Charlottesville, VA- The SHU Club Softball Team traveled to Charlottesville, VA this past weekend from April 12th-14th where they faced some of the best club softball teams in the country. However, the weekend was more about unity than it was about softball. Graduate Assistant Coach Makenna DiGuilio’s mother was recently diagnosed with cancer, and the team united together to play for her while down in Virigina. Sporting their new warm up t-shirts, the team surprised Makenna to show their support for her mother. “Our team and staff are a family and we are always there for family,” said Director of Club Sports and Head Club Softball coach Ray Mencio, “The DiGuilio family is important to all of us and we want to support them however we can.”
Despite the predicted heavy downpours, the start time of game one was only delayed 45 minutes. The Pioneers opened off the weekend Friday night, facing the 2018 defending NCSA National Champions, Navy, who is also currently ranked #1 in the 2019 season. Navy started out the top of the first inning very strong, and unfortunately SHU was unable to fight back from the 3-0 deficit from the first inning. Navy ended up adding 3 more runs, and the Pioneers added only 1 run to the board, but unfortunately that was not enough. The Pioneers lost the first game 6-1.
The Pioneers came back ready to fight during their next three games on Saturday. SHU faced the University of Delaware in the first of three games, where they fell to the Blue Hens, 11-2. After a short game break, Sacred Heart had flawless pitching and impeccable defense, where the Pioneers defeated Towson University, 2-1. Following the first Pioneer win of the weekend, the team faced off against Penn State. The Pioneers fought hard, however the hits were not falling in and SHU took the loss of 4-1.
After a long day on Saturday, the Pioneers woke up refreshed for an 8:00am start against James Madison University. The game was played during heavy rain showers, and with frequent stops to obtain a dry ball for the pitchers to pitch with resulted in an early game call in the top of the 5th inning with a final score of JMU winning 5-2. Due to the rain, all teams were only allowed to play one game on Sunday, so the Pioneers second game scheduled for a 9:30am start against Virginia Tech was cancelled.
On the pitching side, Daniela Miceli earned 1 win on the weekend with 7 innings pitched, allowing 8 hits, 1 earned run, 3 strikeouts, and 1 walk. Significant Pioneers hitting stats include Freshman Hailey King, went 3-12 with 1 RBI. Sophomore Julia Beretta went 3-11 with 1 RBI and a stolen base. Junior Amanda Harkins went 4-10 with a homerun, 3 doubles, and had 3 RBI’s. Junior Captain, Jackie Noftle went 3-12 with 2 doubles, and scored 3 runs.
The scores did not reflect the performance and effort of the team. The team was considered an underdog in the tournament, and even with their backs against the wall, the Pioneers fought hard against some of the best club softball teams in the country. The SHU Club Softball Team is back in action at home today, April 17th, at 3:30pm against Western Connecticut State University.