2017 Hamilton softball season preview

2017 Hamilton softball season preview

The Hamilton College softball team returns 14 letter winners from a 2016 squad that set program records for most runs, hits and homers in a season.

Captains Daphne Assimakopoulos '17, Phoebe Collins '18 and Liz Brautigam '19 lead the Continentals into 2017. Brautigam was selected for the 2016 NESCAC Softball All-Conference Team at catcher in her rookie season. She hit .308 (37-for-120) and threw out 13 of 38 would-be base stealers.

Hamilton's offense was front-and-center last year as the Continentals finished with 181 runs, 292 hits and 15 home runs in 36 games. Five first-years were regulars in the starting lineup and three more appeared in at least 20 games. Three of the four pitchers were rookies as well.

Assimakopoulos hit .288 and drove in 19 runs on 19 hits in 66 at-bats. Collins hit .267 (23-for-86) in 32 games. Olivia Gozdz '16, who was a three-time member of the all-conference first team as an outfielder, graduated as Hamilton's all-time leader in runs, hits and doubles.

Delaney Nicol '19 leads all returners with a .368 batting average, .434 on-base percentage and .526 slugging percentage last year. Nicol ended up with 36 hits, 26 RBI, 24 runs and four round-trippers. She also stole nine bases.

Ashleah Yzaguirre '19 hit .313 (36-for-115) with 21 runs batted in and a team-high seven doubles. Yzaguirre also led the team by getting hit by eight pitches. Ursula Castiblanco '19 posted a .308 batting average (32-for-104) with 22 runs, 21 RBI and seven doubles. Castiblanco also set a team record with 213 putouts at first base.

Hannah Staab '17 recorded a .272 batting average (22-for-81) last year. Staab is just eight hits short of 100 for her career. Jodi Weiss '19, Helen Lin '19 and Becca Butler '17 will also see time in the infield. Caroline Chivily '19 is one of four outfielders listed on the roster.

Four pitchers started at least seven games last year. Zoe Singer '18 led the staff with 76.1 innings pitched, six wins and three complete games. Molly Leitner '19 started a team-best 12 games and chipped in four wins and 70.2 innings pitched. Desmen DePaulis '19 (34.2 innings pitched) and Castiblanco (45.2 innings, 2 saves) combined to start another 15 games.

The newcomers are infielders Caitlin Berreitter '20, Kendall Searcy '20 and Sophia Cerreta '20, as well as outfielder Emily Fraser '20.

The Continentals kick off the season with 15 games in 10 days down in Florida during spring break. Hamilton debuts its brand-new field on March 27 with a doubleheader against SUNY Polytechnic. The Continentals play in the NESCAC's West Division. Hamilton will host Middlebury College on April 14 and 15 and Wesleyan University on April 28 and 29. The Continentals travel to Amherst College on March 31 and April 1 and go to Williams College on April 7 and 8.