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Courtesy: CAA/Brian Ballweg

Hofstra Favored To Win 2013 CAA Softball Title

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 02/05/2013
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RICHMOND, Va. (February 5, 2013) - Hofstra is the unanimous choice to win the 2013 Colonial Athletic Association softball title based on voting by the league's eight head coaches.

Hofstra, the nine-time conference champion, received all possible first-place votes as coaches weren't allowed to vote for their own team. The Pride finished atop the poll with 49 points. Georgia State, last year's runner-up to the Pride, received one first-place vote and finished tied for second in the poll with 40 points along with James Madison. Towson was picked fourth with 28 points, followed by Delaware (25). Drexel and George Mason were tied for sixth with 17 points, followed by UNCW.

Hofstra returns seven starters, including pitcher/designated player Olivia Galati, outfielder Tessa Ziemba and catcher Erin Trippi. The Pride is coming off a 42-15 season which included a three-game sweep to capture the Los Angeles NCAA Regional. Hofstra made the program's first-ever Super Regional appearance and finished one win shy of reaching the Women's College World Series. The Pride went 22-0 against CAA opponents for the first undefeated conference performance in school history in 2012. Galati, the three-time CAA Pitcher of the Year, posted a 34-7 record in the circle with a 0.95 ERA and hit .345 with four home runs and 37 RBI for the Pride. Ziemba batted .316 on the season with a team-best 45 RBI, while Trippi hit .280 with 31 RBI as a freshman. The Pride have been ranked in the Top 25 preseason polls at No. 20 in the USA Today/NFCA poll and No. 22 in the ESPN/USA Softball poll.

Georgia State returns 15 letterwinners and nine starters from its 2012 team that went 38-18.  Returning for GSU in the circle is two-time All-CAA selection Kaitlyn Medlam, who earned 14 wins a year ago with a 1.99 ERA to go along with four saves and 98 strikeouts. Lauren Coleman, an All-CAA first team honoree, returns after leading the Panthers in batting average (.326) and on-base percentage (.436). Callie Alford earned All-CAA second team accolades after leading the team with 43 RBI, 13 doubles, 80 total bases, and a.494 slugging percentage.

James Madison, which will be led by new head coach Mickey Dean, returns 14 letterwinners and seven starters from a 30-26 team. Jasmine Butler led the Dukes at the plate, batting .371 a year ago with 34 runs and 59 hits. Morgan Heath recorded 65 hits, 33 runs and hit .355 last season to earn All-CAA first team honors. Caitlin Sandy, also named to the All-CAA first-team, batted .279 with 34 hits and 11 RBI. In the circle for the Dukes will be 2012 CAA Rookie of the Year Heather Kiefer, who posted a 14-6 record with a team-best 1.96 ERA while striking out 95 batters in 143.0 innings.

Towson returns 13 letterwinners and six starters from a group that went 25-30. The Tigers are headlined by senior pitcher Katie Lingmai and sophomore shortstop Hailey Balk. Lingmai earned All-CAA second team honors after compiling a 13-14 record from the circle with a 2.40 ERA. She fanned 148 batters in 192.0 innings. Balk, who earned All-CAA second team and All-Rookie honors last season, led the Tigers at the plate batting .350 and recording 57 hits, 24 runs and 26 RBI. 

The 2013 CAA softball championship will be held on May 8-10 at the site of the regular-season champion.

 

2013 CAA SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL

First place votes in parenthesis

1.

Hofstra

47 (7)

2.

Georgia State

40 (1)

 

James Madison

40

4.

Towson

28

5.

Delaware

25

6.

Drexel

17

 

George Mason

17

8.

UNCW

8

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