Softball Picked Eighth in LEC Pre-Season Poll

 

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team is hoping to improve when they begin their season this weekend. The Corsairs will open their season when they play Hilbert and Albright on the first day of their spring trip Sunday in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

"We're young, and we only have three seniors," said Head Coach Kelly Roy-Sale. "Defensively, we should be pretty solid. We have to be able to put the ball in play and make things happen. Our defense was pretty good last year, and kept us in games. We hope to be good defensively again and also add some offense."

 

Junior outfielder Michelle Conway (Burrillville, RI/Burrillville HS) and sophomore first baseman Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) should lead the attack. "Michelle was our number one hitter," said Roy-Sale. "Hopefully, she comes back strong, Brittany will be successful at the plate again, and (sophomore catcher) Hannah (Rounds, Lincoln, RI/Lincoln HS) will build her average. We have a freshman shortstop, Breanna Marcyoniak (Westfield, MA/Westfield HS) who seems to be solid, and should help us offensively, as should (freshman) Samantha Howarth (Seekonk, MA/Seekonk HS), who will play first base."

 

Four pitchers will be counted on to carry the load, beginning with Eldridge, the staff ace in 2009. "Between Brittany, Samantha Howarth, (senior) Alyssa Hosford (Attleboro, MA/Attleboro HS) and (sophomore) Colleen Schmidt (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS), that should take care of the pitching," said Roy-Sale. "We have Brittany, two returning pitchers and a newcomer who we'll be counting on."

 

The Corsairs would like to use their spring trip to build momentum. "We won only one game on our spring trip last year, and I'd like to come back with a better percentage this year," said Roy-Sale. "We played some real tough teams in Florida last year. Hopefully, we will have some success and it will carry over. We have a good bunch; they're all eager and willing to learn. I'm hoping their work ethic and attitudes will show on the field."

 

UMass Dartmouth was picked to finish eighth in the annual Little East Conference pre-season coaches' poll. The Corsairs received 11 points in the voting, seven points behind UMass Boston, who was picked to finish seventh. Defending champion Rhode Island College was picked to finish first, receiving six of the eight first place votes and 62 points. Eastern Connecticut State was picked second with two first place votes and 58 points. Keene State, Western Connecticut State, Plymouth State and Southern Maine were chosen third through sixth, respectively.

 

"Everybody thinks we won't be competitive, but I think we'll hold our own again this year," said Roy-Sale. "We lost a good shortstop in (senior) Vicki (Andruszkiewicz, Danvers, MA/Danvers HS). I definitely think we'll be competitive."

 

 

                                                UMD SOFTBALL

 

 

2010 Little East Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll

Rank

Institution (2009 Record)

First Place

Total Points

1

Rhode Island College (42-7, 13-1)

6

62

2

Eastern Connecticut State University (26-13, 10-4)

2

58

3

Keene State College (30-14, 10-4)

 

47

4

Western Connecticut State University (23-19, 8-6)

 

41

5

Plymouth State University (24-18, 6-8)

 

30

6

University of Southern Maine (6-36, 4-10)

 

21

7

University of Massachusetts Boston (11-21, 3-11)

 

18

8

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (7-23, 2-12)

 

11