SOFTBALL PICKED TO FINISH FOURTH IN NORTHEAST-10 CONFERENCE SOUTHWEST DIVISION
South Easton, Mass. – The Le Moyne College softball team has been selected to finish fourth in the Northeast-10 Conference Southwest Division standings this season, as voted upon by the league's 16 head coaches and announced by the conference office.
Southern Connecticut State, which won the Northeast-10 regular-season title last year and advanced to the NCAA Championships, was picked to win the Southwest Division after garnering 11 first-place votes and 108 total points. New Haven, which placed seventh last year and advanced to the winner's bracket final before falling to the Dolphins and then Assumption, earned 90 points and one first-place vote to finish second, while Adelphi landed in third place with one first-place vote and 81 points. The Dolphins received two first-place votes and 76 points to place fourth in the division. Assumption, last year's tournament champion, picked up the final first-place vote and 62 points to finish fifth. Pace (44), American International (31) and Saint Rose (20) round out the final three spots of the division.
In the Northeast Division, UMass Lowell, which placed fifth last year, received 10 of the 16 first-place votes to claim the top spot with 108 points. Southern New Hampshire, which finished in sixth place in 2012, earned the other six first-place votes and 102 points to place second. Stonehill, the eighth seed last year, placed third with 81 points, while Merrimack landed in the fourth spot with 72 points. Franklin Pierce (52), Saint Anselm (44), Bentley (39) and Saint Michael's (19) round out the bottom half of the division.
The Dolphins, who finished 29-26 (20-10 in NE-10 play) and advanced to the Northeast-10 Conference championship game last year, returns 12 letterwinners, including four starters. The Dolphins are led by a pair of seniors, a junior and a sophomore. Outfielder Demetra Kermidas (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Valley) hit .237 over the final 31 games of the season, during which time the Dolphins went 23-8, after missing the first 24 games. She slugged .412, blasted four home runs, registered 15 runs batted in and scored 15 runs. Third baseman Fran Kiernan (Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y./Hendrick Hudson) hit .248 as a starter in 50 of 53 games played as a junior. She posted a .351 on-base percentage and a .368 slugging percentage, while recording 10 doubles and hitting two home runs. Junior pitcher Sarah Harrison (Canandaigua, N.Y./Cobleskill-Richmondville) earned Northeast-10 Conference Second Team honors after going 27-17 with one save, a 1.76 earned run average and 312 strikeouts in 303 innings pitched over 53 appearances, including 38 starts. She also posted 36 complete games and eight shutouts. She led the Northeast-10 in wins (2nd in the East Region), appearances, games started, complete games, shutouts (4th in the East Region), innings pitched and strikeouts. Her strikeout total was fifth-best in the country, while her win total was 11th-best. She set Le Moyne single-season records for most wins, appearances, games started, complete games, innings and strikeouts. At the plate, she hit .274 with 10 runs batted in and a .346 on-base percentage. Sophomore shortstop Kristie Capuano (Smithtown, N.Y./Hauppauge) recorded a .253 batting average as a starter in all 49 games played. She scored 13 runs, knocked in 11 runs and stole 11 bases.
The Dolphins, under first-year head coach Jason Marino, open the season on Friday, February 22nd against Winston-Salem State at the Catawba Invitational in Salisbury, North Carolina. The Dolphins will play four games over two days at the tournament. The Northeast-10 is entering its first season of divisional play in the sport of softball in 2013, as teams will play 21 divisional games and eight more contests of crossover play. The top four teams from each division – based on their 21-game divisional record – will advance to the Northeast-10 Championship. The Northeast-10 Championship will begin on Tuesday, April 30 with each division's top seed hosting the fourth seed and the second seed hosting the third seed. The four winners advance to the four-team, double-elimination portion of the tournament, hosted by the highest remaining seed from the Northeast Division, which will run from Thursday, May 2 to Saturday, May 4.
2013 Northeast-10 Conference Softball Preseason Poll
1. UMass Lowell (10) – 108, 2. Southern New Hampshire (6) – 102, 3. Stonehill – 81, 4. Merrimack – 72, 5. Franklin Pierce – 52, 6. Saint Anselm – 44, 7. Bentley – 39, 8. Saint Michael's 19.
1. Southern Connecticut State (11) – 108, 2. New Haven (1) – 90, 3. Adelphi (1) – 81, 4. Le Moyne (2) – 76, 5. Assumption (1) – 62, 6. Pace – 44, 7. American International – 31, 8. Saint Rose – 20.
( ) – Indicates number of first-place votes