PREVIEW: NE10 Softball Championship - No. 24 Saint Anselm vs. Adelphi

PREVIEW: NE10 Softball Championship - No. 24 Saint Anselm vs. Adelphi

MANCHESTER, N.H. – The nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College softball team will host the Panthers from Adelphi University on Saturday, May 4 in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship game.

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The league's championship tilt will be played at high noon at the South Athletic Fields. Adelphi and Saint Anselm won their respective divisional Regular Season Championships and each entered the tournament as the top seed.

Saint Anselm picked up a 5-1 victory over New Haven in the tournament semifinal while Adelphi blanked Pace, 4-0, on Friday. The Hawks will be playing in their first-ever NE10 Championship game while the Panthers have won each of the last two conference championships.

Tickets will be sold at the main gate of the South Athletic Fields. Adult tickets are $6 with senior citizens, children and students from a non-NE10 college or university will be charged $4. Students from any Northeast-10 Conference institution will be admitted for $1.

SCOUTING SAINT ANSELM

  • The Hawks enter the game ranked 24th in NCAA Division II, according to the latest National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division II Top 25 Poll. At one point during the season, the Hawks were the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II, the first time any sports program at Saint Anselm earned such distinction.
  • Saint Anselm has sprinted out to a 36-8 overall record, the second-most wins in team history behind last season's national runner-up squad (44-13-1). The Hawks are led by head coach Jill Gagnon, who earned her second straight NE10 Coach of the Year award. Across six seasons with Saint Anselm, she has logged a 161-92-1 record, matching long-time Head Coach Bill Vermette (1988-97) atop the program's leaderboard.
  • In the NE10 semifinals victory over New Haven, the Saint Anselm pitching staff set a single-season record for most strikeouts in a season with 305, eclipsing the previous team record of 298 set in 1997.
  • The Hawks rank second in the NE10 in batting average (.294), double plays per game (.41) and earned run average (1.41). The squad's .971 fielding percentage is tied for tops in the league with Southern New Hampshire.
  • Saint Anselm has won its last 11 games, entering play with 21 wins in its last 22 contests.
  • Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) was the unanimous winner for the NE10 Pitcher of the Year award, earning her first selection to the First Team after an impressive junior season to this point. She has 21 wins, 18 complete games and 194 strikeouts in 167 innings pitched. She entered the tournament with a 1.36 earned run average, ranking 16th in NCAA Division II at the time.
  • Perry became just the fourth student-athlete in program history to reach the 400 career strikeout plateau, entering the tournament with 428 to her credit.
  • Freshman Kylie Fitzpatrick (Danville, N.H.) has played in 32 games for the Hawks, winning the NE10 Defensive Player of the Year award in her first season. To date, she has logged 54 putouts and 53 assists on 97 total chances, posting a perfect fielding percentage.
  • Junior Shannon Colson (Rochester, N.H.) leads the team in hitting with a .358 batting average with 53 hits in 44 games this year. She also had three doubles, a triple and drove in 13 runs and carries an active on-base streak of eight games into the NE10 title game.
  • On the base paths, Colson scored 32 times and swiped 20 bases on her way to setting the program record for most stolen bases in a season and now has 68 stolen bases in her career, a team record. She stole four bases on Apr. 10 at Saint Michael's and three at Bentley on Apr. 25.
  • Colson had 15 multi-hit games, including four three-hit contests, and is tied for the team-long hitting streak, a nine-gamer earlier in the season. She is the toughest batter to strike out in the NE10, doing so only once every 49.3 at-bats on average.
  • Sophomore Lauren Washburn (Carmichael, Calif.) was a First Team All-NE10 pick, batting .341 with an on-base percentage of .388, slugging .465 to this point of the year. She has driven in a team-high 31 runs and had two home runs as well. She is currently second on the team with eight doubles and also scored 13 times.
  • Washburn had nine multi-hit contests and had a season-high nine-game hitting streak from Mar. 30 through Apr. 10, which included three multi-hit games, and drove in a season-high three runs at Franklin Pierce on Apr. 3, against the Ravens on Apr. 11, and at Merrimack on Apr. 14.
  • The team's lone senior, Jordan O'Connor (New Fairfield, Conn.) ranks second on the team in hitting with a .351 batting average and 32 runs batted in, playing in all 44 contests. She had nine doubles, five home runs and six stolen bases and crossed the plate 25 times. Her .534 slugging percentage leads the team and she currently is riding a seven-game hitting streak where she has 11 hits.
  • Junior Maggie Murphy (Scarborough, Maine) picked up Second Team All-Conference honors following the season and has batted .324 to date, reaching base nearly 37% of the time. She has picked up 44 hits, including a team-high 12 doubles, while scoring 35 times to lead the Hawks.
  • Murphy has swiped 16 bases, driving in 17 runs while slugging a pair of home runs. Posting 13 multi-hit games, Murphy scored two or more runs in a game on eight occasions and notched a pair of seven-game hitting streaks on the season.
  • Sophomore Maddison Leite (Cumberland, R.I.) had a breakout year during her sophomore campaign. She has batted .257 with 29 hits, four doubles, and had a team-high six home runs. She also drove in 19 runs and scored 21 times in 41 games. She had eight multi-hit contests and had four games with two or more runs batted in.
  • Pitcher Courtney Fisher (Taunton, Mass.), a sophomore, racked up 10 wins in 15 starts in the circle for Saint Anselm, appearing in a total of 25 games on the season. Fanning 49 batters, Fisher issued only 11 walks and posted an earned run average of 1.52. She struck out a season-high six batters during an 8-0 win against Southern Connecticut State on Apr. 7 while fanning five batters at Saint Michael's on Apr. 10 and at Bentley on Apr. 27.
  • Freshman McKenna Smith (Old Town, Maine) has six saves, ranking third in all of NCAA Division II while leading the conference.
  • The Hawks are making their 15th appearance in the NE10 postseason and own an overall record of 16-21 all-time. Saint Anselm has qualified for the tournament six times in the last seven seasons.
  • Saint Anselm was the top seed in the tournament in 2018, which was hosted by Adelphi University, and fell to Pace in the NE10 Semifinals by a score of 2-0.

SCOUTING ADELPHI

  • The reigning Northeast-10 Conference champions, Adelphi has won five consecutive Southwest Division titles and enters play with a 31-17 overall record after notching a 16-2 record against divisional foes.
  • The Panthers, piloted by former LIU Post assistant coach Carla Campagna in her first season, posted a 20-6 regular-season record against Northeast-10 programs from both divisions, trailing only New Haven (22-5) and Saint Anselm (23-2).
  • Adelphi leads the NE10 in on-base percentage (.362) and triples per game (0.33) while ranking second in home runs per game (0.48) and shutouts (14).
  • Emily Whitman, the league's Rookie of the Year, finished as the NE10 leader in hits (65), runs per game (1.08), total bases (107), triples (8) and triples per game (0.17). She also ranked second in slugging percentage (.658) and third in batting average (.399).
  • Ally Muller, a First Team selection, leads the NE10 in strikeouts pitched (195) and shutouts (10), pitching to a 1.67 earned-run average and entered the NE10 tournament with a league-leading 4.74 hits allowed per seven innings. She is also third in strikeouts per seven innings, averaging 7.9 per tilt.
  • Emily Turney, a First Team All-Conference pick, leads the league with an on-base percentage of .516 and a league-leading 29 walks drawn.
  • Hannah Pineda, a sophomore transfer from Stony Brook, leads the NE10 with 37 runs driven in, securing Third Team honors from the league.

NE10 POSTSEASON ALL-TIME: Saint Anselm is 16-21 all-time in 15 appearances in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship and is in the tournament field for the sixth time in the last seven seasons. The Hawks have never made an appearance in the NE10 title game while Adelphi, a three-time conference champion, will make its fifth appearance on Saturday.

ALL-TIME vs. ADELPHI: The Panthers own a 9-6-1 record over the Hawks in the all-time series, last meeting in a regular-season doubleheader on Mar. 24, 2018. Saint Anselm dropped the opener by a 13-5 margin (five innings) before playing to a 7-7 draw (six innings). The teams have never met in the NE10 or NCAA postseason.