St. Bonaventure had rough 2014 with the weather, injuries, and a slow start, but the Bonnies are looking strong headed into 2015. Coach Mike Threehouse has a young, talented, team that is ready to throw itself into the Atlantic 10 Tournament hunt. The Bonnies are full of talent on offense, but this team will go only as far as its pitching will take them.
St. Bonaventure brings back all of its pitchers from last year and has added a very talented freshman to the mix. Josie Borysevicz joins St. Bonaventure and she is going to be a big difference maker for the Bonnies. Borysevicz comes to Olean from the Polar Crush travel program, where she was a standout in the circle. Coach Threehouse is going to look to her to step in right away and throw big innings. Kristen Hickling is also back for her sophomore season after going 4-10 last year. Coach Threehouse is going to need big innings from both Hickling and Borysevicz this year. Alexis Sloat, Carly Bilchak, and Julia Pratt are also back and Coach Threehouse will need contributions from his entire staff against some powerful opposing lineups. Freshman Haley Majot may also see some key innings in the circle.
Anndrea Burgess and Lauren Waite are back behind the plate and both figure to see significant action in 2015. Coach Threehouse may also turn to the very talented freshman Morgan Phillips. Coach Threehouse has three excellent options behind the plate, so it will come down to who can get it done at the plate.
The Bonnies bring back their entire infield, including standout shortstop Emily McDonough. McDonough hit .394 last year with 37 hits, 5 RBI, and 12 steals. Coach Threehouse is going to be counting on her to be the leadoff for St. Bonaventure once again. Katie Sinclair, Grace Rooney, and Kiera Lorenzo also return as starters. Last year, Sinclair hit .321 with 34 hits, 1 HR, and 18 RBI. Coach Threehouse will be looking for more power numbers from this group, as his infielders only combined to hit three of the team's 10 home runs last year. Haley Blencowe and Courtney Rogers could also see time in the infield.
Kelli Rohan and Emily Belfield are back to lead the way in the outfield for the Bonnies. Rohan had an excellent 2014 season, hitting .352 with 43 hits, 5 RBI, and 18 steals. Rohan's speed is a gamechanger for the Bonnies and they are going to count on her to get on base and have her put pressure on the opposition with her speed. Belfield led the Bonnies with 3 home runs last year and was second with 14 runs batted in. Coach Threehouse is going to be looking to her to do even more in 2015. Kelly Farrell, Haley Majot, and Courtney Rogers should also compete for playing time in the outfield.
Coach Threehouse put together a tough and challenging slate for his squad in 2015. The Bonnies will have two very difficult early tournaments, one at Coastal Carolina and the other at Hawaii. At Myrtle Beach, St. Bonaventure will face the host team, Ole Miss, and Iowa State. Out in Hawaii, the Bonnies will go up against the host Rainbow Wahine, Columbia, Virginia Tech, and Western Illinois. If the Bonnies can pull out wins at those two tournaments, it will be a very positive sign for the team headed into conference play. St. Bonaventure has a very favorable schedule, as they avoid St. Louis and will only play Fordham twice. The Bonnies will hit the road to face Dayton, George Washington, UMass, and Rhode Island and will host George Mason, St. Joseph's, La Salle, and Fordham.
The Bonnies are a young team going up against a tough nonconference schedule, but it will definitely prepare them for the gauntlet of Atlantic 10 play. The Bonnies are going to have the bats to compete this year, but their success all comes down to the circle. If St. Bonaventure can keep teams off the board more than last year, they could be a surprise challenger in the Atlantic 10 race. They have a favorable conference schedule, but they will need to take advantage of it.