COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College softball team was selected to place eighth in the Northeast-10 Conference's Northeast Division in the preseason coaches' poll, which was released by the league office today and was chosen by the member institutions' head coaches. The Purple Knights received 33 points in the eight-team division, while 2018 national runner-up Saint Anselm College placed first with 108 points.
Saint Michael's finished 10-25 last season while going 7-18 in the NE10, including 6-15 in the division to place sixth. The Purple Knights swept three-game series from both Franklin Pierce University and Stonehill College, which tied for sixth in the preseason poll with 38 points apiece, while losing a combined nine games by three runs or fewer against top-ranked Saint Anselm, No. 2 Southern New Hampshire University, No. 3 Merrimack College, No. 4 Assumption College and fifth-place Bentley University. Saint Michael's also picked up a 2-1 win over Pace University, which was slotted second in the Southwest Division while leading its division with seven first-place votes.
Six regulars return to the roster in 2019, including junior utility player Torie Rathwell (Guilderland, N.Y./Guilderland), a two-time all-conference selection who batted .350 with 18 RBIs, eight doubles, two triples and three home runs while also making 12 starts in the circle, where she fanned 28 but walked only 11 in 73.1 innings. Senior Fallon Tierney (Reading, Mass./Reading Memorial) split time between catcher and the outfield while hitting .288 with 11 runs and three doubles, while junior Danielle Markowski (Ellington, Conn./Ellington) slugged five doubles and four home runs with 19 RBIs from first base. Tierney was National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) All-East Region as a sophomore.
Three other juniors were lineup regulars for the first time. Infielder Aleksandra Apkarian (Butler, N.J./Butler) posted 19 hits and four doubles while walking five times and being hit by six pitches, Katie Terban (Georgetown, Mass./Saint Mary's) had 13 hits, three doubles and nine walks from third base, while outfielder Julia Sevigny (Rocky Hill, Conn./Rocky Hill) contributed 14 hits and eight walks while being hit four times. Senior southpaw Molly Feeney (Valhalla, N.Y./John F. Kennedy Catholic) provides another veteran arm, having struck out 37 batters over 82.1 career innings.
With first-year head coach Nick Goodreau at the helm, the Purple Knights begin their campaign in Florida for the 18th consecutive season, playing 10 games in the Clermont area in mid-March. Saint Michael's opens its Northern and NE10 slates at The College of Saint Rose on March 23 before kicking off its home schedule against Saint Anselm on March 29.