After a serious vote that saw three groups guarantee an ahead of all comers count, shielding New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Champions Babson was chosen first, as the NEWMAC delivered the aftereffects of the 2022 Softball Preseason Coaches' Poll.
NEWMAC Softball Preseason Poll 2022
2022 NEWMAC Softball Preview
Babson returns six position players and a pair of pitchers from a team that went 15-3 and captured NEWMAC regular season and tournament championships on the way to reaching the NCAA Tournament. Junior second baseman Lexi Morris is the reigning NEWMAC Player of the Year and senior shortstop Isabel Aguilar give the Beavers a pair of all-conference honorees at the top of the lineup. Dave Canan, who earned NEWMAC Coach of the Year accolades last spring, begins his 23rd season in charge of the program.
Springfield gets back on the diamond for softball after a strong season that saw them make it all the way to the NEWMAC Conference Championship. The Pride are led by senior Mackenize Doyle, after she received recognition as a part of the NEWMAC All-Conference team. The team will also look for meaningful contributions from outfielder Ava Fernandez and pitcher Ashley Pugliese. The Pride welcomes Worcester State to Alden Street on March 5 for its first game of the season.
MIT returns to the field for the first time since 2019 when the Engineers fell to Rowan in a 14-inning instant classic in the NCAA Regional Final, finishing the season with a 30-12-1 record and a 15-2-1 NEWMAC record. The Engineers' Head coach Brooke Kalman enters her fourth season at the helm of the program and welcomes back three student athletes from the 2019 season, including Academic All-Conference honorees seniors Deborah Torres, Claire Wichman and Anya Chase, who ranked fifth on the team in RBI's and third in doubles in 2019.
First year head coach Heather Ross will work with a talented core of returners and a strong group of newcomers in 2022. Katie Martin is back in the circle as a graduate student for the Engineers. The returning All-NEWMAC selection has 23 career victories and was named the 2019 NEWMAC Softball Tournament's Most Outstanding Player. The Crimson and Gray boast a pair of former NEWMAC Rookies of the Year including pitcher/infielder Lauren Meinhold in 2021 and infielder Lindsay Ambrosino in 2019.
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
Coast Guard will welcome back multiple impact players from last season, including All-Conference honoree Mariah Dewey, who produced 16 hits, seven RBIs and two homers in 2021. The Bears will also return a strong pitching team in sophomores Amanda Moore and Isabelle Shroyer. Led by Head Coach Arielle Cooper, Coast Guard will open their season in Florida on March 6th.
Wheaton returns with nearly all of its pitching intact from a year ago, including NEWMAC All-Conference honoree senior Sarah Pritchard. The Lyons welcome her bat as much as her arm after hitting a robust .467 (14-30) last season, including four doubles to contribute to a .700 slugging mark. Senior Katelyn Barton and sophomore Lindsey Oliveira also showed good offensive prowess in limited games last season for Wheaton.
Wellelsey will compete for the first time since 2019 under head coach Keri O'Meara in her 16th season. The Blue finished 7-10-1 in conference play and then made a run in the NEWMAC postseason before falling to eventual champion WPI. Senior Marisa Hensch returns after earning All-Conference Second Team accolades and hitting .370 and driving in 20 runs as a first year in 2019. Other senior returners include outfielder Holly Chin and starting pitcher Hayley Moniz.
Emerson looks towards the 2022 season with a strong group of seniors and large first-year class. The Lions will return Calli Pratt, who was second on the team in hits and tallied 10 kills, and Mary Kuczkowski, who produced the third-best batting average for Emerson. The Lions will open their season in Florida on March 7th.
Under the direction of head coach Emily Lopez, Smith will be competing for the first time since the 2019 season. With 17 newcomers and just two student-athletes with collegiate experience, the Pioneers future is bright. The sophomore class is highlighted with four pitchers ready to make an impact on the field this season.
Clark heads into the 2022 season with a roster that will consist of three seniors, nine juniors, four sophomores, and one first-year. Junior Samantha Restrepo-Stier led Clark returners in hits in last years shortened season with eight, homered and drove in three runs. Sophomore Rebecca Mauro belted her first career double last year and was second on the team in hits. Juniors Nicole Buckley and Jessica Sardilli return to the Cougars rotation and Buckley posted a team-leading 4.85 ERA over 13.0 innings pitched.