#40 Hofstra Softball 2019 Preview

Hofstra Pride
Overall Rank: #40
Conference Rank: #2 CAA
 Hofstra Logo
Hofstra welcomes veteran coach Jay Miller as the new leader of the softball program replacing Larissa Anderson, who left to take over as head coach of Missouri after last season. The Pride won the Colonial Athletic Association championship last year breaking the mini strangle hold by James Madison. Hofstra also picked up some big wins last year against the likes of Florida State and Boston University. They also just missed out on eliminating South Carolina in the Columbia Regional as the Gamecocks eliminated Hofstra on a two-out walk-off homerun in the bottom of the 7th inning of an elimination game.
2018: 41-14, 17-4
2018 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Jay Miller
Key Departed Players:
Brielle Pietrafesa, OF, .348 BA, 13 HR, 55 RBI
Brittany Allocca, C/IF, .339 BA, 16 HR, 53 RBI
Sarah Edwards, INF, .336 BA, 6 HR, 32 RBI
Nikki Michalowski, OF, .292 BA, 10 HR, 32 RBI
Sophie Dandola, P, 1.88 ERA, 18-5 W/L, 145.0 IP, 28 BB, 73 SO
Sarah Cornell, P, 2.30 ERA, 23-9 W/L, 222.1 IP, 75 BB, 245 SO
Megan Patierno, IF, .231 BA, 9 HR, 33 RBI
Key Returning Players:
Kristin Hallam, INF, .319 BA, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 11 SB
Courtney Scarpato, P/OF/INF, .8 HR, 36 RBI
Lydia Witkowski, OF, .259 BA, 0 HR, 5 RBI
Coach Miller and his staff will have a very young team heading into the 2019 season, but there is some stability in place on the coaching staff with Julie Meyer being promoted to associate head coach. The two main starters need to be replaced in the circle with Sarah Cornell and Sophie Dandola having transferred to Alabama and Syracuse, respectively. The transfers of Cornell and Dandola are a great example of the damage this new free agency in college softball can do to mid-major programs. Courtney Scarpato is the only returning pitcher and will need to step up quickly to take the pressure off of several incoming freshmen pitchers. Kristin Hallam is an experienced everyday player that will also need to lead a talented young group of position players. The schedule will be tough in the opening weekend as the Pride will take part in the St. Pete/Clearwater Elite Invitational and will play Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Utah. Illinois, Georgia Tech, South Alabama, and Kennesaw State will provide some more manageable tests in ensuing weeks. James Madison visits Hempstead in the first weekend of April for a key conference tilt. Bottom line, there will be growing pains for Hofstra early on in the season, but they should get better as the season goes along and be in the mix for an NCAA Tournament berth by May.
Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament