Senior Sarah Ropiak earned All-Conference third team accolades last season after registering the third lowest ERA (1.73) in the NE-10.
Skyhawks scheduled to open season against the University of Findlay on March 5th in Clermont, Fla.
EASTON, Mass. (February 16, 2016) – The Stonehill College softball team has been picked to finish second in the Northeast Division of the 2016 Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, as voted on by the league's 15 head coaches.
Stonehill is coming off a 21-15 season, including a 13-8 mark in NE-10 and Northeast divisional action. The Skyhawks put together a season-best five-game winning streak from April 10th to April 12th, and won an NE-10 Championship second round contest against Southern Connecticut State University before falling to Adelphi University in the semi-finals.
Head coach Ken LeGrice enters his seventh season at the helm of the softball program in 2016 with an overall record of 128-127-2 (.502), including 89-77-1 (.536) in NE-10 play. The Skyhawks have reached the NE-10 Tournament four times under LeGrice's leadership, including consecutive appearances in 2012 and 2013.
Stonehill received 89 points in the NE-10 preseason coaches' poll, including four first place votes. Defending NE-10 Champion Southern New Hampshire University was selected first with 102 points and 11 of the 15 first-place votes, while Saint Anselm College was picked to finish third with 68 points. Adelphi (92 points, 14 first-place votes) was the coaches' pick to capture the Southwest Division crown.
Stonehill returns five student-athletes that have garnered NE-10 All-Conference accolades during their careers, including seniors Sarah Ropiak (Acton, Massachusetts/Acton-Boxborough), Megan Staudle (New Windsor, New York/Cornwall Central), Megan Ruonavaara (Rocky Hill, Connecticut/Rocky Hill), Alison Sumski (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan), and junior Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, New York/St. Anthony's).
Senior Megan Staudle enters her senior year a career .330 batter and has swatted 14 homeruns.
Ropiak earned All-NE-10 third team honors after her stellar 2015 campaign. She appeared in 20 games, making 16 starts in the circle for Stonehill during the regular season. She went 11-8 and compiled a 1.73 earned run average, good for third in the NE-10, while recording 65 strikeouts in a team-high 109.1 innings pitched. Ropiak limited opposing offenses to a .211 batting average and 35 runs (27 earned) on 85 hits while issuing 27 walks. She went the distance in 12 of her 16 starts, recording six shutouts with one save.
Ruonavaara collected All-Conference first team accolades as a sophomore in 2014 after hitting .342 with seven home runs and 29 runs batted in. She also recorded six wins on the mound with a 3.88 earned run average as a pitcher that season. Last year, Ruonavaara pitched to an 8-2 record with a 2.12 earned run average and 34 strikeouts.
Sumski garnered NE-10 All-Conference second team honors in 2014 after hitting .318 with a .446 slugging percentage. She registered a career high 50 hits and four home runs while knocking in 18 runs. Last season Sumski batted .236 with three home runs, five doubles and 11 runs batted in.
Staudle returns for her senior season as a two-time recipient of NE-10 All-Conference accolades. For her career, Staudle has posted a .330 batting average, 14 homeruns, 55 runs batted in, 85 runs and a .402 on base percentage.
Carbone established herself as a major presence on the mound as well as behind the plate in 2015. The pitcher/first baseman batted .300 with three homeruns and 23 runs batted in. On the mound she pitched to a 2.45 earned run average in nine appearances, with three complete games.
Stonehill is scheduled to open its 2016 campaign with a doubleheader against the University of Findlay and California University (Pa.) on Saturday, March 5th in Clermont, Fla. as part of the NTC Games. The Skyhawks will return to Gartland Field to host NE-10 rival Assumption College in their home opener on Wednesday, March 16th.