Hofstra Softball Ranked 16th In Season-Ending NFCA Poll
Hempstead, N.Y. - The Hofstra softball team posted its
highest-ever final national ranking as the Pride was picked 16th in the final
USA Today/NFCA Division I Top-25 poll, the organization announced on Tuesday.
After going 42-15 and finishing one win away from the Women's College World Series, the Pride garnered a national ranking for the first time this season. Hofstra's previous high was a No. 20 rank in the final 1994 poll, which preceded a No. 21 ranking in the final 2004 poll.
Under head coach Bill Edwards, the Pride enjoyed an unprecedented level of success in 2012, culminating with a three-game sweep to win the Los Angeles Regional and an appearance in the program's first-ever Super Regional.
Hofstra defeated No. 12 overall seed UCLA on the Bruins' home field and knocked off San Diego State twice to set up a best-of-three Tampa Super Regional against the University of South Florida. The Pride won Game 1 before dropping a pair of one-run games to a Bulls squad that finished ranked 8th in the country.
Edwards, a NFCA Hall-of-Fame coach, orchestrated one of the best showings in his 23-year career at Hofstra. The Pride captured its ninth Colonial Athletic Association title in 11 seasons after going 22-0 against the league for the first undefeated conference performance in school history. After winning his fifth straight Coach of the Year distinction, the Pride then won four NCAA Tournament games overall to match the 2004 team for the most in one season (the tournament was played under a different format then).
The national recognition for the Pride came after a slew of players won individual awards. Junior Olivia Galati won the Division I ERA crown at 0.95. As one of just two pitchers who allowed less than one earned run per seven innings, Galati became Hofstra's first-ever first-team All-America selection after going 34-7 with 378 strikeouts against just 26 walks in 280 2/3 innings. Her 32-game winning streak that stretched from March 17-May 25 finished one off the NCAA record.
Senior third baseman Krista Thorn capped her stellar collegiate career with a first-team All-CAA selection. Thorn batted .289 with a career-high eight home runs and 36 RBIs.
Junior outfielders Rachael Senatore and Tessa Ziemba also earned first-team NFCA All-Northeast region selections. As a leadoff hitter, Senatore batted a team-leading .364 with a .429 on-base percentage and 38 runs scored. Ziemba, who batted mostly in the cleanup spot, tied the CAA lead with 11 home runs and her 45 RBIs were seven more than the next-closest teammate. Freshman Erin Trippi also erupted onto the college scene by hitting .280 with four home runs and 31 RBIs to earn a CAA All-Rookie team selection and a second-team all-NFCA pick as a designated player.
Alabama was picked first in the poll after winning the national championship. The Crimson Tide (60-8) received 28 of the 30 first-place votes in the last rankings of the year while national runner-up Oklahoma (54-10) finished second and received the other two top votes. California, Arizona State, Oregon, Tennessee, LSU, USF, Texas and Georgia rounded out the top-10.
The Hofstra softball team will be recognized in a pregame ceremony at Citi Field on Monday, June 18 before the Mets face the Baltimore Orioles at 7 p.m.