Season Preview: D'Youville Softball

Season Preview: D'Youville Softball

Buffalo, NY - Following their seventh postseason appearance in the last eight seasons, the 2019 D'Youville softball team is ready to make it back to the postseason once again and do some damage along the way.

Head coach Ona Halladay is back for her sixth season in charge of the program, reaching the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) playoffs in five of her six seasons in charge. Assistant coach Shannon Evans has been a long-time assistant with the program and is joined by former Spartan third baseman Sarah Marino on the coaching staff. New to the coaching staff this season are former standout pitcher Kalie McHenry as graduate assistant and Megan Asham as assistant coach.

The women finished 2018 in the AMCC playoffs as the number four seed. Their 9-9 conference record powered the women to the playoffs as they finished the regular season with a 15-19 overall record.

Returning to her position as the best leadoff hitter in the conference, junior outfielder Ashley Carney (Clarence, NY/Clarence) is coming off an AMCC First Team All-Conference selection. Carney led team in batting average (.464), hits (51), and doubles (6), was tied for first in triples (4), second in RBI (20), runs scored (26), and on base percentage (.500) as well tied for third in stolen bases (4). She finished second in the conference in batting average (.464), fourth in hits (51), and tied for third in triples (4). Ashley was incredible both in the field and at the plate as she recorded just two errors all of last season and a 29-game hit streak to begin the season.

D'Youville has a very impressive infield, all players that excel in their given roles. Megan Meyer (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) will resume her role at first base where she committed no errors all of 2018. At the plate, Megan was fourth on the team in runs (18), hits (25), triples (3), and batting average (.333). Next to her will be senior Darian Evans (Brant, NY/Lake Shore). Evans slides over from shortstop where she tied for the team lead in home runs (2) and was third in RBI (13) last season.

On the left side of the infield, sophomore Rachel Colan (Grand Island, NY/Grand Island) shifts from third base to shortstop where she will handle the everyday duties. She is a plus defender with a great glove and strong arm. At third, junior Rylie Russo (Hamburg, NY/Frontier) comes over from second and brings a veteran presence. Russo tied for lead in triples (4), was second in stolen bases (4), third in runs scored (22) and hits (26), tied for third in doubles (2), and fourth in batting average (.310).

The team's pitching rotation will be led by a pair of sophomores in Brittaney Goodrich (Eden, NY/Eden) and Alexa Haberer (Derby, NY/Lake Shore). Goodrich led team in innings pitched (105.1), complete games (11), ERA (3.46), and games started (17); was tied for first in appearances (22), and second in wins (7). As for Haberer led the team in wins (8), saves (1), and strikeouts (66), was tied for team lead in appearances (22), second in complete games (100.2), games started (16), and ERA (3.48).

Both of the young pitchers were effective at the plate in their freshman seasons as well. Goodrich tied for fifth in RBI (12) while recording 12 hits, six runs scored two doubles, two walks, and one triple. Haberer tallied 11 hits, eight RBI, four runs scored, three doubles, and three walks at a batter.

Behind the plate for her fourth season is senior catcher Victoria Purucker (North Tonawanda, NY/Starpoint). Purucker has been a consistent player for the team over her three year career and is solid behind the plate. Fellow senior Sierra Belkota (North Tonawanda, NY/Starpoint) has one of the best gloves on the team in the outfield and is poised for a strong senior season.

The outfield group rounds out with junior Therese Losardo (Lancaster, NY/Lancaster), freshman Mikaela Milleville (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield), and senior Rachele Anello (Buffalo, NY/Charter). Losardo has had a productive two seasons with the Spartans, hitting .318 last season. Milleville is a promising young talent that is a plus defender in the outfield. As for Anello, she is a great team leader and a consistent positive influence on her teammates.

D'Youville's freshman class will enter the season looking to make an impact. Catcher Julia Cimino (North Tonawanda, NY/Niagara-Wheatfield), pitcher Mary Andreano (Greece, NY/Greece Athena), and infielder Jordan Hartman (Lake View, NY/Frontier) will all battle for playing time as they look to make their marks in their first year of Spartans.

Missing from this year's team will be sophomore outfielder Jackie Langer and freshman infielder Carly Milleville as both are out with injuries. Langer was one of the best in the conference last season as she was an AMCC Second Team All-Conference selection as a freshman. Milleville is promising player that can make an impact with opportunity.

The Spartans will begin their season this Saturday, March 16 as they play Geneva and Ohio Wesleyan in Florida for their spring training. D'Youville will be in the Kissimmee and Clermont area to play 10 games total before returning to Buffalo as they host RIT on Monday, March 25 at 3/5pm.