LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A fixture on the NCAA Division II softball scene in 2019, the Saint Anselm College softball team was ranked 17th in the final National Fastpitch Coaches' Association (NFCA) Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll revealed on Wednesday.
The Hawks posted a 41-10 record in 2019, making it all the way to the NCAA Division II East Region Championship series against LIU Post. In early May, Saint Anselm won its first-ever Northeast-10 Conference title, defeating Adelphi by a 4-3 margin in extra innings and went on to earn the top seed in the East Region entering the NCAA Championship.
Saint Anselm cruised through the opening round of regional play, defeating Bridgeport by a 3-1 margin before blanking Southern New Hampshire in back-to-back games, 5-0 and 4-0, to earn a spot in the Super Regionals against the Pioneers. After dropping the first Super Regionals game by a 5-1 margin, the Hawks forced a decisive third game with a 9-6 win over LIU Post.
The Hawks concluded 2019 with the second-most victories in team history (41) and set team records with 14 shutouts and 351 strikeouts by Hawks pitchers. At one point during the season, the Hawks won 15 consecutive games and were winners of 25-of-26 games from Apr. 3 through May 11.
Head Coach Jill Gagnon, who wrapped up her sixth season on the Hilltop, saw only one senior student-athlete, Jordan O'Connor '19, graduate and will return one of the strongest pitching staffs in the country heading into the 2020 campaign. Hawks pitchers posted the country's sixth-finest earned run average (1.54) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.44).
Junior Morgan Perry (Bethany, Conn.) earned the team's first-ever NFCA All-America award in late May and finished the year as a two-time All-America pick, earning recognition from the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association as well.
Saint Anselm begins next season with a dominant 85-23-1 (.784) overall record since the start of the 2017-18 campaign.