CALDWELL TABBED FIRST IN CACC SOFTBALL PRESEASON POLL
NEW HAVEN, CT (February 12, 2009) - Caldwell College has been picked first according to the 2009 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Preseason Softball Poll, which was voted upon by the league's 13 head coaches. The Cougars picked up eight of the 13 first-place votes and 163 total points, while Georgian Court University was voted first on five ballots to finish second in the poll.
Caldwell, which is ranked 24th by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) preseason poll, won the CACC Tournament Championship last season and captured the CACC's automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Regional Tournament. The Cougars won two games at the regional before being eliminated. Caldwell has won the CACC Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Regional in four of the last five seasons. Caldwell was ranked 16th in the final 2008 NFCA poll with a 35-22 record.
Head coach Dean Johnson, who begins his 15th season, returns 11 players from last year's squad, led by senior second baseman Gina Capardi. Capardi earned NFCA and Daktronics first team All-American honors and was named the CACC Player of the Year after batting .422 with 79 hits, seven home runs and 51 runs batted in. Other first team All-CACC performers who return include juniors Danielle Genovese and Kyrie Timbrook, and sophomore Annie Forte. Sophomore pitcher Brittany Pulido, who made the All-CACC second team, was the Cougars' top pitcher a year ago, turning in a record of 18-8 with an earned-run average of 2.10.
Georgian Court collected five first-place votes and finished just behind Caldwell with 160 points. The Lions, who are ranked 17th by the NFCA Preseason Poll, will be led by the 2008 CACC Pitcher of the Year, senior Samantha Sasko. Sasko was named the Daktronics Northeast Region Pitcher of the Year and finished 27-10 on the year with 283 strikeouts in 224.0 innings to go with a 1.69 ERA. In addition to Sasko, senior leadership will be provided by infielders Mallory Kirchner and Stephanie Cuevas. Also back is sophomore first team All-CACC outfielder Jessica Comiskey. The Lions won the 2008 CACC regular-season championship with a 22-2 record and made their second straight trip to the NCAA Regional. GCU will be guided by head coach Jeff Franquet, who was voted CACC Coach of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
Dominican was selected third with 133 points and will welcome back two first team All-CACC picks in junior shortstop Cara Piasecki and senior outfielder Sarah Beck. Piasecki ranked among league leaders in batting average (.422, third), home runs (12, first), doubles (13, seventh), RBI's (42, third), slugging percentage (.695, second) and total bases (121, second). Beck finished eighth in the conference with a .383 batting average and 87 total bases, third with 67 hits, seventh with a .423 on-base percentage and ninth with 35 RBI. The Chargers finished third in the CACC regular-season standings in 2008 with an 18-6 record and a 30-24 overall mark.
Wilmington was picked fourth with 126 points and the Wildcats return first team All-CACC pitcher Katie Turner and second team picks Lindsay Watson and Kristin Tomlinson. Turner led the CACC with a 1.18 ERA and four saves, was fourth with 16 victories and third with 139 strikeouts. Tomlinson, a sophomore outfielder, finished the season with a .333 batting average along with 22 RBI and 15 runs scored, while Watson, a junior infielder, hit .274 and finished seventh in the CACC in runs scored with 37. She also went 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts.
Holy Family was selected fifth in the poll with 116 points. The Tigers welcome back second team All-CACC pitcher, Jody Searfoss, who went 12-9 last season with a 1.51 ERA (third in CACC) and 154 strikeouts in 134.2 innings of work.
The rest of the poll is rounded out by Bloomfield (102), USP (81), Felician (77), Philadelphia (72), Post (65), Nyack and Goldey-Beacom (34) and Chestnut Hill (20).
The complete 2009 CACC softball preseason poll is listed below.
|2009 CACC Softball Preseason Poll|
|1. Caldwell (8)||35-22/19-5 CACC||163|
|2. Georgian Court (5)||39-16/22-2||160|
|5. Holy Family||22-22/16-8||116|
|13. Chestnut Hill||12-33/6-18||20|
|() - First Place Votes|