CAA Softball Report | Mar. 15, 2022
CAA Softball Report | Mar. 15, 2022
Catch up on the CAA Softball weekly news, notes, and awards.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sarah Clinton, Drexel
Senior | Outfield | Birdsboro, Pa. / Twin Valley
Clinton recorded four hits in eight plate appearances (.500) with seven RBIs and four runs scored to lead Drexel to a 2-0 weekend. In game one of Drexel’s doubleheader at Coppin State, Clinton went 3-for-5 from the plate, coming up a home run shy of the cycle. She recorded three RBIs, two runs scored and a stolen base in a 7-5 win for the Dragons. In the second game, the senior outfielder reached safely twice, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Her hit was a three-RBI triple, and she totaled four RBIs, adding two runs in the victory.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Julia Jackson, Towson
Senior | Simi Valley, Calif. / Simi Valley HS
Jackson went 1-0 in the circle, tossing a complete game in Towson’s 2-1 victory over Monmouth. In her seven innings of work, the senior right-hander scattered four hits, allowing one earned run and striking out four. It marks the second straight win for Jackson in the circle, while Towson is riding a four-game winning streak following a 2-0 weekend.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Jasmine Hall, James Madison
Freshman | Infield | Granite Falls, N.C. / South Caldwell
Hall tallied four hits in five at-bats (.800), recording three RBIs and three runs scored to help JMU split a pair of games at the Dukes’ home invitational last weekend. Against Lehigh, Hall entered in the third inning before going 2-for-2 at the plate with an RBI triple and two-RBI single. She also scored a run in the 10-2 victory. Against Maryland, Hall started at second base, recording two hits in three plate appearances. The freshman infielder reached on a single and double, scoring two runs despite a setback to the Terps.
Charleston (5-15, 0-0 CAA): The Cougars saw their mid-week doubleheader postponed to April and had the rest of the week away from the diamond. On the season, Charleston ranks second in the CAA in ERA (2.60). Three Cougars rank top 10 in the league in ERA. Carli McCants (2-3) has posted a 1.88 ERA to rank fifth, Kelly McKenna (2-2) sits sixth with a 2.37 ERA, and Peyton Lemire (0-7) has recorded a 2.46 ERA to rank eighth. A pair of Jenna’s lead the Charleston lineup. Jenna Carter paces the Cougars, hitting .341, and has a team-high eight runs scored. Jenna Helberg has team-highs in hits (19) and RBIs (10) while ranking second with a .317 batting average. The Cougars will visit South Carolina on Wednesday before hosting East Carolina for three games this weekend.
Delaware (13-7, 0-0 CAA): The Blue Hens split a pair of games against Penn State. It was the first time playing at home for Delaware this season as the Blue Hens dropped a 1-0 ball game before bouncing back with a 6-4 victory. Brooke Glanden and Halle Kisamore went 3-for-7 at the plate to pace the Blue Hens. The duo combined for all six RBIs in the Delaware victory. Glanden had a double, home run, four RBIs and two runs scored for the Blue Hens. In the circle, Graceyn Frost picked up the win, throwing 5.2 innings and allowing one earned run with five strikeouts. Emily Winburn came up on the wrong end of the 1-0 losing decision but picked up a save and posted a 0.88 ERA in 8.1 innings of work. Winburn scattered four hits and struck out seven over the two appearances. Delaware will host Mount St. Mary’s for a doubleheader on Wednesday before visiting Villanova for a doubleheader on Saturday.
Drexel (7-5, 0-0 CAA): Drexel earned a doubleheader sweep of Coppin State, extending its winning streak to six games. Sarah Clinton paced the Dragons’ lineup, hitting .500 (4-8) with three extra-base hits, seven RBIs and four runs scored. Ashley Erico tallied five RBIs, including a grand slam in the second game of the doubleheader. Kristi DiMeo recorded at least one hit in both games to extend her hitting streak to nine games. DiMeo has recorded a hit in 11 of 12 games this season. In the circle, Brooklyn Daly (4-2) and Meghan Conroy (1-1) picked up wins for the Dragons. Drexel will travel to Rutgers for a contest on Sunday after a neutral site matchup with Stony Brook on Saturday.
Elon (13-9, 0-0 CAA): The Phoenix dropped three one-run games last week. Gabi Schaal reached safely in all three games, while Megan Grant and Rebecca Murray each recorded two hits. Murray recorded her second home run of the season as she and Schaal tallied one run and one RBI apiece over the weekend. Against Michigan State, Taylor Cherry allowed just four hits and one earned run while striking out five in 5.2 innings but received the losing decision in a 1-0 setback. Elon will look to bounce back when the Phoenix visits East Carolina for a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Hofstra (3-13, 0-0 CAA): Hofstra split a doubleheader last Friday, falling to UMBC before defeating Brown. Chelsea Manto led Hofstra, going 4-for-6 at the plate and drew a pair of walks to post a .750 on-base percentage. Manto also recorded one run and one RBI. Meghan Giordano picked up three hits, two runs, one RBI and one stolen base for the Pride. In the circle, Haley Venturini (1-5) picked up the first win of her collegiate career. Venturini tossed 6.0 innings, allowing one earned run and striking out four in the victory over Brown. Hofstra will take its home field for the first time this season as the Pride host the Hofstra Invitational this Friday through Sunday.
James Madison (6-10, 0-0 CAA): JMU went 2-1 last week, defeating Norfolk State and Lehigh while falling to Maryland. A pair of freshmen paced the Dukes in the batter’s box. Jasmine Hall went 4-for-5 (.800) with three RBIs and three runs scored, while Isabella Fishman was 5-for-10 (.500), recording five RBIs and three runs. Hanna Shifflet also had a solid week at the plate, hitting .545 with a team-best six hits. She added three runs scored and one RBI. Meredith Wells (1-0) recorded her first career win in the circle. Over the weekend, she threw 8.1 innings, posting a 2.52 ERA. JMU heads on the road this week, facing Radford in a mid-week matchup before heading to the Memphis Tournament this weekend.
UNCW (17-3, 0-0 CAA): The Seahawks earned a pair of wins over Maryland Eastern Shore. Arial Pearce topped the UNCW lineup, hitting .833 with five hits in her six at-bats. She also recorded three runs and three RBIs. Mackenzie Amodeo hit .429 (3-7), recording hits in both games and tallying three RBIs. Overall, it was a balanced effort from the Seahawks’ offense as four players tallied at least two hits and two RBIs. Janel Gamache improved to 3-0 in the circle, pitching 6.0 innings without allowing a run and striking out six. UNCW will visit in-state ACC foe, North Carolina on Tuesday.
Towson (6-12, 0-0 CAA): The Tigers went 2-0, picking up wins over Monmouth and UAlbany. In the circle, Julia Jackson (3-5) and Melissa Abrahamian (3-5) pitched complete games to earn victories. Jackson allowed just two hits and one earned run while striking out four. Abrahamian scattered 11 hits, surrendering two earned runs and struck out eight. Mackenzie Lake paced the Tigers in the batter’s box, going 3-for-6 with two home runs, four RBIs and three runs scored. Chloe Poulich and Madyson Peters also recorded multiple RBIs over the weekend. Towson will travel to Villanova for a mid-week doubleheader before neutral site games against Lafayette and Quinnipiac this weekend.
STRINGING WINS TOGETHER
• Three CAA teams enter the week with multiple-game winning streaks.
• Atop the list is UNCW. The Seahawks are riding a seven-game winning streak, which ranks 16th in the NCAA.
• After a 1-5 start, Drexel has made a 360-degree turn, winning its last six contests. The Dragons are outscoring opponents 50-18 during that stretch and averaging 8.3 runs per game.
• Towson has won four games in a row after a slow start to the season. The Tigers pitching staff has allowed two or fewer runs in those contests, posting a 1.08 ERA with 21 strikeouts over the past four games.
A CLASS OF HER OWN
• Drexel’s Kristi DiMeo was among the top 30 softball student-athlete candidates selected for the 2022 Senior CLASS award. The honor highlights seniors that show exemplary excellence in four categories: community, classroom, character and competition. As a top candidate, DiMeo will be eligible for the finalist ballot that narrows the pool to 10 candidates for the award’s final vote.
BIG WINS FOR THE BIRDS
• Delaware has earned three wins over Power Five opponents while Elon has picked up two.
• The Blue Hens have defeated two Big Ten adversaries, topping Purdue 6-5 in extra innings on Feb. 19 and Penn State 6-4 on Mar. 11. They also earned a convincing 12-4 win over NC State on Feb. 26.
• On Feb. 16, the Phoenix earned a walk-off win over in-state, ACC foe North Carolina, defeating the Tar Heels 4-3. Last week, Elon earned a 2-0 win over Michigan State out of the Big Ten.
HOT START DOWN SOUTH
• UNCW has jumped out to an impressive 17-3 start to sit atop the CAA standings. It marks the best start in program history for the Seahawks, who have not lost back-to-back games at any point this season. UNCW has been dominant in all three phases this season, ranking first in the CAA in ERA (1.60), batting average (.299) and runs per game (6.2) while ranking second in fielding percentage (.971).
NEW FACES AROUND THE LEAGUE
• Three CAA teams enter 2022 under new leadership in their head coach position.
• Tracey Lynch takes over at Charleston, where she was an assistant coach during the 2013 season. For the past six years, Lynch served as an Assistant Coach at UNCG.
• The Katie Jansson era of Drexel softball starts in 2022. Jansson arrives at Drexel after three seasons of head coaching duties at her alma matter Iona.
• Adrienne Clark returns to Hofstra after an illustrious career as a student-athlete and assistant coach. During her time as a player and Assistant Coach, Clark won five CAA Championships and 14 NCAA Tournament games.
NEW MEMBERS COMING 2023
• The Colonial Athletic Association announced Hampton, Monmouth, and Stony Brook will join the conference as full members in 2023. Subsequently, CAA Softball will grow from eight teams to ten.
• Half the league will get a 2023 preview facing the newest members of the CAA this spring. Drexel will face Hampton twice at Hampton’s Pirate Invitational, and see Stony Brook at the Rutgers tournament. Towson will host Monmouth for a pair of games at Towson’s TU Tiger Clash. Hofstra will face Long Island rival Stony Brook in a home-and-home, while Delaware will host Monmouth in a mid-week non-conference matchup.
2021 SEASON IN REVIEW
• 2021 was a historic year in CAA Softball as James Madison become the first team in conference history to win an NCAA Super Regional, advance to the WCWS and win a game at the WCWS.
• JMU won its second consecutive CAA Tournament title following a 17-1 CAA regular season.
• James Madison’s Odicci Alexander was named the Softball America Player of the Year, in addition to the D1 Softball Women of the Year and was a second-team All-American.
• The JMU coaching staff earned NFCA and D1 Softball Coaching Staff of the Year accolades, while Associate Head Coach Jennifer Herzig was named NFCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
YEAR FOR THE RECORDS
• Two of the most storied athletes in CAA Softball history battled each other in the CAA record books throughout the 2021 season.
• Drexel’s Linda Rush finished her career ranked first in the CAA record books in batting average (.426), runs scored (210) and RBIs (245), while she was second in home runs (68) and hits (269).
• JMU’s Kate Gordan, a three-time conference champion, ended her career as the conference’s all-time leader in home runs (71). Additionally, Gordon ranks second in CAA history in batting average (.407), runs scored (201) and RBIs (200).
• Rush and Gordon are the only two players in CAA history that have recorded over 200 runs scored, 200 RBIs and 65 home runs.
2022 PRESEASON RUNDOWN
• We return to a traditional 21-game round-robin format in conference play, with each team playing one three-game series against all conferences teams throughout the season.
• James Madison was picked atop the CAA preseason poll with six first-place votes and 48 total points. Delaware received one first-place vote and 42 points, while Elon collected the final first-place vote and 35 points to finish second and third, respectively. Fourth through sixth were separated by just six points, as Hofstra tallied 28, Drexel totaled 24, and UNCW accumulated 22. Charleston and Towson rounded out the field with 14 and 11 points, respectively.
• The 2022 CAA Softball Championship is set to take place May 12-14 at Hunt Softball Park on the campus of Elon.
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