Skyhawks have won 20 games in last six of seven years, including five NE10 playoff appearances
EASTON, Mass. (February 7, 2017) – The Stonehill College softball team has been voted to finish second in the Northeast-10 Conference's Northeast Division, as voted on by the coaches, announced by the conference on Tuesday.
Stonehill is coming off a 23-17 season, including a 19-8 mark in NE10 and Northeast divisional action. The Skyhawks put together a seven-game win streak from March 31 to April 13, while also shutting out seven opponents last season. The 2016 squad wrapped up its year with a 7-5 loss against Adelphi University in the second round of NE10 playoffs.
Head coach Ken LeGrice enters his eighth season leading the Skyhawks with an overall record of 151-144-2 (.512), including 108-85-1 (.621) in NE10 play. Stonehill has reached the NE10 Tournament five times under LeGrice's leadership, including four times in the past five years. In the last seven years, the Skyhawks have reached the 20-win mark.
Stonehill was picked second in the NE10 Northeast Division Preseason Poll with 85 points. The NE10 runner-up of 2016, Southern New Hampshire University was voted to take the Division title with 112 points and 14 first-place votes. Merrimack College (82) followed the Skyhawks for third place receiving one first-place vote, as Assumption College collected 81 points for fourth place. Saint Anselm College rounded out the top five with 57 points, as Bentley University (56) and Franklin Pierce University (37) was voted sixth and seventh, respectively. Saint Michael's College received 22 points for the final spot in the Northeast Division.
In the Southwest Division, Adelphi University was voted to earn the title recording 97 points and 13 first-place votes, while defending NE10 Champion Pace University
Nine return from last years' squad, including senior pitcher Michelle Carbone (Deer Park, New York/St. Anthony's) who received NE10 All-Conference second team honors. The co-captain has pitched a total of 161.2 innings in her three-year career totaling a record of 13-10 with three saves, 11 complete games, and a 2.86 ERA. At the pate, Carbone totaled the highest batting average, .368, where she dominated with 46 hits, 10 doubles, and 28 RBIs. As a freshman, Carbone was named to the NE10 All-Conference third team and All-Rookie team for an impressive year at the plate and on the mound.
Classmate and co-captain Cassandra Squeri (New Providence, New Jersey/New Providence) will also lead the team this year as she has averaged a .280 batting average in her three years, combining for 72 hits, 12 doubles and 33 RBIs. On the mound, Squeri has pitched 96.2 innings with an overall record of 7-3 with a 3.26 ERA.
Taylor Lester (East Northport, New York/St. Anthony's) also joins Carbone and Squeri as co-captain this year averaging .270 at the plate over her three years, including 33 hits and six RBIs. The senior has also averaged a .969 fielding percentage making only two errors.
Lianna Jordan (Staten Island, New York/St. Joseph By the Sea) saw her best year at the plate last year as she averaged .282 with seven doubles, one triple, two homeruns and 18 RBIs. The senior has now combined for a .261 batting average from 142 at bats and scoring 25 runs.
Stonehill is scheduled to open its 2017 campaign against Armstrong State University in Melbourne, Florida on Friday, February 17 as the team competes in the Florida Tech Marriott Brawl at the Beach. The tournament runs from February 17 to the 19. The Skyhawks are then slated to head to Central Florida for 10 games from March 5 to the 12. Stonehill then hosts NE10 Northeast Division foe Merrimack College in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 22 with first pitch at 3:00 p.m.
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Northeast-10 Conference Softball 2017 Preseason Poll
- Southern N.H. – 112 (14)
- Stonehill – 85
- Merrimack – 82 (1)
- Assumption – 81
- Saint Anselm – 57
- Bentley – 56
- Franklin Pierce – 37
- Saint Michael's – 22
- Adelphi – 97 (13)
- Pace – 80 (2)
- Le Moyne – 73
- New Haven – 62
- American International – 43
- Southern Connecticut – 35
- Saint Rose – 23