Softball Off To Torrid Start

By Scott Gibbons, Assistant Athletic Director for Media Relations & Promotions

Head Softball Coach Maria Morin’s team turned the corner during the 2001 season last spring. The Anchorwomen won 23 games and placed third in the Little East Conference, the highest finish for any of Morin’s teams during her seven years at the helm.

RIC has built upon its success from last spring this season and jumped out to a 8-3 start. Both losses came at the Snowbird Softball Classic in Myrtle Beach during the club’s spring break trip. The Anchorwomen have won seven of their last eight games.

"Although we’re a very young club," Morin says, "we definitely have what it takes to bring this program to the next level. We’re leading the conference in hitting, that’s never happened before. Our defense has been pretty solid and our pitchers are getting the job done. The kids get along great, which is another thing that helps the program."

Of the 13 players on the team, six of them are new to the squad this year, three of them are starters. Rookie sensation Casey Soares leads a pack of talented newcomers. She is 5-2 with a 2.19 earned run average and 29 strikeouts in 37 innings of work. She has also found her groove at the plate, batting .355 with ten runs scored, 11 hits, one double, one triple and five RBI.

Third baseman Amy Machado and catcher Rachael Caldwell are also white-hot at the plate, each batting .400 on the season.

When looking at the foundation of the team, one has to look no farther than pitcher/designated player Kim Warrington. The phenom was First Team All-ECAC and Little East as a DP, coupled with a Second Team All-LEC selection as a pitcher in her rookie year last spring.

"We’re off to a great start," Warrington says. "Everybody really wants it and there’s a lot of determination on this team." On the mound, Warrington has done her part to lead the team, posting a 3-1 record with 31 strikeouts in 37-plus innings of work.

Junior shortstop Melanie Miller points to the team’s closeness as the reason for the squad’s winning ways. "We get along so well and that makes it easier to communicate. Usually we start off slow, but the fall season helped us come together as a team."

Miller is batting .282 with seven runs scored, 11 hits, two doubles, one steal and three RBI. In addition to Warrington and Miller, junior first baseman Michele Fanelli has carried the team. The First Team All-LEC selection in ’01 is batting .429 with ten runs, 18 hits, four doubles, one triple and a team-high 13 RBI. She leads the LEC in hits, doubles and RBI.

With the Little East Conference schedule just around corner, the team is poised to make a run at the LEC title. With a wide-open field this spring, Miller is confident. "Overall, we have a very good chance of winning it all."

 

 

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