CAA Softball Report | April 26, 2022
CAA Softball Report | April 26, 2022
Catch up on the CAA Softball weekly news, notes, and awards.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Lauren Bernett, James Madison
Sophomore | Catcher | McDonald, Pa. / South Fayette
Bernett was red-hot at the plate, hitting .778 with seven RBIs and four runs scored, leading James Madison to a CAA series sweep over Drexel. The sophomore catcher went 7-for-9 throughout the series, recording at least one hit and one RBI in all three games, including a pair of multi-hit performances. Four of her seven hits went for extra bases, including three doubles and one home run, as Bernett posted a 1.444 slugging percentage. She recorded hits in her final six at-bats of the weekend, going 2-for-2 with three RBIs and two runs in the series-clinching game, followed by a 4-for-4 performance with a home run, two doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored in the series finale.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Carli McCants, Charleston
Junior | Andrews, S.C. / Andrews HS
McCants spit a pair of decisions against UNCW, scattering four hits and allowing just one earned run over 13.0 innings of work. The junior right-hander picked up 21 strikeouts while limiting the Seahawks to a .082 combined batting average over her two appearances. In the series finale, McCants picked up a win with a complete-game effort, striking out a career-high 13 batters, allowing just one hit and no earned runs. She was on the wrong end of a 1-0 decision in the series opener as she threw all 6.0 innings, scattering three hits and allowing one earned run while striking out eight. Overall, McCants posted a 1.11 ERA with 25 strikeouts throughout the week.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Lexi Rogers, James Madison
Freshman | Infield / Pitcher | Bellefonte, Pa. / Bellefonte Area
Rogers posted a .667 batting average and 1.444 slugging percentage with four RBIs and three runs scored, helping JMU to a series sweep over Drexel. Rogers had six hits in nine at-bats, picking up hits in all three games and ending the series with back-to-back multi-hit performances. In game two over the weekend, she went 2-for-4 with two home runs, four RBIs and two runs scored as the Dukes clinched the series win by completing the doubleheader sweep. Rogers followed the performance by going 3-for-4 in the series finale to cap off the weekend.
Charleston (10-34, 4-10 CAA): The Cougars dropped a mid-week doubleheader to Charleston Southern before falling in two of three to UNCW. All three games against UNCW were decided by one or two runs, and Charleston took the series finale. Carli McCants was impressive in the circle, especially in the weekend series. Overall, McCants posted a 1.11 ERA with 25 strikeouts throughout the week. Against UNCW, she allowed just four hits and one earned run in 13.0 innings of work while striking out 21 and limiting the Seahawks to a .082 batting average. Offensively, Carsten Puckett paced Charleston, batting .308 (4-13) with four hits. She recorded one hit in her final four games of the weekend. Charleston will host five games this week, welcoming Winthrop for a doubleheader on Tuesday before entertaining Towson for three games this weekend.
Delaware (28-14, 11-4 CAA): The Blue Hens fell in extra-innings to Saint Joseph’s on Wednesday before winning their fourth straight CAA series, taking two of three from Hofstra. At the plate, Brittney Mendoza led Delaware with a .467 batting average and seven hits. She recorded a pair to three-hit games against the Pride, and all seven of her hits came in the conference series. Brooke Glanden hit .385 (5-13), posting a team-high five RBIs with three runs scored. Hanna Garber led Delaware on the base path, recording a team-high five runs scored and two stolen bases, posting a .417 on-base percentage from her lead-off spot. In the circle, Graceyn Frost made three appearances, going 2-0 and tallying 15 strikeouts in 15.1 innings of work. Up next, Delaware hits the road for a three-game series at James Madison this weekend.
Drexel (20-20, 4-11 CAA): Drexel dropped five games last week, falling to Villanova and Penn in non-conference action before JMU took three games from the Dragons. Five Drexel players recorded four hits throughout the week. Jackie Masone and Megan Trivelpiece paced Drexel, hitting .333 (4-12) throughout the week. Additionally, Trivelpiece drew three walks, posting a .467 on-base percentage. Sarah Clinton also recorded four hits, while recording team-highs with four RBIs and four runs scored. Brooklyn Daly registered a team-high 11.2 innings pitched and nine strikeouts in the circle. Drexel will look to get back on track starting on Thursday, hosting Lafayette for a mid-week doubleheader. The Dragons will visit Hofstra for a three-game conference series this weekend.
Elon (25-19, 8-7 CAA): The Phoenix won its third straight CAA series, taking two of three from Towson, and Elon has now won eight of its last 10 games overall. Megan Grant led the effort offensively, hitting .556 with a team-high .667 on-base percentage. She paced the Phoenix with five hits, recording at least one hit in all three games and two multi-hit performances. Carley Davis went 4-for-13, posting a .364 batting average, and added a pair of RBIs. Allee Seering recorded one hit in all three games, including a home run in the series opener, as she hit .375 for the week. Kaitlyn King and Alexa Nemeth picked up wins in the circle. King tossed 6.1 innings, posting a 2.21 ERA, while Nemeth threw 4.2 without allowing an earned run. Nemeth has not surrendered an earned run in her previous three outings. Elon remains on the road, visiting UNCW for a three-game set this weekend.
Hofstra (16-23, 9-5 CAA): The Pride dropped their first conference series this spring, falling to Delaware in two of three games last weekend. Madison McKevitt led Hofstra with a .625 batting average and five hits in the series. McKevitt had at least one base knock in all three games, including two multi-hit performances and recorded a team-high four RBIs. Meghan Giordano and Sam Ward each hit .364 with four hits and three RBIs. Giordano had a pair of multi-hit games and led Hofstra with five runs scored, while Ward recorded at least one hit in all three games. Annabella Pisapia picked up the Pride’s winning decision, totaling 7.0 innings pitched with a 2.00 ERA and seven strikeouts. Hofstra will visit Stony Brook on Thursday before hosting Drexel for three games over the weekend.
James Madison (21-21, 10-5 CAA): JMU earned a CAA sweep, taking all three games from Drexel. The Dukes’ lineup stayed hot, scoring 25 runs over the three games. Lauren Bernett posted a team-high .778 (7-9) batting average with seven RBIs and four runs scored. Lexi Rogers had the best week of her young career as the freshman hit .667 (6-9) with two home runs, four RBIs and three runs scored. Hallie Hall recorded six hits in 12 at-bats, including a four-hit performance in the series finale. She recorded two home runs, five RBIs and five runs scored throughout the series. In the circle, Alexis Bermudez went 2-0 with a 2.33 ERA and seven strikeouts in 12.0 innings, while Alissa Humphrey tallied 11 strikeouts in 8.0 innings, posting a 1-0 recorded with a 1.75 ERA. JMU is scheduled to host Delaware this weekend.
UNCW (27-11, 9-6 CAA): The Seahawks took two of three from Charleston, winning their fourth CAA series in five tries this spring. Pitching was at a premium in the weekend series against the Cougars. Kara Hammock went 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in 9.1 innings of work, while Emily Winstead tossed a team-high 11.1 innings, going 1-1 with a 1.85 ERA and 17 strikeouts. Winstead matched a career-high with 13 strikeouts in game one of the series and is two K’s away from the UNCW freshmen record. Hammock and Winstead both held the opposition to a .125 batting average in their work. Jentri Meadows and Tayler Vitola were the lone Seahawks to record hits in multiple games over the weekend, leading UNCW with two apiece. Meadows added an RBI, while Vitola stole three bases and scored one run. UNCW finishes out its home slate this weekend, hosting Elon for a three-game conference series.
Towson (14-28, 4-11 CAA): The Tigers went 1-3, falling to UMBC in non-conference competition before dropping two of three to Elon. Julia Jackson continued to log innings in the circle, tossing 14.0 innings and a pair of complete games. She leads the CAA with 141.1 innings pitched this spring. Jackson went 1-1 in her two starts with a 2.00 ERA and eight strikeouts. Three Tigers recorded four hits throughout the week, while Briana Ramirez posted a team-best .364 batting average. Madyson Peters and Nicole Kidwiler followed, hitting .333, while Kidwiler paced Towson with a .467 on-base percentage. Sydni Byers recorded a team-high three RBIs, and Cori Jones tallied a team-best three runs scored. Towson will pick up action this weekend when the Tigers visit Charleston for a three-game conference series.
DELAWARE CLINCHES TOURNAMENT BERTH
• Delaware clinched the first berth to the 2022 CAA Championship following a series win over Hofstra. The Blue Hens have won four straight CAA series after dropping their first of the spring and sit atop the conference standings with an 11-4 record in CAA play.
A LOT LEFT TO BE DECIDED
• The four teams behind Delaware in the conference standings are all within three games of the Blue Hens, with six games remaining. Hofstra at 9-5 will look to bounce back after falling to Delaware last weekend, while UNCW (9-6) and Elon (8-7) face off this weekend in a key series for final positioning in the conference standings.
RISING IN THE RANKS
• Drexel’s Kristi DiMeo continues to climb the CAA career ranks in several categories. The graduate student ranks second in league history in runs batted in and third in batting average as well as home runs. DiMeo has 224 career RBIs while maintaining a .403 batting average with 52 home runs.
HOME RUN DERBY
• James Madison broke the NCAA single-inning record for home runs with six in the fifth of game two against Radford on March 22. The Dukes lead the CAA with 66 homers and rank 12th in the NCAA in home runs per game (1.57).
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 posted a 20-5 record through its first 25 games this spring. The 2022 team is the fastest UNCW team to reach 20 wins as the Seahawks are off to their best start in program history. UNCW ranks first in the CAA in team ERA (1.90) and is the only team below 2.00. The Seahawks sit fourth in batting average (.275) and third in field percentage (.963).
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 University.
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