After missing the playoffs in 2016, the Hofstra softball team has found its way back in contention for a conference title as the second seed in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament taking place this week in Harrisonburg, Virginia on the campus of James Madison University.
Capping the regular season with back-to-back blowouts over Drexel – winning both in five innings – Hofstra finished 25-21 overall and 11-8 in CAA play, a three-win jump from the Pride’s eight conference victories last year.
Kicking off May 10, the Pride opens its postseason against No. 3 College of Charleston at 1:30 p.m., a team that swept Hofstra just a couple weeks ago in a three-game set.
Held to just three runs for the series, Hofstra struggled to string together hits in the clutch, leaving 19 baserunners stranded overall.
Charleston’s Izzy Berouty appeared in the circle in all three games against the Pride, going 2-0 with a save. Berouty logged 7.2 shutout innings out of the bullpen with just three hits surrendered. Freshman Kristin Hallam accounted for two of those three hits for the Pride.
Hallam, who was named the final CAA Rookie of the Week of the 2017 regular season, put together a stellar rookie campaign. The shortstop led all Hofstra hitters in batting average (.375), hits (57), on-base percentage (.439) and runs scored (34).
However, if the Cougars were to continue their winning ways against the Pride, Hofstra’s faithful should fret not since the tournament is double-elimination. If Hofstra were to lose the first matchup, Larissa Anderson’s squad would take on the loser of the game between No. 4 UNCW and No. 5 Delaware at 6:30 p.m. that same day (May 10).
The Pride swept the Seahawks in mid-April, including two shutouts that Sarah Cornell appeared in. Cornell tossed the complete game in the first win and threw 6.1 innings of run-free ball in the third game.
Against Delaware, Megan Patierno led the cavalry with three home runs and six runs batted in to snag two wins from the Fightin’ Blue Hens at home earlier this season.
Now, if Hofstra were to defeat the College of Charleston, the next opponent would be the winner of the game between No. 1 James Madison and the winner of the Delaware/UNCW game. This game takes place May 11 at 12 p.m.
Hofstra lost the series to the Dukes this year, winning the third game to avoid the sweep. On the upside, the Pride handed top pitcher Megan Good her only loss of the season (34-1).
If Hofstra can stay alive this deep into the tournament, the final game will take place May 12 at 12 p.m. if a ninth game is not necessary.
All time, the Pride is 36-10 in the CAA championship, including 11 titles.