Jan. 19, 2010
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – After winning its fifth straight Atlantic 10 championship and 21st overall in 2009, Massachusetts has been selected to win the 2010 Atlantic 10 softball title in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches.
Charlotte, the 2009 regular season runner-up, is picked to finish second, while Fordham is third.
UMass returns a strong group for the upcoming season, led by senior outfielder Carly Normandin. The 2009 A-10 Player of the Year was the team’s top performer in numerous categories, including batting average (.403), stolen bases (21) and runs batted in (37). UMass also brings back Sarah Reeves, a 2009 first-team All-Conference selection at first base, as well as a pair of second-team All-Conference players in shortstop Whitney Williams and second baseman Kyllie Magill.
Charlotte is looking to improve on last season’s 33 wins and welcomes back first-team All-Conference selections Serena Smith and Emily Jeffery. Smith, an outfielder, led the 49ers in hits (59), batting average (.364) and runs batted in (37). Jeffery, a pitcher, set a Charlotte single-season record with 272 strikeouts in 2009 and posted nine shutouts. Fordham has registered seven straight 30-win seasons and is led by shortstop Samantha Pellechio and pitcher Jen Mineau. Pellechio topped the team in batting average (.365), home runs (10) and runs batted in (44) on her way to garnering first-team All-Conference honors. Mineau, a member of the 2009 All-Rookie team, threw two no-hitters and had 162 strikeouts while finishing with a 1.70 earned-run average.
Saint Louis is picked to finish fourth, followed by Saint Joseph’s, Temple, St. Bonaventure, George Washington, Dayton, La Salle and Rhode Island.
The six-team, double-elimination A-10 Championship will be held May 12-15 at the University of Massachusetts Softball Complex in Amherst, Mass.
2010 Predicted Order of Finish
(2009 overall/A-10 record in parentheses)
1. Massachusetts (41-10/16-2)
2. Charlotte (33-16/14-4)
3. Fordham (37-22/13-7)
4. Saint Louis (22-33/12-6)
5. Saint Joseph’s (27-20/9-7)
6. Temple (15-25/6-8)
7. St. Bonaventure (12-28/9-11)
8. George Washington (16-33/6-14)
9. Dayton (13-34/7-13)
10. La Salle (9-28/7-13)
11. Rhode Island (14-37/3-17)