MANCHESTER, N.H. - The Saint Anselm College softball team opens its home schedule this Saturday, Mar. 24 as they host the River Hawks of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell in a doubleheader beginning promptly at 12:00 p.m. The Hawks have accumulated a 6-12 overall record so far this season and have fallen to 0-2 within the Northeast-10 Conference after the Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University swept a doubleheader to open conference play on Tuesday.
Saint Anselm has not qualified for the Northeast-10 Conference postseason dating back to the 2008 season where the Hawks were blanked by the Owls of Southern Connecticut State University by a 4-0 score. The team's last postseason victory came on May 3, 2003 as the Hawks collected a 5-3 victory over the Warriors of Merrimack College. The last championship won by the softball program came in 1997 as Saint Anselm captured the ECAC Division II New England Championship. With a team on the cusp of a .500 overall record last season, Head Coach Greg Joseph will look to build upon a 21-win season last year and advance to the postseason.
Entering the season, the Hawks garnered an 11th place ranking in the Northeast-10 Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the league's coaches. This season's roster is comprised of 11 freshman players with only four juniors and seniors. The leadership of captains Kat Scafidi (Hudson, N.H.) and Mary Fay (Stoughton, Mass.) will be leaned on heavily throughout the season as they lead a roster with only nine returning players.
Last season, Scafidi appeared in 43 out of a possible 44 contests as a junior for Saint Anselm, posting a .234 batting average alongside 25 runs scored and 19 runs batted in. A steady defender at second base, Scafidi batted .316 (12-for-38) in RBI-opportunity plate appearances last season. Fay saw action in 25 games last season for Saint Anselm and will serve as the Hawks starting left fielder this season. In 43 at-bats last year, Fay batted .233 (10-for-43) while collecting eight runs batted in across 15 starts.
Pitcher Shannon Dalton (Concord, Mass.) served as the staff ace last season, making a team-high 25 appearances for Saint Anselm across 152 innings pitched. Dalton reached triple-digit strikeouts (100) for the first time in her career to become only the fifth Saint Anselm pitcher to accomplish that feat in program history. She also started the most games (23) in one season since Hawks hurler Andrea Messina made 22 starts in the circle for the team in 2001.
Catcher Lauren Galavotti (Marion, Mass.) has served as the Hawks starting catcher for the past two seasons and enters this season with a .300 batting average (71-for-237) across that time frame. Last season, Galavotti set career-highs in hits (37), extra base hits (18), runs batted in (26) and stolen bases (4) and will continue to provide top-notch defense behind the plate. Galavotti ranked second on the team with 152 putouts last season, making only four errors all season for a .977 fielding percentage. Her nine-game hitting streak from Apr. 14 against Bentley and Apr. 25 against UMass Lowell was a team-high streak as she batted .552 (16-for-29) alongside three doubles and a home run during that span.
The Hawks have five experienced sophomores on the team, including shortstop Nicole Boucher (Woonsocket, R.I.), center fielder Monique Gauthier (Canton, Conn.), first baseman Olivia Story (Middleton, Mass.), catcher Cara Crowley (Lynn, Mass.) and utility player Gina Treglia (Fairfield, Conn.).
Boucher posted a .383 batting average (44-for-115) last year, collecting 44 hits in 115 at-bats as a freshman to collect All Northeast-10 Third Team and NE-10 All-Rookie Team honors following last season. Boucher was also the first freshman dating back to the 2006 season to lead her team in batting average. Furthermore, Boucher racked up the highest batting average by a qualifying player (min. 100 at-bats) since pitcher/outfielder Lisa Petell hit at a .424 clip (59-for-139) during the 1999 season.
Reaching base safely in 36 of her 40 games played, she led the Hawks in batting average (.383), slugging percentage (.652), on-base percentage (.433), RBI (28), hits (44), total bases (75) and stolen bases (6), while ranking second in home runs (6) and doubles (11), third in triples (1) and fifth in walks (11). Making only one error in 99 chances at third base last season, Boucher will make the switch to shortstop this year.
Gauthier, a starting outfielder for Saint Anselm as a freshman, posted a .261 batting average (31-for-119) alongside eight doubles, a triple and four home runs. Her four home runs ranked fourth on the team while her .445 slugging percentage across 119 at-bats last year ranks within the top-20 marks in program history.
Story, who made a team-high 11 appearances as a substitute off the bench last year, looks to collect the majority of her at-bats as a first baseman this season. Last season, Story made two starts at second base, a start at shortstop and 10 starts as the designated player and has worked to convert to first base during the preseason. Offensively, Story batted .209 last season off of nine hits in 43 at-bats with three of her nine hits going for extra bases and did not make an error in the field.
Crowley saw action in 28 games as a sophomore for Saint Anselm, collecting 16 hits in 66 at-bats last season to hit at a .242 clip. Crowley displayed a knack for clutch hitting in limited time last year, posting a team-best five runs batted in across six opportunities with a runner on third base and less than two outs, plating the runner in 83% of her chances. Entering this season, Crowley will see time at third base and behind the plate for the Hawks.
Treglia rejoins the team this season after serving as a utility player for the Hawks as a freshman. She registered five at-bats on offense while also making five appearances within the circle for Saint Anselm across 7 1/3 innings. Offensively, Treglia accumulated two walks in her first five plate appearances of the season.
With only nine returning players, freshmen players will make a large impact on the wins and losses put forth by the softball team. The Hawks boast six freshmen listed as pitchers on the main roster as the team's depth within the circle will look to be an asset over the course of the season.
Freshman Hayley Lombard (Coral Springs, Fla.), a 2011 graduate of American Heritage High School in Florida, was a four-year varsity starter on the softball team and earned Third Team All-County honors in high school. In the early goings of the 2012 season, Lombard has received starts in the outfield while recording her first multi-hit game of the season against Davenport on Mar. 2.
Infielder Kasey Moran (Medford, Mass.) joins the roster as one of only three left-handed batters after collecting Greater Boston League All-Star honors in high school as a three-sport athlete at Medford High School. Moran held the highest batting average in the GBL across three of her four years as a softball player.
Utility player Danielle DiBiase (South Portland, Maine) played four years of basketball and softball for the Red Riots of South Portland High School while also participating in soccer and volleyball. DiBiase's versatility was on display for the Red Riots, earning First Team honors in 2009 as an outfielder before converting to a second baseman and earning First Team recognition as a senior.
Pitcher Alexis Bogdanovich (South Portland, Maine) was a high school teammate of DiBiase, as they both captured the Maine State Championship under Head Coach Ralph Aceto in 2010. Listed as both a pitcher and an outfielder on the roster, Bogdanovich joins the Hawks following a decorated high school career, earning Gatorade Softball Player of the Year following the 2011 season. Bogdanovich was also feted as the Portland Press Herald Most Valuable Player for softball and "Miss Maine Softball".
Freshman hurler Aimee LaLancette (Mason, N.H.) attended Nashua North High School in Nashua, N.H. and earned Second Team All-State honors for the Titans. Additionally, LaLancette picked up Nashua Telegraph All-Star recognition in softball during her career.
Freshman catcher Kristen Peffer (Cumberland, R.I.) graduated from Cumberland High School in 2011 after playing four years of varsity field hockey and softball for the Clippers. She earned All-State honors for softball during her junior and senior seasons and was a member of the State Champion Clippers squad during the 2011 season.
Hayley Leclaire (Hudson Falls, N.Y.) played four years of softball and basketball and two years of field hockey and swimming at Hudson Falls High School, graduating within the top-20 students of her class academically. On the diamond, Leclaire earned First Team All-Star recognition in three of her four years alongside Post Star First Team All-Star honors.
Third baseman Hannah Byrne (Lynn, Mass.) joins Crowley as one of two Lynn natives on the roster as Byrne attended Lynn Classical HS and played four years of basketball and softball. Byrne collected Northeastern Conference honors in three of her four seasons as a member of the team and concluded her high school career with a Dream Team selection by the Boston Herald in 2011.
Pitcher Tayla Trask (Lincoln, Maine), a 2011 graduate of Mattanawcook Academy, played softball, basketball and indoor track in high school. Her 740 strikeouts across her softball career at Mattanawcook stands as a school record today. Her high school performances also earned her Penobscot Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year recognition from 2009 to 2011. So far this season, Trask has been a dominant reliever for Joseph.
Utility player Noelle Lussier (Worcester, Mass.) was a four-year member of the softball and field hockey teams at Saint Peter Marian High School, serving as the starting catcher and one of the team's captains. Making the Division I District Finals during her junior and senior seasons, Lussier earned 2010 and 2011 Central Massachusetts Catholic Conference All-Star awards for her performances with the Guardians.
Rounding out the roster for Saint Anselm is freshman pitcher Paige Cormier (Rochester, N.H.), a 2011 graduate of Spaulding High School. Cormier was a four-year varsity letter winner and two-year captain of the softball team under head Coach Sheila Colson. She garnered First Team All-State recognition three separate years while also earning the New Hampshire High School Softball Coaches' Division I Player of the Year.
Fans of the Saint Anselm College softball program can follow along with the action several different ways. To receive the latest news directly from the Saint Anselm College athletic department, follow the Hawks on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/STAHawks) and Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/STAHawks). Fans can also sign up to receive official news updates directly in their e-mail inboxes by subscribing to the Saint Anselm Athletics E-Newsletter service (http://saintanselmhawks.com/list-signup).
Can't make it to the game? Follow along with the action live with SaintAnselmHawks.com and our Live Stats application! To view Live Stats for all home games and select road contests, simply click the Live Stats link on the 2012 Softball schedule page (http://saintanselmhawks.com/sports/sball/2011-12/schedule). Game programs for all home games at the South Athletic Fields are available digitally by visiting the schedule page on the day of the game. Highlights from select home and away contests are also available by logging on to the Saint Anselm Athletics YouTube page (http://www.youtube.com/SaintAnselmAthletics).