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Courtesy: CAA/Ben Solomon

Hofstra Picked to Repeat as 2014 CAA Softball Champions

Courtesy: CAA
          Release: 02/03/2014
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RICHMOND, Va. (January 31, 2014) – Hofstra was selected to win the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association softball title based on voting by the league’s seven head coaches.

Hofstra, the 10-time conference champion, received a league-best 35 points and five first-place votes. James Madison was picked to finish second with a pair of first-place votes and 32 points. The league’s newest member, College of Charleston, and Delaware each earned 23 points and were tied for third, while Towson collected 17 points for fifth place. UNCW (10 points) and Drexel (7 points) rounded out the voting.

The Pride returns 11 letterwinners, including a pair of fifth-year seniors and All-CAA honorees in Rachel Senatore and Becca Bigler, from a 2013 squad that set a program record for wins (46-13). Hofstra captured the CAA Championship and advanced to the NCAA Regional finals.  As the team’s starting shortstop, Bigler hit 12 home runs and drove in 41 runs from a premium defensive position to earn All-CAA second team accolades. Senatore is coming off a red-shirt season for an injury, but was a force as the leadoff hitter in 2012 for the Pride batting .364 with 71 hits and 38 runs scored and earning first-team All-CAA honors. Hofstra also welcomes back All-CAA first team member Erin Trippi, who moved from the team’s primary DP to the starting catcher in 2012. She helped Hofstra pitchers register a 1.67 ERA a year ago while batting .315. Second-team All-CAA honoree senior Tori Rocha returns at second base (.285, 17 RBI, 45 H).

Head coach Mickey Dean and the Dukes welcome back nine letterwinners and four starters from a 42-17 team that earned the league’s first NCAA at-large bid a year ago. James Madison will rely on four returning starters, including senior shortstop Caitlin Sandy (.313, 52 H, 25 RBI) and sophomore catcher Erica Field (.328, 63 H, 35 RBI). Sophomore Hannah Hayes (.256, 30 H) is also back in the infield along with junior Heather Kiefer (14-8, 1.65 ERA) in the circle. The Dukes will also count on the return of Jailyn Ford, the 2013 CAA Rookie of the Year and an All-CAA first team member, in both the circle and at utility. Ford is the top returning player for the Dukes after recording a .373 batting average and posting a 24-6 record and a 1.61 ERA in the circle while striking out 209 batters. Her batting average, ERA and strikeouts ranked second in the league. 

The Cougars, who will be led by new head coach Linda Kalafatis, return 19 letter winners and eight starters from their 37-20 team. Three all-conference first-team honorees return to play their first season in the CAA, including junior pitcher Hope Klicker, who led Charleston with a 20-11 record and a 2.25 ERA. She fanned 161 batters during 190.0 innings pitched and held her opponents to a .228 batting average. Senior third baseman Kelsey Hodgson led the team at the plate with a .325 batting average with 53 hits and team highs of 46 runs scored, 15 home runs (second most in CofC history in a season) and 44 RBI. Sophomore utility Chandler Frisbie earned both first-team and all-rookie honors in the Southern Conference (.298, 50 H, 28 RBI, 20 R).

Delaware is coming off one of its top seasons in program history with 35 wins (35-22), second most in UD history. Head coach Jaime Wohlbach welcomes back 10 letterwinners that helped set UD single season records for 236 runs scored, 427 hits and 72 doubles a year ago. UD will be led by junior rightfielder Jessica Grisler, who set a program single-season record 39 runs scored and hit a team-best .365. Sophomores Shelby Jones and Lisa Stacevicz, CAA All-Rookie honorees a year ago, will also be a threat for the Blue Hens. Jones batted .301 and tied for the team lead with four home runs, while Stacevicz led UD with 13 doubles, tied for the lead with 28 RBI and posted a .313 batting average.   

The CAA Softball Championship is scheduled for May 7-9 at the site of the regular-season champion. Complete championship information will be updated on CAASports.com as details become available.

2014 CAA Softball Coaches’ Preseason Predicted Order of Finish

First place votes in parenthesis

1.

Hofstra

35 (5)

2.

James Madison

32 (2)

T3.

College of Charleston

23

 

Delaware

23

5.

Towson

17

6.

UNCW

10

7.

Drexel

7

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