationals, which saw her go 5-18 with 2 RBI, a 2B, and a 3B, while starting all 5 games for the Crush at 1st.

Carbone joins Olivia Godin in UMass' recruiting class of 2012, which is already shaping up to be a special one.

Here are some non-UMass Polar Crush Alumni who attended A10 schools: Jocelyn Mattison, Stacey Stanovich, Jocelyn Stanovich, and Lee-Anne Stanovich to Rhode Island, Lynne LaPorte to Charlotte, and Nicole Bilzerian to Fordham.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A10 Alumni Pros: Past and Present

Here is a look at the success that former collegiate stars have experienced after their playing days ended, including playing in the NPF, Europe, and for National teams

National Teams
Brandice Balschmiter, UMass (USA)
Danielle Henderson, UMass (USA)
Dionna Harris, Temple (USA)
Candice Molinari, UMass (Italy)
Davina Hernandez, UMass (Puerto Rico)
Kaila Holtz, UMass (Canada)

Danielle Henderson, UMass (Riptide/Racers/Heat)
Hillary Puglia, UMass (Racers)
Denise Denis, UMass (Brakettes)
Brandice Balschmiter, UMass (Bandits)
KJ Kelley, UMass (Riptide)

Emily Jeffery, Charlotte (Belgium)
Katy Hackett, Charlotte (Germany)
Melanie Thevenote, Charlotte (Austria/France)*
Molly Meyer, Dayton (Sweden)
Candice Molinari, UMass (Italy/San Marino)
Emily Robustelli, UMass (Italy)
Nicole Bohnenstiehl, St. Louis (Austria)*

*While the player was in college her school was not apart of the A10

If you know of any others please pass along the names
Also we are starting work on a post on A10 Alums in Coaching and any info would be appreciated

Friday, July 8, 2011

ECAC Awards: Hit and Miss

Jocelyn Dearborn
The ECAC is rather irrelevant in softball and that is a fact compounded every year by its awards that are announced in mid-July. Maybe they are understaffed or something else...regardless maybe they should focus their efforts on hockey.

They did get one thing right: Jocelyn Dearborn was named ECAC Player of the Year for her outstanding senior season. Dearborn will go down as one of the best players in Fordham and A10 history and she will be missed dearly.

Now to move on to the first of two headscratchers: Jen Mineau and Sara Plourde were named to the ECAC 2nd Team, while Olivia Galati and Jenna Caira were named to the 1st Team, with Caira being named ECAC Pitcher of the Year. Caira and Galati are very good, but Plourde and Mineau are every bit as good if not better.

Here's a look at the numbers
Mineau 1.22 ERA 24-9 224.2 IP 300 SO
Galati 1.24 ERA 29-8 242.2 IP 348 SO
Plourde 1.37 ERA 27-15 295.1 IP 498 SO
Caira 1.51 ERA 35-11 283.1 IP 321 SO

Caira's numbers were worse than the other three pitchers, yet she got the honor. The one category that she led, W-L is largely irrelevant when looking at a pitcher because those numbers are dependent on how good the rest of the team is. Clearly, the ECAC has different evaluating standards than the NFCA. Some may play the SOS card in defense of Caira's numbers, but Mineau and Plourde played schedules that were every bit as tough if not tougher. Galati on the other hand played a much weaker schedule. I would love to hear the rational for putting the best ERA of these 4 pitchers and the nation's leader in SO on the 2nd team.

But the worst decision from the ECAC awards has to be the decision to name Bill Edwards Coach of the Year. Edwards led Hofstra to the regular season title in the CAA, but they didn't win the conference tournament or advance to regionals. Coach Bridget Orchard of Fordham would have been a logical selection, considering her squad won the regular season and tournament titles in the A10 and the Rams played in regionals. Since the ECAC waited so long to produce these awards, they need to take the postseason into account when determining these awards, which they clearly did not do. It also makes you wonder who selected the honorees

Step it up ECAC

The A10 Softball Blog will always stick up for the players and coaches of the A10 no matter what.

Maura Murphy verbals to George Washington

Maura Murphy
Coach Stacey Schramm has continued her excellent work on the recruiting trail by picking up another 2012 verbal: Maura Murphy 2B/SS of the Washington Ladyhawks-Miller.

The Washington Ladyhawks are the top travel program in the Pacific Northwest and it is a travel program that has been very good to the A10 in the past, sending Lindsay Kay Bright  and Erin Fisher to Fordham, Teea Rogers to UMass, Devynne Nelons and Crystal Nyman to Temple, Carlyn Harlow to Dayton, and Melissa Wilson to Rhode Island. Hopefully many more Ladyhawks will follow Murphy to the A10.

Back to Murphy: she plays HS ball for Mount Si HS in Washington, where she starts at shortstop. Mount Si had a very good season in 2011, led in large part by Murphy's contributions and leadership on the field. George Washington is picking up a proven winner, who is going to help shape the new era of Colonial softball.

Murphy has gone up against the best of the best and performed. In the summer of 2010, she participated in the 16U Premier Nationals with the Ladyhawks and she hit a scorching .353 while driving in 3 runs in the Ladyhawks 7 games. She will once again face the best of the best at Premier Nationals this time in the 18U division.

George Washington is putting together an outstanding recruiting class of 2012 graduates and they are definitely going to have an impact on the future of the A10.

If you have any information on a verbal/you would like to see a post please email atlantic10softball@gmail.com

Elise Fortier transfers to Fordham

Call it a premonition or just a hunch, but I had a feeling that Elise Fortier would be headed to an A10 school

Elise Fortier
Fortier played her freshman year at Stony Brook, where she hit .238 with 34 hits, 3 HR, and 17 RBI. Fortier truly excelled on defense, finishing with a .946 fielding percentage, while playing 3B for the Seawolves. With the departures of Jocelyn Dearborn to graduation and Becca Griswold to Buffalo, the Rams had a void at 3B and Fortier has a great shot at filling that void.

Fortier played travel ball for the RI Thunder, one of the best Northeast travel programs and she is the first Thunder player to choose Fordham for college. Fortier also earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors in her final season of high school play in Rhode Island.

Needless to say she is a very talented player and a great addition to Fordham's large and talented recruiting class for next season.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

News and notes

Pictures of Jen Mineau at the US National Team selection camp.

Fordham's Coaching Staff was named the Mid-Atlantic Coaching Staff of the Year for the 2nd straight season. Coach Orchard is definitely building something special in the Bronx.

Dana Parks was named to the Philadephia Inquirer Academic All Area Softball Team. This is the first time that a Hawk has received the honor. Parks exemplifies the best qualities of a student athlete.

Fordham's Jen Mineau and Charlotte's Emily Jeffery are once again playing summer softball for the powerful Storm USA of California.

UMass pitcher Sara Plourde has been added to the Brakettes roster and she should see some action this weekend.

If you have any news, pictures, stats, scheduling updates, commitments, transfers, etc
Please comment or send an email to atlantic10softball@gmail.com


After looking at some international players earlier, now it is time to take a look at some available transfers

Elise Fortier 3B (Formerly of Stony Brook)

Matte Haack 3B (Formely of Arizona)

Some players who will be leaving the A10

Candace Waldie: is transferring from UMass to Division 2 Merrimack to play Field Hockey

Amanda Daly: is transferring from Dayton to Western Illinois

Becca Griswold: is transferring from Fordham to Buffalo

Thoughts: Past transfers have been very successful in the A10 including Kalie Lang, Emily Jeffery, Barb LaFogg, Katie Davis, Kristen Marris, Danielle Fagan, and Melissa Andrews among others. Transfers have played at the college level and they know what it takes to be successful. If they have the available scholarship money, the A10 could be a very attractive place for a transfer.