QU Women’s Softball team ready for spring 2002

Amy Plourd

Experience and intensity are probably the two most prominent characteristics that encompass the 2002 Quinnipiac Women’s Softball team.
Power, strength, speed and agility help to complete the personality of the team. In addition, the team is ready to display their well honed talents, which they hope will aid in making them a tough opponent in the Northeast Conference this year.
Last season’s seniors did leave some gaps to fill, especially Nicole Chaput. She was First Team All ECAC and leader in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage and total bases.
However, while Chaput may have left a gap talent wise, she certainly did not leave the team without her leadership.
Chaput is serving her first year as an assistant coach for the team. One other graduate of the 2001 class is also using her knowledge of the game to assist the team, Jennifer Murphy is specializing as an outfield/defensive coach. Junior Darci Santella is assisting the team as a hitting coach even though she has yet to graduate.
This year’s softball team is led by its four seniors, tri-captains Callie Bundy, Lauren Fries and Courtney O’Neil and Leah Nankin.
The seniors lead their team by example and motivate with desire.
Head Coach Germaine Fairchild expects these girls to have a fantastic season, not only because it is their last at Quinnipiac, but also because they have the desire, the passion to be great.
The girls will work hard to get where they want themselves and the team to be. As a part of the team these girls have been through numerous changes and about five different coaches in their four years.
Fairchild feels each of these girls “deserve to go out with a bang” for their last season as Quinnipiac softball players.
“They’ve stuck with the program, they’ve fought for it and they’ve fought to see the changes they want made in the program to make their team better,” said Fairchild.
Next up are the team’s five juniors who are looking to have a successful season as well this year. They include catcher Jill Cimminello, center fielder Ashley Morgan, first baseman Elizabeth Moriarty, pitcher/first baseman Jessica Petri and pitcher Alisha Zabel.
Look for each of these girls to give confidence, speed, experience and consistency to the team this season.
The biggest class on the team consists of seven sophomores. They are second baseman Sara Blumenthal, pitcher Stephanie Boyer, left fielder Renee Escaravage, catcher Elizabeth Euley, pitchers Valerie Muglia and Melissa Reynolds and outfielder Diane Whittaker.
Watch for each of these girls to bring a variety of talent to the team this season. They have strong and accurate throwing and powerful, consistent hitting.
The final girl to complete the roster is freshman, shortstop Sarah Collins. Collins looks to add more intensity and throwing strength to the team.
With all of the skill these players exhibit it’s not hard to see why Fairchild believes they will “improve tremendously” on last years record of 17-26 overall (10-12 in the NEC). They hope to make it into the top four in the NEC.
“I see us having a very realistic shot this year at finishing in the top four and going into the tournament,” said Fairchild.
There are also other teams searching for one of the top spots in the conference as well.
Quinnipiac expects the toughest competition from two teams, Long Island University and Monmouth University. Fairchild feels that Monmouth is most likely going to be the major team to beat in order to make it to the tournament.
“I would consider a school like Monmouth to be a rival because that’s the team we really need to beat to climb into that fourth spot in the tournament at the end of the year,” said Fairchild.
Quinnipiac plays both Long Island and Monmouth back to back early in the season, they will get a taste of the competitiveness of these teams.
The Quinnipiac softball team will be taking their annual trip to Florida over spring break, and most of their regular season games will be played in and around the New England area.