#39 Hofstra Softball 2016 Preview

Hofstra Pride

Overall Rank: #39
Conference Rank: #2 CAA

Hofstra Softball Preview

Hofstra Team Page


Hofstra had quite the season in Coach Larissa Anderson's first year as the Pride's coach. Hofstra won its third Colonial Athletic Association title in four years and made the NCAA Tournament for the fourth consecutive season. In Hofstra's 13 NCAA Tournament appearances since 2000, the team has won at least one game in the tournament each time. Hofstra went an impressive 17-3 during CAA play, including a perfect 9-0 record on the road.

2015: 38-14-1, 17-3
2015 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Larissa Anderson

Field Players:
The experience that the Pride brings back seems almost unfair, as the top seven hitters return after each started a minimum of 46 games. Caryn Bailey, who started all 53 games last season, returns after leading the team in average (.382), runs (47), triples (two), home runs (16), RBI (52), slugging % (.737) and walks (32). The senior, who has been a CAA All-Conference First Team and NFCA First Team All-Northeast Region member twice each in her career, also was a perfect nine-of-nine in stolen bases. Leadoff hitter Chloe Fitzgerald returns after hitting .372 last season and leading the team in hits with 71 and a team-high 10 stolen bases. The team hit 56 home runs last season and 54 of those come back this year. Megan Patierno hit eight bombs, Brielle Pietrafesa hit seven and Lacey Clark, Kim Smith and Michaela Transue each hit six.

The Pride's 2015 pitching staff was led by Morgan Lashley and Taylor Pirone who combined to throw 359.1 of the team's 365.2 innings pitched. Unfortunately both Lashley and Pirone graduated, leaving Hofstra with a huge hole in the circle. Enter junior Jessica Peslak and freshman Madison Grimm. Madison has made seven combined appearances in her two seasons at the school, while this will be Grimm's first season for Hofstra.

Who to Watch:
Jessica Pesiak and Madison Grimm. Grimm comes to Hofstra after an impressive high school career that saw her go 18-2 with 210 strikeouts and a 0.75 ERA in 130 innings as a senior en route to being named the Baltimore Sun's Softball Player of the Year. Pesiak made six relief appearances last season and one in her freshman season. Last year, she had a 6.18 ERA in 5.2 innings. Despite not seeing much action in her two years at Hofstra, Pesiak has been successful in the past, having compiled a 72-10 career record with 803 strikeouts in 495 innings and a 0.59 ERA in her prep years.

Final Projection:
Hofstra has been a staple at the top of the CAA and will look to continue that, but it will probably need to win a lot of high-scoring games at least at the beginning of the season while the pitching comes around. With the powerful offense the Pride returns, it doesn't seem like that should be much of a problem. The Pride starts the season in a tournament with Florida Atlantic and SIUE, before traveling to Florida Gulf Coast to take on the host Eagles and St. Louis, amongst other teams. Other big nonconference matchups include games against Florida State, Penn State, Fordham and Syracuse to name a few. The Key matchup in the CAA will most likely come down to the last weekend of the season when Hofstra travels to James Madison.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Chloe Fitzgerald, OF, 191
Hits: Chloe Fitzgerald, OF, 71
Home Runs: Caryn Bailey, OF, 16
RBIs: Caryn Bailey, OF, 52
Runs: Caryn Bailey, OF, 47
Stolen Bases: Chloe Fitzgerald, OF, 10

Wins: None
Innings Pitched: Jessica Pesiak, 5.2
Strikeouts: Jessica Pesiak, 6
Complete Games: None


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