Lisa McGregor has been named the new softball coach. She brings fresh leadership to a young Cavalier team.
“I’m very excited for the season. I see a lot of potential in these girls. With the impressive leadership on this team it should be a successful season,” McGregor said.
During the 2006-2007 season Cabrini softball had an overall record of 16-23 losing in the first round of PAC playoffs to Eastern University.
After losing only two seniors the team has 14 returning players including junior slugger Kristie Sandefur, a 2006-2007 All PAC first team selection and leading home run hitter with 15 last season.
“I think the experience will put us in a great position to win. Our juniors and seniors have playoff experience and want to keep the successful tradition of Cabrini softball alive,” McGregor said.
Over the past decade the Cabrini softball has seen great success, winning five Pennsylvania Athletic Conference Championships from 2000-2004.
During the five-year span the Cavaliers made the NCAA tournament each year. In 2001 the team was ranked 10th nationally for Division III.
McGregor, 24, was raised in Royersford, Pa. where she started playing t-ball at the age of 5. Her love of the game led her to play in a 12-and-under fast pitch softball league where she discovered her talents on the field.
While attending Spring-Ford High School, McGregor was a multi-sport athlete playing softball, field hockey and basketball. Her athletic abilities earned her 2001 female athlete of the year for her high school. In addition she was twice honored as the Pioneer Athletic Conference MVP as she led her softball team to PAC-10 Championships in 2000 and 2002.
Following her high school career McGregor chose to play softball at the University of Pittsburgh. A four-year member of the softball team, McGregor helped Pitt earn the school’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2006.
“It was great experience playing at Pitt. It was a young program when I first got there but I knew it was the right fit. We grew as a team and as individuals because of the expectations we set for ourselves and the expectations our coach set for our team,” McGregor said.
While earning a bachelor of arts in sports and recreation with minors in coaching and aquatics, McGregor received Big East All-Academic Team honors in 2005 and was named to the Pitt Scholar-Athlete All-Academic Team.
She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sport and athletic administration from West Chester University.
“It was difficult being a student-athlete because of the travel. As a team we took pride in having the highest grade point average of all the sports teams on campus. We had to learn time management because we started traveling in February and wouldn’t stop till the middle of May playing about 60 games,” McGregor said.
After her time at Pitt, McGregor spent one year on the coaching staff at Saint Lawrence University and Pennsylvania College of Technology.
“I can see myself at a Division I program, just not right now. I love being at Cabrini and I don’t see myself leaving anytime soon,” McGregor said.
Last season the team had a combined batting average of .300, with a .330 on base percentage and a .435 slugging percentage during the 2006-2007 season.
“Our team will be hitting at every practice whether we work on fundamentals, drill work, live pitching or batting cages,” McGregor said. If you can’t score you can’t win.”
A young pitching staff made up of two freshmen and one sophomore led to an earned run average of 7.62 as opponents hit an average of .355, with a .411 on base percentage and a .522 slugging percentage last season.
“Pitching experience does help. Hits are going to happen so walks definitely have to be kept to a minimum. We can’t afford to give up those unearned bases. Hopefully we will be able to keep all our pitchers healthy this season to have a strong staff,” sophomore Cheri Johns, a pitcher and exercise science and health promotion major, said.
While hitting and pitching are major parts of softball coming together as a team is just as important.
“I think that one of the main things we need to work on is our team chemistry. One of the biggest benefits we’ve always had as a team is that we had a lot of chemistry on the field and hopefully we’ll be able to continue with that,” junior Kristie Sandefur, a third baseman and psychology major, said.
The team opens its season in Norfolk, Va. on Feb. 29 in the Beach Blast 2008 tournament at Virginia Wesleyan College.
“The girls are going to work hard this winter, all preseason and they will be ready when it comes game time. I think it will be a fun season to follow Cabrini softball,” McGregor said.