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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2016 8:09 am
by Tom Nolette


WATERVILLE, Maine -- With a new head coach and home field, the Colby College softball team begins one of the most exciting seasons in program history.

The Mules start the 2016 season in Clermont, Fla., and will play 10 games on their spring break trip. Colby, under head coach Lisa-Ann Wallace, opens with St. Lawrence University on Sunday at 1 p.m.

The softball program will be part of Colby history when the team opens at home against University of Maine at Farmington on Wednesday, March 30, at 4 p.m. The doubleheader will be the first games played at the new Colby Baseball/Softball Complex. Colby is the first school in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) to construct synthetic turf fields for softball and baseball.

“With the support of President (David) Greene, (Harold Alfond Athletics Director) Tim Wheaton, the alumni, and the new softball complex, it is very exciting to be a part of Colby athletics,” Wallace said. "I'm very comfortable with the vision Colby has for its academic and athletic future."

Wallace has extensive experience as a coach in all three divisions of NCAA softball. She was head coach at Bryant University, which she transitioned from a Division II to a Division I program. Wallace came to Colby after a stint as assistant coach at University of New Mexico.

The Mules finished 11-18 a year ago and 4-8 in league play. Colby saw dramatic improvement in league play after winning just once in 2014.

"I firmly believe they are all-stars in the classroom and they should expect the same from themselves in athletics," said Wallace, who will work with assistant coach Nancy Burgess. "We're stressing the importance of believing in themselves as a team."

Senior captains Emily Schatz (Lyman, Maine), Tori Sansone (Glen Gardner, N.J.), and Katherine Zafirson (Saco, Maine) will lead Colby, which lost just three seniors to graduation last year.

Schatz, a three-year starter at shortstop, earned All-NESCAC Second Team honors last year. She had a batting average of .289 and finished second on the team in runs scored (11), hits (24), at-bats (83), total bases (40), home runs (3), and on-base percentage (.344). Schatz had a .482 slugging percentage, 10 RBI, and led the team with seven doubles. She was strong defensively with a fine .983 fielding percentage.

Sansone, a three-year starter at first base, started all 28 games last season and had a .981 fielding percentage in 218 chances. She was tied for fourth on the team in doubles (4) and drove in five runs. Sophomore Vanessa Warshaw (Westwood, Mass.) also can play first base.

Zafirson, a catcher, started in six games last season and had a perfect fielding percentage. Skylar Labbe (Danville, N.H.) and Zena Robert (Fairfax Station, Va.) are the other catchers on the roster. Labbe had three home runs and was tied for the team lead in RBI (12).

Junior Katie McLaughlin (Glenburn, Maine) returns at third base after finishing fourth on the team in batting average (.274) and second in runs scored (14). Robin Spofford (Cohasset, Mass.) will move from the outfield to second base after leading last year's team in sacrifices (5) and was second in stolen bases (4). First-year Paige Hartnett (Andover, Mass.) can play second base or in the outfield.

Junior outfielder Grace Farnkoff (Scarborough, Maine) had a breakout season a year ago after finishing second in batting average (.295) and tied for first in RBI (12). She also was strong in the field, with a .973 fielding percentage.

Junior outfielder Emma Berger (Newtonville, Mass.) and sophomore Kathleen Mason (East Sandwich, Mass.) will be counted on for more offense. First-year Maddie Taylor (Wells, Maine) should see time in the outfield and can play third base, classmate Emily Dougherty (Dover, Mass.) can play at shortstop or in the outfield, and first-year Sam Rizzo (Swampscott, Mass.) gives more depth at third base.

The pitching staff will consist of one sophomore and two first-years after Megan Michie graduated last May. She was the valedictorian of the Colby Class of 2015 and was nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year.

Sophomore right-hander Julia Saul (Palo Alto, Calif.) led the Mules in appearances (21), starts (16), innings pitched (107.2), and complete games (10). First-year right-handers Wiley Holton (Dedham, Mass.) and Holly Lallis (Gladstone, N.J.) round out the staff.

With the excitement of the new field, Wallace said the team will “partner with local charities for home games this season.

"The partnership will continue to showcase Colby’s beautiful campus and celebrate all of the accomplishments of these amazing young ladies,” Wallace said.

The dedication of the Baseball/Softball Complex will take place on Saturday, April 9, when both teams are at home. The Mules will have an alumni game the following day.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 6:12 am
by Tom Nolette
Colby’s new Baseball and Softball Complex gets First Action ... st-action/