Lady Cavs softball team shooting for success in new season

By Robert Riches
March 14, 2012

Now that spring has made its return, softball season will return as well. The Cavaliers  softball squad will look to make a big turnaround from last season.

Last year, the team finished with one win over the .500 mark in the Colonial States Athletic Conference with a 12-11 record but finished with a 13-20 record overall. They also finished in sixth place in the CSAC. This season, they may have what it takes to improve their record and gun for their sixth CSAC title.

“Our main goal in 2012 is definitely winning the CSAC championship,” senior third baseman Ryan McDonough said. McDonough also happens to be one of three seniors on this year’s team, alongside first baseman Angela Shookster and shortstop Sammy Thompson.

Senior third baseman Ryan McDonough played in all 33 of her team’s games last year while hitting .272 and driving in 20 runs. -- Cabrini College Athletics Department / Submitted photo

While the Cavs are aiming high, they face some stiff competition. They have to go through the Neumann University Knights, who finished in first place last season; the Baptist Bible College Defenders, who are currently in first place as of press time; and the Centenary College Cyclones, who won last year’s CSAC Championship and have been selected as the team most likely to win this year’s title by CSAC coaches.

“As far as our competition goes, our conference has a bunch of repeat contenders in Neumann, Centenary and Marywood [University]…and a few underdogs that are always solid teams in Baptist Bible and Immaculata [University],” McDonough said. “Personally, I see our biggest competition this year in Neumann and Immaculata.”

The team opened their 2012 campaign in Cocoa Beach, Fla., and went 3-5 against schools such as MacMurray College (Ill.), North Central University (Minn.), Bloomfield College (N.J.) and Carlow University (Pa.). They are scheduled to open up CSAC play on Friday, March 16, against the Immaculata Mighty Macs, which is also their first home game of the season at Cabrini Field.

“Immaculata has been on the rise in the past couple of years and they have a really young team that is very talented and very determined,” McDonough said.

In 32 starts at the hot corner for the Cavaliers last season, McDonough recorded 25 hits for a batting average of .272. Her 20 runs batted in (RBIs) were the second-most on the team, behind Shookster, who notched 21. Her seven doubles were second-most on the team as well, behind Thompson, who recorded 10. McDonough also scored 11 runs, good for fifth on the team and slugged one home run. As long as McDonough and her teammates continue to post superb numbers, the rest of their season should turn out very well.

“I think we are our biggest competition this year,” McDonough said. “If we can be mentally prepared and keep our heads in each and every game, we can hang with anyone.”

While the Cavaliers did not enjoy too much success in their 2011 campaign, they may have the talent needed to win their first CSAC title since 2004. Four promising freshmen, seven experienced sophomores and juniors and three leading seniors under the leadership of fifth-year coach Lisa McGregor may make a tremendous impact on the CSAC this season.

“I think that this year, we have the most overall talent I’ve seen in my four years on the team, so we are well equipped to have a great season,” McDonough said.

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Robert Riches

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