BOSTON – The Suffolk softball team headed west Thursday afternoon to open up its 33rd slate in the Cooper State as the Rams are set to compete in the Tucson Invitational March 11-16.
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The Tucson Invitational is a premier destination for both baseball and softball spring training trips. Suffolk's tournament field features Augsburg, Central, Dickinson, Eastern Connecticut State, Greenville, Hamlin, Puget Sound, Stevens, Wisconsin La Crosse and Wisconsin Platteville.
Saturday, March 11
Saturday, March 11
Sunday, March 12
Sunday, March 12
Tuesday, March 14
Tuesday, March 14
Wednesday, March 15
Wednesday, March 15
Thursday, March 16
Thursday, March 16
Coming off the strongest spring in program history in which Suffolk went 33-9 and 18-4 in GNAC play, the most wins in the 32-year program, the Rams will have no easy task building off last year's success, but look to take the next step in order to reach their ultimate goal of the NCAA Tournament.
Reigning GNAC Coach of the Year Jaclyn Davis brought in four recruits to her veteran squad that welcomes back a bevy of talent.
The Rams will look upon FPN Preseason All-America Second-Team selection Delaney Sylvester, a junior catcher from Worcester, Massachusetts, who hit .492, slugged .738 with eight homeruns last season, while driving in 46 runs and striking out just four times in 126 plates appearances in 2016, all career bests, to lead the way. Jill Pulek, a preseason honorable mention All-American, had a standout first collegiate season for the Rams as designated player, batting .465, slugging .798 with eight homers, driving in 38 runs and scoring 46 herself, all as a true freshman.
With Sylvester and Pulek headlining the group, Suffolk's starting lineup has the potential to be a constant headache from top to bottom for opposing teams. Junior outfielder Devlin Frost returns after hitting .365 and scoring 43 runs playing in 42 games, while Morgan Parmeter takes the field in Boston for her final campaign coming off a .360, 23-run junior season. Infielders Evelyn Marquis and Karina Miranda enter their sophomore years after hitting .360 and .354, respectively.
With the Rams offense locked and loaded for 2017, the blue-and-gold's pitching staff welcomes back an exuberance amount of experience to the circle. Jaclyn Davis' stable features juniors Taylor Holmes and Ali Yamakaitis, sophomore Jaclyn Flint and newcomer Hannah DelCervo.
Yamakaitis, a third-team all-league hurler from last season, put together a 2.25 ERA in 22 appearances, 20 of which she started, for a 12-5 overall ledger. The rightie sat down a team-best 73 hitters in 115.1 innings of work.
Holmes, meanwhile, boasted the team's best ERA at 2.07 in her first season in blue-and-gold. She saw 98.0 innings of action over 22 games, 17 of which she started in the circle, for a 12-1 ledger. Holmes punched out 63 batters.
ON THE BENCH
Jaclyn Davis enters her fifth season as head coach of Suffolk softball. Last season, she earned her 100th career victory on the bench as head coach and looks to make Rams history as the winningest coach in the program's 33-year history. Davis is five wins shy of 100 total at the helm of the Suffolk program and six victories short of being the all-time winningest Suffolk softball coach.
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Since 1987 Suffolk is 6-23 in the first game of the season. Starting in 1995 the Rams have taken a neutral field on day one of the season and picked up five of their opening day victories on neutral turf. Underneath Jaclyn Davis, Suffolk picked up its first and only win on day one last season, an 8-5 triumph over Kenyon.
THAT'S A FIRST
When the Rams travel to the Cooper State for the first time in program history, the Rams will also take the diamond against fresh competition as Suffolk is set to meet Central, Dickinson, Eastern Connecticut State, Greenville, Hamline, Stevens, Wisconsin La Crosse and Wisconsin Platteville for the first time in program history.
Since 1987, Suffolk has taken the field against 160 opponents. The Rams have not dropped a game to 36 of their all-time foes to hold an unbeaten record against .225 percent of their all-time competition. This season Suffolk will attempt to remain undefeated against Anna Maria, Augsburg and Salem State.
Senior Lindsay Pagano has been selected to lead the Rams as captain this season.
Suffolk's home GNAC twin bills against Norwich April 1, Johnson & Wales April 8 and Lasell April 23 will be part of a Rams' doubleheader as the Suffolk baseball team will host Albertus Magnus, Norwich and the Lasers on those same dates.
GET THE WHOLE PICTURE
Ram Nation has a chance to preview the 2017 Suffolk softball season and review the past in the official 2017 Suffolk Softball Media Guide here.
SCOUTING THE TUCSON INVITATIONAL FIELD
The Dutch return seven starts from a 23-15 team and are looking to return to the NCAA Division III tournament under the guidance of NFCA Hall of Fame coach George Wares.
Lauren Hurley is leading the way for the Auggie's offensively, batting .600 off six hits with five RBI and one run scored. Carly Dropik, meanwhile, has crossed home four times and brought in five runs on three hits.
Samantha Anderson is Augsburg go-to pitcher, throwing 15.0 innings through the first four games. The sophomore boasts a 1.40 ERA with 18 strikeouts.
EASTERN CONNECTICUT STATE – TEAM WEBSITE – 2016 STATS
Eastern Connecticut State also opens its campaign versus the blue-and-gold and looks to approve upon a down season that saw the Warriors go 15-25 in 2016.
The Warriors outfield will be anchored with experience, but the same can't be said for the infield with three newcomers earning starting spots with a freshman catcher and a senior and freshman splitting most of the starts in the pitching circle.
WISCONSIN PLATTEVILLE – TEAM WEBSITE – 2017 STATS
Wisconsin Platteville is winless in 2017 with doubleheader setbacks at Webster and Westminster (Mo.) to head to the Cooper State 0-4. Prior to facing Suffolk on Sunday, the Pioneers will face Central and Augsburg on Saturday.
The Pioneers 12 hits have come off six different bats with Rachel Bonnell, Jessy Tanel and Emily Woodford raking up three apiece. Bonnell has brought in a team-best three RBI, while LaRissa O'Kimosh paces Platteville in runs with three.
Bonnell has seen the most action inside the circle with 14.2 innings pitched. In just one start, the freshman owns a 5.73 ERA with 12 strikeouts.
Brittany Baldwin's bat leads the way for La Crosse with eight hits, three RBI and four runs scored. Stephanie Cole's four RBI sit atop the team thanks to five hits. Sydney Murphy also has five hits and brought in two runs.
Jessie Carignan and Caitlyn Hughes have each earned two starts in the circle for the Eagles. Carignan boasts a 2.25 ERA with six strikeouts, while Hughes holds a 6.18 ERA and sat down three hitters. Katie Klein leads the Eagles' staple with a 1.70 ERA all in relief efforts. Klein is also the leading twirler in Ks with seven to her credit.
Puget Sound holds a 5-5 record and will play a four-game series with Lewis & Clark before heading to Tucson. The Rams and Loggers will meet Tuesday, March 14.
Jessica Gott has produced team high numbers in hits, 16, RBI, 7, and has scored six runs with Jaci Young's seven runs pacing Puget Sound. Amber Popovich and Erica Gott have also produced double digit hits with 12 and 10, respectively. The former brought in five runs, while the latter has two RBI to her credit.
Young is the go-to hurler for the Loggers with the senior earning the nod four times. In 24.1 innings of work, she recorded a 2.30 ERA with seven strikeouts. Gott, meanwhile, holds down a 2.96 ERA and boasts a team-best 13 Ks in 23.2 innings of action.
GREENVILLE – TEAM WEBSITE – 2017 STATS
After falling at Brescia, 5-2, in its season opener, Greenville has been on a roll as of late, rattling off three victories. The Panthers head to Tucson 3-1 with five opponents ahead of their meeting with the Rams Wednesday, March 15.
At the plate, Kate Joliff is the leader for Greenville with 10 rBI on eight hits, including three doubles. The junior has also crossed home four times. Tiffany Samsoe is second on tehs quad in RBI with seven on eight hits and leads the way in runs scored, six.
Five different hurlers have split action inside the circle for the Panthers. Kaitlyn Johnson has seen the most time, 7.2 innings, and holds the best ERA of 1.83 with four strikeouts. Cayla Speaks has worked 6.0 innings inside the circle to grab a 2.33 ERA.
STEVENS INSTITUTE – TEAM WEBSITE – 2017 STATS
Stevens swept a two-game series versus Fairleigh Dickinson, 4-0, 8-2, to prep for the Tucson Invitational tournament, where it will seven opponents before taking the diamond against the Rams Wednesday, March 15.
Lauren Shirley and Olivia Gemma are slugging over 1.000 each with the former owning a .857 average and .857 on-base percentage. She holds down team high numbers in hits (6), including one double and one triple, and runs (2) and has brought also brought in two. Gemma, meanwhile, owns a team best three RBI batting .500.
Gemma owns one win the circle in 5.0 innings of work in a shutout. Marissa Cappello has also not given up a run in 3.0 innings with three strikeouts with Christine LaRochelle punching out a team high six batters in 6.0 innings for a 2.33 ERA.
HAMLINE – TEAM WEBSITE – 2017 STATS
Hamline prepped for Tucson with a doubleheader against Northland, which it swept, taking game one, 5-3, and posting a 5-0 shutout in the nightcap. The Pipers will open Tucson play Suffolk on the last day of its trip, Thursday, March 16.
Aubree Douglas has brought in a team-high three runs on three hits. Casey Anderson, Chelsea Koehn and Mary-Clare Couillard have scored two runs apiece with Koehn also bringing in three runs.
Casey Anderson threw a complete-game shutout, sitting down eight batters, while Sarah DeMars put together a 1.00 ERA with nine strikeouts in a complete-game effort.
DICKINSON ATHLETICS – TEAM WEBSITE – 2017 STATS
After being shutout at Mary Washington, 8-0, Dickinson righted the wrong taking game two, 5-3, to move to 1-1 on the year. The Devils open up their Tucson trip on March 12 and will face Suffolk Thursday, March 16.
Alicia Lane is the leader for the Devils with three hits and two RBI. Five different players are responsible for Dickinson's five runs this season.
Killian Kueny picked up the win in the circle, allowing just two earned runs in a complete-game effort with three strikeouts to her credit.
After its Spring Break trip, Suffolk heads back to New England where it is set to face Emerson in a doubleheader Friday, March 24.