Skyhawks open the 2018 season with 12 games in Florida
Brayden was ranked 33rd in the Conference with six doubles
EASTON, Mass. (February 2, 2018) – The Stonehill College softball team has been voted to finish fifth in the Northeast-10 Conference's Northeast Division, as voted on by the coaches, announced by the Conference on Tuesday.
Stonehill is coming off an 11-30 season, including a 9-15 mark in NE10 and Northeast divisional action. The 2016 squad just missed out on playoffs after finishing sixth in the Northeast Division.
Head coach Ken LeGrice enters his ninth season leading the Skyhawks with an overall record of 162-174-2 (.482), including 117-100-1 (.539) in NE10 play. Stonehill has reached the NE10 Tournament five times under LeGrice's leadership, including four times in the past six years. In the last eight years, the Skyhawks have reached the 20-win mark twice.
Stonehill was picked fifth in the NE10 Northeast Division Preseason Poll with 51 points. The NE10 runner-up of 2017, Merrimack College was voted to take the Division title with 103 points and 12 first-place votes. Southern New Hampshire University (92 points) followed the Warriors for second place receiving three first-place votes, as Saint Anselm College collected 73 points for third place. Assumption College is seeded fourth with 66 points, as Stonehill rounds out the top five. Bentley University (40) and Saint Michael's College (35) was voted sixth and seventh, respectively. Franklin Pierce University received 16 points for the final spot in the Northeast Division.
In the Southwest Division, defending NE10 Champion, Adelphi University was voted to earn the Division title recording 88 points and 10 first-place votes, while New Haven University totaled 71 points and three first-place tallies.
Mayette held a 2.36 ERA after throwing for 124.1 innings last season
Eleven return from last years' squad, including senior pitcher Jennifer Mayette (Scotia, New York/Scotia-Glenville) who wrapped up the season ranked seventh in the NE10 with a 2.36 ERA, striking out 3.49 batters per seven innings and giving up only six homeruns. Also returning for the Skyhawks is senior first baseman Erin Brayden (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy). Brayden concluded the 2017 season with six doubles, ranked 33rd in the conference, while she also averaged .268 at the plate, ranking fourth behind three seniors who graduated last year. Classmate Olivia Peterson (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) helped the Skyhawks in the outfield, as she is the veteran outfielder returning after graduating two.
Juniors Carly Rennie (Chelmsford, Massachusetts/Chelmsford) and Sophie Perez (Bridgewater, Massachusetts/Bridgewater-Raynham Regional) both chipped in at the plate, averaging .212 and .169, respectively, while also connecting on 21 and 11 hits, each.
Also returning for the underclassmen, are pitchers Kazi Walker (Quaker Hill, Connecticut/Waterford) and Katherine Rayner (Milton, Vermont/Milton) who will see time on the mound along with Mayette. The Skyhawks added six freshmen to the roster this year from four different states, including New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Maine.
Stonehill is scheduled to open its 2018 campaign against the College of Saint Rose and Lewis University in Leesburg, Florida on Sunday, March 4. The team continues its Florida trip with five more doubleheaders until Sunday, March 11. The squad returns home and takes a week off from games before hosting Assumption College in a doubleheader on Wednesday, March 21 at 3:00 p.m. On Fr. Gartland Field.
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Northeast-10 Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
Northeast Division -
1. Merrimack - 103 (12)
2. Southern New Hampshire - 92 (3)
3. Saint Anselm - 73
4. Assumption - 66
5. Stonehill - 51
6. Bentley - 40
7. Saint Michael's - 35
8. Franklin Pierce - 16
Southwest Division -
1. Adelphi - 88 (10)
2. New Haven - 71 (3)
3. Le Moyne - 67
4. Pace - 62 (2)
5. American International - 35
6. Saint Rose - 28
7. Southern Connecticut - 20