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.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Erin Gallagher

We are continuing our preview with another player to watch for Pitcher of the Year.
Erin Gallagher

Arguably the most decorated pitcher in St. Joseph's history, Erin Gallagher heads into her final season with two things missing: an Atlantic 10 Championship and Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year honors. Odds are that if she is able to get one of those two things, she will also get the other.

Gallagher comes into 2012, after a 2011 season that saw her lead the Hawks to the Atlantic 10 Championship game behind a 22-10 record with a 1.60 ERA and 215 SO in 214.2 IP. Gallagher has led the Hawks to unprecedented success, but she still has one item left on her agenda: an Atlantic 10 title.

Gallagher is known for her drop ball and change up and she will rely on those pitches once again in 2012. However the difference between another All-Conference recognition and Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year will come down to how successful her other pitches are, most notably her rise and curve.

The other key to Gallagher's success lies with the Hawks other pitcher: Taryn Ashway. Ashway was outstanding in relief at the A10 Tournament and if she can pitch that way the entire season, Gallagher will not have to throw as many innings in the circle.

Gallagher may not put up the flashy strikeout totals that Jen Mineau and Sara Plourde do, but she grits through and relies on her defense. Gallagher has the stuff to go head to head with both Plourde and Mineau on the field for the A10 title and for the Pitcher of the Year award.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Capri Catalano: Can she return to her freshman year form?

This is the first in a series of posts previewing the season and the individual awards in the Atlantic 10 in 2012. We will start by looking at Pitcher of the Year candidates.

The first player we will profile is Capri Catalano of Temple.

Catalano has transferred to Temple where she is a graduate student, after finishing her four years at USF. Catalano had an impressive start to her career at USF, going 17-1 with a 1.30 ERA, 6 saves, and 177 SO in 130 innings. That season was good enough for Catalano to be named the Big East Freshman of the Year. In that season, Catalano was 2-0 against Atlantic 10 teams with no runs allowed, 1 save, and 14 SO in 14.1 innings. Unfortunately, Catalano suffered a major injury to her right shoulder after her freshman season and has never been able to put up the same numbers. Catalano had to sit out the 2009 season, before returning to the circle in 2010 and 2011.

In 2010 and 2011, Catalano returned to the field, but she was not nearly as dominating, going 6-8 with 81 SO in 88.2 innings with a ERA just below 4.00. Catalano struggled in her two appearances vs. A10 schools, pitching 3.2 innings, allowing 6 runs with 5 of those being earned runs. It is safe to assume that she had not fully recovered from her shoulder injury during those two seasons.

There is no way to know whether Catalano will return to her 2008 form until she takes the field, but if she is able to the Atlantic 10 may see its most competitive regular season in conference history. Catalano would be able to give Temple a shutdown pitcher to go with its potent offense.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Charlotte receives a verbal from Brittany Mitchell

Brittany Mitchell (right)
Brittany Mitchell P/3B of the Virginia Legends Elite and Ursuline HS, formerly of the Rhode Island Thunder Gold has verballed to Charlotte.

Mitchell is an outstanding pickup for Coach Aimee DeVos and the 49ers and she will be a big part of 49ers softball over the coming years. Mitchell is an outstanding 3B, but she also possesses the ability to pitch as well. Mitchell will provide depth at multiple positions and could anchor Charlotte's lineup with her powerful bat.

Mitchell has played with numerous current and former Atlantic 10 players including Olivia Godin and Meghan Rico, while playing for the RI Thunder and Taylor Pirone at Ursuline HS.

Mitchell is part of a talented 2013 recruiting class for the 49ers that includes Beth Blackburn, Mackenzie Hauser, and Paige Wall.

Paige Wall verbals to Charlotte

Charlotte has received a verbal from Paige Wall of the Carolina Attitude and North Davidson HS. Wall is a 2013 middle infielder that figures to play a big role in the 49ers defense.

Wall is the latest member in a talented 2013 class that includes Beth Blackburn, Brittany Mitchell, and Mackenzie Hauser. This class will be counted on to do big things for the 49ers. Coach Aimee DeVos has done an impressive job with this recruiting class and the best part is that it is still growing. Over the coming months this class figures to grow even more.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Mackenzie Hauser has verballed to Charlotte

Mackenzie Hauser
Charlotte has received a verbal from 2013 pitcher Mackenzie Hauser of the Carolina Attitude and North Davidson HS.

Hauser is a talented pitcher for the Carolina Attitude and she is the third pitcher in Coach Aimee DeVos' 2013 recruiting class, joining Beth Blackburn and Brittany Mitchell. This 2013 class will be counted on to do big things for the 49ers, as they will need to replace Briana Gwaltney, Lindsey Holloman, Kalie Lang, and Chelsea Stamey.

Hauser and her teammate Paige Wall have committed to joining a 49ers program that has performed at a high level every since joining the Atlantic 10. Hauser will be counted on to continue the tradition.

Jacqueline Gheraldi has committed to St. Joseph's

Jacqueline Gheraldi of the New Jersey Intensity has committed to St. Joseph's and Coach Terri Adams. Gheraldi is a 2012 infielder for Kevin O'Donnell's squad.

Gheraldi has the ability to play either corner infield position or catcher. She will provide good depth for the Hawks and she has a great shot of cracking the lineup in a number of positions. She is the latest member of an impressive looking 2012 recruiting class, including Anna Lauterbach, Sarah Yoos, Brandi Harkness, Liz Mendez, and Christina Gonzalez. This class will be asked to replace arguably the most successful class in St. Joe's history: Bernadette Moran, Alaina Loguidice, Monica Aguilar, Erin Gallagher, and Lauren Pempleton.

Past Intensity players that have gone on to the A10 include Alex Stermel at Temple and McKinley Tretler at George Washington. Gheraldi also comes from an impressive Red Bank Catholic High School program. Red Bank has done an incredible job at producing D1 softball players, including Kaitlyn O'Donnell, Kristen Berger, Kristen Travers, and Samantha Bowlsbey.

Beth Blackburn verbals to Charlotte

Charlotte received its first 2013 verbal, as Beth Blackburn, pitcher for the Carolina Cardinals committed to the 49ers.

Blackburn is an outstanding athlete who will have an impact both in the circle and at the plate. Blackburn will give the 49ers a weapon that very few A10 teams have: a lefthanded pitcher. Coach Aimee DeVos will count on Blackburn to shut down A10 lineups littered with lefthanded hitters.

Blackburn is the second Cardinals player to commit to the 49ers, as Courtney Carroll just signed her NLI to attend Charlotte.

Blackburn also joins the small, but exclusive club of lefthanded pitchers in the Atlantic 10, which includes Alysha Isaacson of Dayton and Chelsey Pedley of George Washington.

Monday, December 26, 2011

2012 Atlantic 10 Championship

The is the first editorial in a while, but an important one

The 2012 Atlantic 10 Softball Championship will be held from May 9th-12th at the Billiken Sports Center in St. Louis, MO

This is the first time that the Atlantic 10 Tournament will be hosted by St. Louis. St. Louis joined the conference in 2006 and has been a consistent performer on the softball field since joining. The Billikens made appearances at the Atlantic 10 Championship from 2007-2010, including a title game appearance in 2007. The decision to award the tournament to St. Louis truly reflects the success that the Billikens have had since joining the A10.

Unfortunately, this blog has a couple qualms about the tournament being awarded to St. Louis. Going back to 2005, UMass, Fordham, and Charlotte have each hosted the Atlantic 10 Championship twice and deservedly so. In addition to having some of the most consistent performers on the field, these schools have shown a commitment to softball. These schools set the bar for the conference both in terms of facilities and coverage. Live audio, video, and statistics should be the standard coverage for home games and these schools have done so for a couple years. These schools also provide excellent social media and video updates/highlights. Charlotte and UMass have had the top facilities in the conference since 2006, both in terms of the playing surface and for spectators.
UMass Softball Complex

Here are some of the issues we have with St. Louis hosting:
St. Louis has been incredibly poor at covering home softball games. There were numerous times in the 2011 season, when there was no coverage of home games. They were not able to provide live statistics or even a Twitter feed, frankly that is unacceptable for a Division 1 Program in the Atlantic 10.

The Billiken Sports Center is not up to the standard of other facilities in the conference. This includes the playing surface, dugouts, and spectator seating. The Atlantic 10 Championship showcases the best softball that the conference has to offer and it is our feeling that it should be played at the conference's finest facilities. This is also not the type of facility that would be good for a television broadcast.
DL Phillips Complex

It would be possible to overlook this last issue if the other two did not exist: St. Louis is geographically removed from the rest of the conference. All Atlantic 10 teams must fly to St. Louis for the A10 Tournament, Dayton is the only team that could possibly drive and they are 6 hours away. This problem could also be highlighted even further if St. Louis does not make the A10 Tournament for the second straight season: attendance could be downright dreadful.

Here are the blog's thoughts on future A10 Tournament hosts:
UMass, Charlotte, and Fordham have all made the past 6 A10 tournaments and they each have excellent facilities. They have also put on excellent tournaments every time that they have hosted.

St. Joseph's has also been one of the consistent performers in the conference, including two finals in the past three years. However they did not have a field of its own so they were unable to host. That will change, as the Hawks are getting a new home field. If the new field is up to par, the Hawks would be a logical host for the tournament.

Dayton has an excellent facility and has been doing a much better job in terms of softball coverage. However, the biggest factor in hosting remains success on the field, which the Flyers showed in 2011, but they need to maintain that level for a few years, to be considered. The same applies to Temple as well.
UD Softball Stadium
Hopefully, this blog will be pleasantly surprised by the job St. Louis does hosting the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship. However, we are quite skeptical at the moment, we will keep an eye on Billikens' softball coverage throughout the year and they need to improve things. For one, internet access should be a requirement among other things...

Here is a past post on Game Coverage

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christina Gonzalez signs with St. Joseph's

Occasionally, this blog misses the occasional signee, but we just caught this one in time for Christmas.

Christina Gonzalez IF of the NJ Inferno has signed with St. Joseph's. She joins an impressive Hawks recruiting class for 2012, which also includes Anna Lauterbach, Brandi Harkness, Liz Mendez, and Sarah Yoos. Coach Terri Adams has done a stellar job with this recruiting class.

The New Jersey Inferno is one of the top travel programs in the Northeast and it has been very kind to the Atlantic 10 over the years. Past Inferno players that have gone on to the Atlantic 10 include Taylor Pirone, Sam Pellechio, and the late Nicole Ayres to Fordham, Jen Hrycyna and Amanda Holst to George Washington, and Mary Pat Conville to La Salle.

Gonzalez should make an immediate impact for the Hawks with her stellar defense and her strong bat at the plate. Coach Adams scored a good one for St. Joe's.

A10 Softball Blog's Christmas List

Happy Holidays to all!

Here are some things that the Atlantic 10 Softball Blog would like for Christmas:

-Good weather: countless non-conference games were lost due to poor weather this past season, which in the opinion of this blog, ended up having a negative effect on the conference RPI. More importantly, nine conference games were lost due to weather, which impacted the Atlantic 10 tournament field, as the final spot was decided by one game. We would love to see every game played as scheduled this season.

-Good health:  the A10 was decimated by injuries last year, including injuries to 2010 Atlantic 10 Player of the Year Katie Bettencourt and Kara Clauss, which kept them out of play at various points during last season. There were also other players who were affected by injuries throughout the season. 2012 should be one of the best seasons in A10 history and we would like to see all of the best players on the field.

-Luck: more often than not the better team gets the win in a softball game, but every now and then a good or bad break can decide the outcome. We would love to see the A10 teams have all the luck this season, especially against ranked and BCS opponents.

-Better coverage: some schools fell short in the game coverage department last year, so we are asking them to do better this year. Whether it is video, audio, live stats, live blog, twitter, etc. please provide something. We will do our best here at the A10 Softball Blog and we expect schools to do the same. There is great softball being played on the field, it would be nice to see great coverage along with it.

Friday, December 23, 2011

2012 Schedule

The 2012 Schedule has been updated and it now includes all games involving A10 teams (minus a few UMass ones, as the Minutewomen have not yet released their schedule. If you know any of the missing games please email atlantic10softball@gmail.com)

Here are some interesting notes about the 2012 schedule:

The A10 will be playing 5 games against teams that advanced to the WCWS
UMass vs. Alabama
Fordham Cal, Alabama, and Baylor
St. Louis vs. Missouri

There will be 2 games against teams that advanced to Super Regionals:
UMass vs. Tennessee
Fordham vs. Arizona

There will be  games against teams that advanced to Regionals (not including conference games against defending Atlantic 10 Champion Fordham):
Charlotte vs. SDSU, Long Beach State, BYU, Fresno State;
Dayton vs. Texas State
Fordham vs. East Carolina, Louisville, Long Beach State, UCLA, Illinois State, Iona (2), Western Michigan, Lehigh (2)
George Washington vs. Auburn, Fordham (non-conference game at an early season tournament)
La Salle vs. Liberty, Western Michigan
UMass vs. UAB (3), Louisville, Michigan, Georgia Tech, DePaul, Maryland (2), Chattanooga
Rhode Island vs. Georgia State, Maryland, Harvard (2)
St. Bonaventure vs. Bethune-Cookman (2)
St. Joseph's vs. BYU, Fresno State, SDSU
St. Louis vs. Jacksonville (2), Indiana, Missouri State, Louisville (2), Illinois State
Temple vs. Michigan, Western Michigan, Iona (2), Penn State (2), Sacred Heart

Teams that have the most games scheduled against A10 teams:
7 Mount. St. Mary's (4, St. Bonaventure, 2 George Washington, 1 Rhode Island)
7 Villanova (3 La Salle, 2 St. Joseph's, 2 Temple)
6 Ohio (2 Dayton, 2 St. Bonaventure, 2 St. Joseph's)
6 Princeton (2 La Salle, 2 Rhode Island, 2 Temple)
5 Binghamton (2 Fordham, 2 St. Bonaventure, 1 St. Louis)
5 Coastal Carolina (2 La Salle, 2 Temple, 1 George Washington)
5 Monmouth (2 La Salle, 2 Temple, 1 St. Joseph's)
5 Penn (2 St. Joseph's, 2 Temple, 1 La Salle)
5 USC Upstate (2 La Salle, 2 St. Bonaventure, 1 Dayton)
4 Appalachian State (2 Charlotte, 2 St. Bonaventure)
4 Boston College (2 UMass, 1 Charlotte, 1 St. Louis)
4 Buffalo (2 St. Louis, 1 George Washington, 1 St. Bonaventure)
4 Drexel (2 George Washington, 1 La Salle, 1 St. Joseph's)
4 Elon (2 Charlotte, 1 George Washington, 1 Rhode Island)
4 Fairfield (2 UMass, 2 Rhode Island)
4 George Mason (4 George Washington)
4 Hampton (2 Hampton, 2 La Salle)
4 Iona (2 Fordham, 2 Temple)
4 Louisville (2 St. Louis, 1 Fordham, 1 UMass)
4 James Madison (2 Fordham, 2 George Washington)
4 Pittsburgh (2 Fordham, 2 George Washington)
4 Presbyterian (2 Charlotte, 2 George Washington)
4 Robert Morris (1 George Washington, 1 Rhode Island, 1 St. Joseph's, 1 St. Louis)
4 UNC Greensboro (2 Charlotte, 1 Fordham, 1 St. Louis)
4 UMBC (2 La Salle, 1 George Washington, 1 Rhode Island)
4 Virginia (2 St. Joseph's, 2 Fordham)
3 Army (2 Temple, 1 George Washington)
3 Ball State (2 Dayton, 1 Temple)
3 Delaware (1 Charlotte, 1 La Salle, 1 St. Louis)
3 Detroit (2 Dayton, 1 St. Bonaventure)
3 Georgia Southern (2 La Salle, 1 George Washington)
3 Georgetown (2 George Washington, 1 Temple)
3 Hartford (2 Rhode Island, 1 UMass)
3 Illinois (3 UMass)
3 Maryland (2 UMass, 1 Rhode Island)
3 Niagara (2 St. Bonaventure, 1 Dayton)
3 Quinnipiac (2 UMass, 1 St. Joseph's)
3 Siena (1 Fordham, 1 Rhode Island, 1 George Washington)
3 Towson (1 Charlotte, 1 George Washington, 1 St. Joseph's)
3 UAB (3 UMass)
3 UConn (2 UMass, 1 Rhode Island)
3 Western Michigan (1 Fordham, 1 La Salle, 1 Temple)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

A10 Recruiting Update

Things have been a little chaotic over the past few months...but here how the A10 currently looks in the recruiting department:

Atlantic 10 Recruiting

Name Position Travel Team YOG
Jessica Plemmons OF Carolina Attitude 2012
Courtney Carroll IF/OF Carolina Cardinals 2012

Name Position Travel Team YOG
Kristin Bartlett IF Indiana Gold 2012
Emily Froment P Miami Xpress Gold 2012
Krista Gustafson C GA Knockouts 2012
Kennedy Haynes IF Indiana Gold 2012
Paige Rhodes 1B Lady Lasers White 2012
Madeline Simmonds IF Ohio Classics 2012

Name Position Travel Team YOG
Allie Bradian SS NJ Gators 2012
Samantha Laird C NJ Inferno 2012
Morgan Eisenga P Sorcerers Blue 2012
Patti Maloney P MD Heartbreakers 2012

Claudia Law C LI Chargers 2012
Sydney Cannesa SS NJ Nightmare 2013

George Washington
Name Position Travel Team YOG
Meghan Rico P RI Thunder 2012

Morgan Matetic C/UT Pittsburgh Power 2012

Laura Thompson P/1B Georgia Elite 2012

Maura Murphy 2B/SS WA Ladyhawks 2012

Carlee Gray 1B CA Breeze 2012
Megan Linn SS Cal Lite 2013

La Salle
Name Position Travel Team YOG
Stacie DeNucci P/OF Philadelphia Spirit 2012

Gen Gaynor C NJ Outlaws 2012
Casey Lester OF San Jose Sting 2012
Alyssa Sims C/OF NJ Gators 2012

Name Position Travel Team YOG
Olivia Godin C RI Thunder Gold 2012
Taylor Carbone P/IF Polar Crush 2012

Whitney Cooper 2B Arizona Storm 2012
Ashton Wince C Vienna Stars 2013
Tara Klee P Delco Chaos 2013

Rhode Island
Name Position Travel Team YOG
Taylor Archer C/IF RI Thunder Elite 2012
Olivia Hendricks SS NE Phoenix 2012
Emily Hendricks OF NE Phoenix 2012
Caitlin Kennedy P Sudden Impact LI 2012

St. Bonaventure
Name Position Travel Team YOG
Katie Sinclair 1B/C 2012
Alexis Sloat P Lady Mustangs 2012
Emily Belfield CF Lady Mustangs 2012

Emily McDonough SS Dutchess Debs 2012

Carly Bilchak P Ulster Fillies 2012

St. Joseph's
Name Position Travel Team YOG
Anna Lauterbach P Connellsville Cyclones 2012

Sarah Yoos SS Chaos Gold 2012
Brandi Harkness 3B Cal Lite 2012

Liz Mendez P West Windsor Wildcats 2012

Stephanie Chaiser C Crossfire 2013
Emily Rogers P Cal Lite 2013

St. Louis
Name Position Travel Team YOG
Elizabeth Everingham P/3B New Lenox Lightning 2012
Brianna Lore P/1B Legion of Doom 2012
Madeline Brungardt OF KC Zephyrs 2012
Ellie Huffman C/OF St. Louis Espirit 2012
Laney Kneib P/IF Mac-N-Seitz Naturals 2012
Olivia Roback IF Kanakee CC 2012

Name Position Travel Team YOG
Kelsey Dominik P/1B Philadelphia Spirit 2012
Leah Lucas OF SoCal Diamonds 2012

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tara Klee verbals to UMass

Tara Klee
UMass has received a 2013 verbal from Delco Chaos pitcher Tara Klee. She joins Ashton Wince in the Minutewomen's 2013 recruiting class.

Delco Chaos has been very nice to the A10, as of late with Jackie McBride and Emily Moran at La Salle, Bernadette Moran and Melissa Ruf at St. Joseph's with Sarah Yoos committed to join next year, and Melissa Robbins and Christine Schlicter went on to play at Temple.

This post also signals the return of regular postings to the blog. Stay tuned over the coming weeks...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Saint Louis Softball announce 2012 schedule

ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis head softball coach Christy Connoyer has announced the Billikens' 2012 schedule, a 56-game slate that features eight 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifiers, eight conference champions, two teams ranked in the final National Fastpitch Coaches Association Top 25 poll and two others that received votes.
In addition, Saint Louis will host the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship at the Billiken Sports Center May 9-12. The top six teams in the final regular-season standings advance to the double-elimination tournament, the winner of which receives the A-10's automatic NCAA Tournament bid.
Among the 2011 NCAA Tournament qualifiers are defending Big 12 Conference champion Missouri, which advanced to the Women's College World Series for a third consecutive year and earned a No. 6 national ranking, and Missouri Valley Conference tournament champion Missouri State. The Billikens will face the Tigers and Bears, as well as Summit League regular-season champion UMKC and Southeast Missouri State, at the Missouri Breast Cancer Tournament.
The other six NCAA teams are Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season and tournament champion Fordham, Big Ten Conference champion Michigan (No. 17 NFCA), Atlantic Sun Conference regular-season and tournament champion Jacksonville (received votes NFCA), Missouri Valley regular-season champion Illinois State, Louisville (received votes NFCA) and Big Ten runner-up Indiana.
The Billikens open the season with tournament play on five consecutive weekends. Connoyer's team makes its debut Feb. 10-12 at the Jacksonville Tournament in Jacksonville, Fla., taking on Jacksonville (twice), Buffalo (twice), Virginia Tech and UNC Greensboro. The Florida Gulf Coast Tournament in Fort Myers, Fla., follows, with SLU set to face UT Martin, Florida Gulf Coast, Binghamton, Boston College and Delaware Feb. 17-19.
The Billikens then travel to Woodstock, Ga., to compete in Kennesaw State's Phyllis Rafter Memorial Feb. 24-26. SLU faces Campbell, Northeast Conference regular-season champion Robert Morris, Indiana, Kennesaw State and Central Arkansas. Following the Missouri Breast Cancer Tournament in Kansas City March 2-3, Saint Louis wraps up tournament play with perhaps its toughest test at Louisville's Red and Black Tournament March 10-11. The Bills square off against Louisville (twice), Michigan and Illinois State.
SLU plays a doubleheader at Indiana State March 13 before beginning a six-game home stand March 22 with a doubleheader against Wichita State. The A-10 schedule begins with single games against Rhode Island March 23-24 and a twinbill against perennial power Massachusetts March 25.
The Billikens play 11 of their next 13 games away from the BSC, beginning with an A-10 doubleheader against St. Bonaventure March 31. Following a home twinbill against Southern Illinois April 4, Saint Louis hits the road for doubleheaders at Dayton (April 7) and Evansville (April 11), single games at Fordham (April 13-14), a doubleheader at La Salle (April 15) and a single tilt at SIU Edwardsville (April 18).Charlotte comes to town for an April 21 doubleheader, and SIU Edwardsville visits the BSC for a single game April 25. The Billikens travel to Philadelphia for a second time in two weeks to play single contests at Temple April 27-28 and a doubleheader at Saint Joseph's April 29. The regular season concludes at home with doubleheaders against Southeast Missouri State May 1 and George Washington May 5.