Emory Softball Opens 2012 Campaign
The No. 7-ranked Emory University softball team opens its 2012 season this Saturday and Sunday (Feb. 11-12) when it hosts the Emory Invitational. Joining the Eagles in the Invitational will be Maryville College and No. 3-ranked Christopher Newport University.
Emory will play two games each day, starting with a contest vs. Maryville at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday followed by a 11:45 game against Christopher Newport. On Sunday, the Eagles battle CNU at 9:45 a.m. and Maryville at 1:45 p.m. A list of the games is as follows.
Saturday, Feb. 11
9:45 a.m. – Emory vs. Maryville
11:45 a.m. – Emory vs. Christopher Newport
1:45 p.m. – Maryville vs. Christopher Newport
Sunday, Feb. 12
9:45 a.m. – Emory vs. Christopher Newport
11:45 a.m. – Christopher Newport vs. Maryville
1:45 p.m. – Maryville vs. Emory
Head Coach Penny Siqueiros starts her 14th season at the helm of the Eagles' program with an experienced team that returns 17 letterwinners from last year's club that finished with an overall record of 41-4-1, the second most wins in school annals. The Eagles graduated three seniors from last year's club but have experience at every position as the upcoming season quickly approaches.
Headlining the pitching staff will be senior Bridget Holloway and sophomore Lena Brottman. The pair combined for 34 wins a year ago with Holloway notching 18 triumphs en route to Third Team All-America honors while Brottman, a first-team selection to conference and region teams, picked up 16 victories. Sophomore Amanda Kardys has made significant strides since her freshman season and could be in line for some game action in the circle. Senior Jaclyn Jacobi and junior Jamie Melson round out the staff and have been key role pitchers in the past.
The outfield returns starters Jessica Thomas and Lauren Gorodetsky in left and center field, respectively. Thomas is coming off a huge year that saw her earn Second Team All-America kudos after hitting .367 that included a school season record of 11 homers. A starter in all 43 games that she saw action in, Thomas finished the year with 46 RBIs and her .742 slugging percentage was second in the UAA. The speedy Gorodetsky started 41 of the 42 games and posted a solid .388 hitting mark. A First Team All-UAA pick, she registered a team-high 16 stolen bases, tying the fourth-highest total in school history. The Eagles have to replace graduated starter Brittany Boeshore in right field but the Eagles' coaching staff believes that freshman Brooke Healey or sophomore Ally Kersthold could emerge to take over that spot. Sophomores Maiia Ehlinger and Jamie Dodich along with freshmen Ann Ryan and Ellen Shapiro are all working diligently to elevate their games in hopes of earning some playing time according to Siqueiros.
The infield will have some familiar faces from last season, though some could be playing different spots. Sophomore Claire Bailey is the incumbent at second base after ending 2011 hitting .333 with 16 RBIs. Second on the club with 13 multi-hit games, Bailey drew a team-high 22 walks, tying the second-highest seasonal school mark. Freshman Moira Sullivan has impressed Siqueiros with her range and leadership potential and could land a starting spot at shortstop. Sophia Tarte could move over to third base this year after seeing the majority of her time at second last year. Tarte hit a hefty .372 with 14 RBIs and 17 runs scored in 2011 and could be in line for a big season. Junior veterans Dana Goodenough and Meaghan Schultz will compete for playing time as well. Junior Ellyn Kocoloski and sophomore Megan Light will anchor the first base position. Kocoloski has plenty of experience, having started 71 of 74 games during her career, while Light brought home Second Team All-America honors last year after pulverizing opposing pitching for a .449 batting mark that topped both the team and the UAA. Light's 61 RBIs established a school record while her .790 slugging percentage paced all league players.
Behind the plate, the dependable Jessica Boni returns for her senior season. A starter in 101 of her 115 career contests, Boni captured First Team All-UAA honors after her .402 hitting mark ranked second on the club and sixth among UAA players. Freshman Micah Scharff is an excellent addition to the battery according to Siqueiros and enters the season as the back-up to Boni.
Maryville, led by third year head coach Kim Woodard will be looking to improve upon last year's 14-20 overall record. The Scots return two of their top three hitters from last season in senior infielder Leah Kelley, who finished with a .522 hitting mark that included seven home runs and 37 RBIs and senior Chastity Smith, a .375 hitter who socked five homers. Senior Sarah Reeder will anchor the pitching corps after recording a 10-13 won-lost record last season that included 80 strikeouts in 149 1/3 innings.
CNU ninth-year head coach Keith Parr is eager to get the season started after finishing 38-12 last season that included a runner-up finish at the NCAA D-III National Championships. The Captains return their entire pitching staff including junior Whitney Haller who fashioned a 20-5 record along with an ERA of 2.22. Senior Jennifer Falin is one of the key offensive cogs for CNU after hitting 14 homers and totaling 58 RBIs last season.