Spring Preview: Softball
By Mick Kowaleski ‘14
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 13:02
2012 Season: 14-40, (7-13 Patriot League);1-2 in Double Elimination Patriot League Tournament (Loss to No. 1 Lehigh, win vs. No. 3 Colgate, loss to No. 2 Army)
P Melissa Robinson ‘14
2B Kristen Berger ‘15
LF Jordan Parsons ‘13
What’s Changed: There’s a youth movement on the softball team this season, with nine incoming freshman occupying 18 roster spots. Two of those freshmen, Kaitlin Perrine and Bryn Gornick, are expected to contribute immediately to the starting rotation. All three of last year’s captains graduated, including offensive leader Gwen Turner ‘12, who batted .359 in a team-leading 167 at-bats. Kristen Berger is also moving to her recruited position (second base) after spending last year at shortstop.
What’s the Same: Five returning starters: Berger, Parsons, 1B Maddie Allen ‘13, RF Amy Gebhardt ‘14, and mound ace Melissa Robinson.
Strengths: The Leopards will lean on veterans Robinson and Berger early and often while the freshmen get accustomed to college play. Robinson’s 2.65 ERA over 37 games pitched last year was impressive, but she’ll need run support to keep the Leopards afloat.
Weaknesses: Lack of experience. First-year players make up half the roster, and five out of the eight fielding positions are fresh faces.
“They’ve been told that they’re no longer freshmen,” Head Coach Meaghan Asselta said. “They’ve already been here, they’ve been through the fall. Now it’s just a matter of getting the jitters out.”
What to Watch For: The freshmen’s capabilities into playing a key role this season. Whether or not these changes go smoothly will determine the amount of success the softball team enjoys.
Patriot League Contenders: Lehigh has won back-to-back Patriot League Softball Championships and is the preseason favorite. Army boasts pitcher Morgan Lashley ‘15, who is both the reigning Patriot League Pitcher and Rookie of the Year. Lafayette defeated Colgate in last year’s Patriot League Tournament by Lafayette, yet Colgate is ranked a spot ahead of Lafayette, polling at number three.
March 1—March 3: N.C. State Wolfpack Challenge @ Raleigh, NC
April 20—April 21: Colgate
April 27—28: vs. Army
The Last Word: “After the season that we had last year, in regards to making it to the Patriot League tournament for the first time in a couple years, knocking off Colgate, I’m very optimistic. Preseason polls put us at fourth, which we’re kind of pissed off about. We should be ahead of Colgate.”—Head Coach Meaghan Asselta