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AU Preview: Womens Spring Sports Edition, AU Softball: Spring ’09

In Uncategorized on March 12, 2009 at 4:22 am

page8softballArcadia University Softball has been selected to finish fifth out of seven teams in the 2009 Commonwealth Conference pre season coaches poll, announced today by the league office.  The Knights went 11-22 overall and 10-8 while one-year members of the Freedom Conference in 2008,  and earned 23 points for their 2009 fifth place rating ahead of Albright (6th) and Lycoming (7th).

Arcadia’s 2008 squad missed out on the Freedom playoffs last season and despite the loss of valuable experience up the middle of the field, they are loaded with young players full of potential. The Knights return several key players from last year’s team, including Kiersten Hughes, a senior, who will anchor a young but game-tested pitching staff.  Senior Jaime Bee and sophomore Virginia Buechel return to the infield corners and will aid their teammates with a steady defensive presence and an abundance of power at the plate while junior Kristen Burns makes the move from experienced back-up catcher to a starting role in 2009.

Lebanon Valley looks to defend their first Commonwealth title as the pre-season favorite while Messiah (2nd), Widener (3rd) and Elizabethtown (4th) have been selected as the pre-season favorites to nab a post-season berth.

Head Coach Linda Detra will lead the Knights for her 16th season accompanied by assistant coaches Hillary Koehler and Meridith Mayes.    Arcadia will look to their returnees to replace valuable experience up the middle of the field, as they graduated their catcher, shortstop and centerfielder, which included 2 All-Conference players in Amanda Celantano ’08 and Danielle Discher ’08.

Jessica Defluri ’10 and Kellie Reese ’11 round out the experienced pitching staff while  Diana Rufo ’09, Brittni Holland ’10 and Ashley McCarthy ’11 will give the Knights speed on the bases, looking to disrupt the opposing teams defense.

The newcomers to the program include Erin Wojcieszyn ’12, Emily Pagnotta ’12, Lindsey Henchinski ’12, Katie Pierce ’12, Helene Bonnot ’12, Kelsey Roberts ’12, Amy Johnson ’12, Allison Russell ’12, Jennifer Sevitski ’12, Kaitlyn Chase ’12, Danielle Sweeney ’12 and Devin Guerriere ’12. These talented young players will provide the Knights with plenty ofdepth at all positions, including right and left handed pitchers.

Head Coach Detra said she is excited about the coach-ability of all the players, “All the girls are willing to work hard and get better and the competition in practice should transfer over to a competitive edge on game days.”  The ’09 Knights are full of enthusiasm and potential, and are looking forward to a promising season, which could lead to conference playoffs and more. The Knights continue to find ways to make an impact in the community as well through their participation in Arcadia’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service as well as hosting their annual indoor clinic which takes place on March 1 this year.

The team begins their season March 6th in Virginia Beach against Emory and Henry College.  The Knights will play 4 games in 2 days in Virginia Beach before returning home to host their home opener, a Commonwealth Conference double header against Messiah College scheduled for March 10th at 2:00 p.m.

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