2019 Season Preview: Softball

2019 Season Preview: Softball

BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off a 2018 campaign that ended one win short of a second straight conference title and NCAA Tournament berth, the Babson College softball team looks to return to the top of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) this spring.

LEADING OFF
Under the direction of head coach Dave Canan, who enters his 20th season in charge of the program, the Beavers finished the 2018 season at 27-16 after advancing to the league tournament final for the fourth time in seven years. The Green and White returns 14 players, seven of which started at least 26 contests last spring.

SENIOR LEADERS
The only four-year seniors on the roster, outfielder Josephine Mares (Houston, Texas) and third baseman Ashley Tango (Reading, Mass.), have both played in more than 125 games over the last three seasons. A career .329 hitter, Mares finished with three doubles, three triples, 11 RBI and 31 runs scored last spring, while Tango earned all-conference honors after batting a career-best .336 with 11 doubles, one home run and 24 runs batted in.

EXPERIENCE IN THE INFIELD
Joining Tango in the infield are a pair of two-year starters in juniors Jacqueline Paul (Burlington, N.J.) and Annie Mitchell (Rehoboth, Mass.). Paul has started 83 games at first base and is coming off a 2018 campaign that saw her hit .331 with career highs of 22 runs scored and 32 runs batted in. Mitchell, who hit .242 as a first-year in 2017, started 38 games at shortstop last year despite being limited to just 11 at-bats due to an injury. Senior Alex Corrigan (Middletown, N.J.), who will likely start at second base, started 19 times a season ago and batted .317 with six doubles and seven RBI.

THROWING STRIKES
Juniors Brooke Stock (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and Katie Gademsky (Hillsborough, N.J.) enter the season as Babson's top two pitchers after putting up successful numbers last spring. Stock, who has won 24 games over her first two seasons, went 8-7 with a 2.04 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 89.1 innings while holding opposing hitters to a .240 average. Gademsky went 3-3 with a 4.23 ERA and was superb over her last six appearances going 2-1 with a 1.53 earned run average.

VETERAN BEHIND THE PLATE
After splitting catching duties over her first two seasons, junior Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) will take over as the Beavers' full-time starting catcher. She batted .274 with five doubles, four home runs and 10 RBI, while allowing just four passed balls and making one error in 39 games.

COVERING GROUND IN THE OUTFIELD
Joining Mares in the outfield is the trio of junior Victoria Casey (Emerson, N.J.), classmate Kayla Schinik (Watchung, N.J.) and sophomore Jamie Hoffman (Manhattan Beach, Calif.), all of which made at least 20 starts last season. Casey batted .321 with eight doubles and 14 runs batted in, Schinik is a career .273 hitter and led the team with three outfield assists in 2018, and Hoffman hit .270 with six doubles and seven RBI as a rookie.

READY WHEN CALLED UPON
The trio of senior Allison King (Kennebunk, Maine), junior Charlie Guscott (Milton, Mass.) and sophomore Elizabeth D'Agostino (Newton, Mass.) give the Beavers depth and experience at a number of positions in the infield. King has appeared in 20 career games, while both Guscott and D'Agostino missed time due to injury last year.

POLL POSITION
The Green and White received three first-place votes and came in just behind defending regular season tournament champions MIT. The NEWMAC, which had four teams win at least 26 games last season, has sent at least one program to the NCAA Tournament Super Regionals in four consecutive years.

CHALLENGES ALONG THE WAY
After opening the season with 10 games in Florida from March 16-21, the Beavers return home to face a schedule stocked with tough regional opponents. In addition to its 18-game NEWMAC slate, the Green and White also has doubleheaders scheduled against Tufts, Framingham State, Endicott and UMass Boston.