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2019 Coast Guard Softball Season Preview

The Bears return six everyday players, four of whom hit over .350 last season and both pitchers from a team that posted its first 20 win season since 2013 and made their first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) tournament appearance since 2012.

Coast Guard finished 22-13 overall and 10-8 in the NEWMAC in a fourth place tie.

Junior first baseman Carly Hattman, an NFCA All-region and NEWMAC second team selection led the NEWMAC with a .450 batting average last season and is one of the four Coast Guard starters returning that hit over .350 as the Bears hit .345 as a team last season.
Hattman, who missed the last 14 games as a freshman with an injury, had a breakout season a year ago leading the NEWMAC with a .450 batting average. She led the Bears and was fifth in the NEWMAC with 17 stolen bases and led the team and was seventh in the conference with 35 runs scored. Hattman also led the team with a .500 on base percentage.
Junior Courtney McKenna, who hit .381 last season, with seven doubles and 25 RBI’s, is back and her infield versatility will see her play different infield positions and she will also see time as the designated player after starting all 35 games last season and is a bat the Bears need in the lineup.
Senior Malia Hindle will compete for the starting second base spot this season.
Sophomore Charlee Kraiss (.310), who missed the second half of the season with an injury, returns as the starting shortstop. She was second on the team with 13 stolen bases despite missing 17 games.
Junior Audrey Bartz returns at third base. She hit .352 last season with seven doubles, four homers and 21 RBI’s.
Senior Sharayah Simco will sharing catching duties with senior captain Kelli Franza. Simco played a year of colligate softball before attending the Academy, she choose to defer last year to play during her senior season. Simco hit .333 with 16 RBI’s as a sophomore in 2017.
Coast Guard returns a pair of outfielders from last season, but both will occupy different spot this year. Junior captain Claire Hurley (pictured) moves from left to center while classmate Kayla Sowers moves from right to left.
Hurley started 33 games last season and hit .267 with 25 runs scored, seven doubles and 11 RBI’s while Sowers (pictured) also started 33 games and hit .379 with 33 runs scored, three doubles, a homer and 16 RBI’s.
Junior Kylie Vaverek is expected to start in right field while junior Sarah Kemp and sophomore Noelle Greenwood will give the Bears outfield depth and split time.
Junior Julia Ferris and sophomore Sydney Arendt will be sharing a bulk of the pitching duties for the second straight season. Coast Guard also hopes to have senior Mackenzie Everett, who missed last season to an injury, back in 2019. Ferris was 11-10 with three shutouts and save posting a 3.09 ERA last season in 24 starts.
Arendt was 11-3 with a shutout and three saves with a 3.15 ERA making 11 starts.
“The expectation is to get back to the NEWMAC tournament and I think our team gained a lot of confidence in themselves and each other last season and we look to build on that success,” said head coach Donna Koczajowski in her 21st season.
Coast Guard will open the season with 10 games at the Spring Games in Clermont, Florida, on March 10th with games against Westfield State and Carroll of Wisconsin.
“The spring trip is arguably one of the most important facets of our season,” said Koczajowski. “We get to play 10 non-conference games and get us ready for the very competitive NEWMAC play and it allows us as coaches to play different lineups and see who emerges and earns a chance to start once we return up north.”

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