Graphic courtesy of RSC Sports Information; photo by Robert Cifone 2019
MIDDLETOWN, Ohio --- Carlow University softball earned sixth
place in the 2020 River States Conference Softball Preseason Poll,
the league announced earlier this month.
Carlow, who went 20-22, 8-10 RSC, made it to the conference
tournament last season but suffered an early exit after two losses.
The Celtics continued on to the USCAA Small College World Series,
where they made it to the final eight teams before facing
Despite losing All-RSC First Team pitcher Abby
Stroud (New Egypt, N.J.), outfielder Sophia
Papageorge (Beaver Falls, Pa.) and slugger
Tristan Voss (Enon Valley, Pa.) - who led the team
with five home runs last season - the Celtics return several
starters and a number of new faces who will make an immediate
impact on the field.
Head Coach Glenn Zinsmeister, heading into his
second season as head coach and seventh year with the team, brought
in a talented group of freshmen this year.
Some notable recruits are Madison and
McKenna Lampe (Rutan, Pa.), who led West Greene
High School to a WPIAL Class A title three years in a row and were
PIAA State Champions two years (2017, 2018).
Morgan Nedley (Harrison City, Pa.) earned
First Team All-Section two years and led Penn Trafford to its first
PIAA State Championship in 2019.
"We have a talented group of freshmen who performed well in a
small fall ball sample that we hope will be replicated during the
season," said Zinsmeister.
Carlow returns one senior captain Ashley Hoak
(Elizabeth, Pa.);All-RSC First Team infielder Annamarie
Osiecki (JR/Erie, Pa.); sophomore leftfielder
Ciara Murray (LaSalle, Ontario), who hit .279 in
39 games last season; junior Alysa Fairman
(Pittsburgh, Pa.), who had 12 RBIs and pitched successfully in the
fall; and juniors Kasey Wolford (Lower Burrell,
Pa.), Olivia Graff (Natrona Heights, Pa.)
and Adrianna Gottheld (Charleroi, Pa.) who
all provided solid defense last year.
Voting for the RSC Preseason Poll was conducted by the nine RSC
softball head coaches with the RedStorm leading in overall votes
and first-place votes.
Rio Grande, which ended last year ranked No. 23 in the NAIA Top
25 Poll, received 60 total votes and five of the nine first-place
votes in the RSC poll. The RedStorm was 36-16 overall, 17-1 RSC
last year and reached the finals of the NAIA Softball National
Championship Opening Round, one game shy of the NAIA Softball World
Series. Rio Grande won the RSC Regular Season championship in 2019
with only one loss in 18 games.
Point Park (Pa.) University was picked second in the RSC
preseason poll with 57 total votes and three first-place votes. The
Pioneers were 22-18, 12-6 RSC last year and made it to the final
three teams of the RSC Softball Championship.
IU Southeast was predicted third in the preseason poll with 53
votes and the final first-place vote. The Grenadiers won the 2019
RSC Softball Championship with its run to the title featuring two
wins over Rio Grande. IU Southeast, 33-24 overall, 13-5 RSC last
year, made it to the final day of the NAIA Opening Round.
The Celtics open their season with spring training at the PFX
Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. March 7-14.
"There is a lot of parity in the RSC with many games being decided
by only a few runs," said Zinsmeister. "We have a strong group
returning coupled with an exciting group of freshmen and are
looking forward to getting on the diamond in early March to begin
our 2020 journey to the RSC tournament, regionals and/or the USCAA
Small College World Series."
Links to live coverage can be found on the team's schedule page
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