Coast Guard Softball 2017 The 2017 softball season looks to be exciting and positively unpredictable as the Bears bring in 10 freshmen to join a predominantly young team that is talented, versatile and excited for what the season has in store.

Head Coach Donna Koczajowski enters her 20th season, only 11 wins away from 450, optimistic about the season and what her young team has to offer.

Helping lead the way this season are co-captains senior Sara Cammuso and junior Casey Cruzpino who make up two thirds of the upperclassmen on the team.

“I am excited for our captains, Sara Cammuso and Casey Cruzpino,” said Koczajowski.

“The have showed a great deal of leadership, especially leading such a young team. It has been quite a challenge for them with such a large freshman class, but they are handling it well.”

Coach Koczajowski is looking forward to her large but talented freshmen class hitting the field with the returning players and seeing how the numerous lineups mesh together.

“I will say this is the most talented freshmen class that I have had as well as the largest,” Koczajowski added. “I have 10 freshmen that are versatile, dynamic and fun to watch. It will be a learning experience for them stepping onto the college diamond for the first time and it will be enjoyable for my staff and I to learn where all the pieces fit together.”

The large roster has been a good problem to have as Koczajowski and her coaches have numerous lineups to manage and a number of potential ways to beat opponents.

“The versatility and depth of my team this season is something new for me,” commented Koczajowski. “I have never been in this position where my players can play so many positions, and play them well. I think the gap between our starters and non-starters is slim.”

Leading the Bears pitching staff this season will be freshman Julia Ferris.

“She (Ferris) is a scrappy, competitive player,” commented Koczajowski. “Her fundamentals are solid, she will bring some consistency to the position and set the tone for our defense.”
Also featured in the pitching circle this season will be sophomore Mackenzie Everett and freshman Carly Hattman.

The Bears outfield will be anchored by junior Emma Hvozdovich who has played every game since her freshman year except one. She improved her batting average by nearly 100 points last season (.371) and has a strong arm and good range in center field.

“Hvozdovich is one of the best outfielders in the NEWMAC,” said Koczajowski. “She plays both sides of the plate and is super competitive.”

Joining Hvozdovich in the outfield will be Cammuso who has played 82 career games. She had career highs last season in hits (21), RBI’s (13) and batting average (.226) to go along with eight outfield assists.

Senior co-captain Sara Cammuso

Freshman battling for playing time in the outfield will be Kayla Sowers and Claire Hurley who are both versatile, fast, dynamic additions to the team.

At first base will be Hattman who will split time between there and pitching. Also seeing time at first base will be sophomore Kelli Franza and Allyson Holfinger.

Sophomores Kelli Franza (L) and Allyson Holfinger (R)
At second base will be returning starter, sophomore Emily Hogan, who batted .310 with 39 hits and 20 stolen bases. She was also solid up the middle with a .944 fielding percentage.
Sophomore Malia Hindle will start the year at shortstop for the Bears but will also be a valuable utility option for Koczajowski throughout the infield.

Freshman Audrey Bartz, who is working through an early season injury, will return to play shortstop and be a powerful bat in the center of the Coast Guard lineup.

At third base will be another talented freshman in Courtney McKenna who has performed well in preseason with both her glove and bat.

Sharing catching duties to start the year will be Cruzpino and sophomore Sharayah Simco.

Cruzpino will also see time at other positions throughout the infield while Simco will also be plugged in at the DP position as well.

As always Coast Guard starts their season in Florida with games highlighted by Muhlenburg, Drew, Juniata and Bates. The Bears will then return home to take on Rhode Island College and Roger Williams before diving into their competitive New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) schedule with games against nationally ranked MIT and WPI.

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