Feb. 12, 2010
The Providence College softball team enters the 2010 season with optimism as it returns 14 veterans from last season’s team and welcome six newcomers. The 2010 squad has talent, veteran leadership and depth as it looks to return to the BIG EAST Tournament. In 2009, the Friars finished the season with 17 wins, including nine in BIG EAST Conference play. The nine league wins were the most by a PC softball team since 2006.
Providence’s depth begins with the pitching as the squad will have five pitchers. Senior Danielle Bertolette (Temecula, Calif.) will be the veteran leader on the team in 2010. Last season, Bertolette recorded seven wins, with 73 strikeouts, two shutouts and nine complete games in 29 appearances. She pitched her first career no-hitter on April 26 to help Providence defeat St. John’s in the second game of a doubleheader.
Alicia Grosso (Baldwin, N.Y.) had a strong freshman season in 2009 and will look to continue to improve in 2010. Last season, Grosso finished second on the team in wins (5), starts (12), complete games (4) and innings pitched (78.1). Freshman Corinne Clauss (Davie, Fla.) is expected to see innings on the pitcher’s circle. Clauss was named to the Miami Herald and Sun Sentinel First Team All-County as well as Miami Herald Pitcher and Player of the Year. She recorded 121 strikeouts, five home runs and 17 RBIs in 2009.
Senior Julie Fowler (Langley, B.C.) and junior Kathryn Sullivan (Lagrangeville, N.Y.) round out the Friar pitching staff. Fowler made four appearances (one start) as a pitcher last season and also played in 16 games as a pinch runner. Sullivan appeared in two games last season as a pitcher and will be expected to see more innings this season.
Teresa Bertels (Lower Gwynedd, Pa.) enters her senior season looking to remain the starting catcher for the third consecutive season. In 2009, Bertels played in 51 games and recorded one home run and 16 RBIs. Bertels, who had a .982 fielding percentage, finished second on the team with 13 walks.
Sophomore Maggie Sholian (Lake Oswego, Ore.) will see innings as a catcher. Sholian and Bertels will provide depth and experience behind the plate. Stephanie Kiesel (Ramona, Calif.) will vie for innings as a freshman catcher. Kiesel, who also will serve as a utility player, led Ramona High School in batting average (.470), slugging percentage (.700) and on-base percentage (.525) in 2009.
The Providence infield will be one of the strengths of the team this season. The returning infield consists of one junior and three seniors, including short stop Jenna Garcia (Morro Bay, Calif.) who was named to the All BIG EAST Second Team in 2009.
Garcia played in all 51 games in 2009 and posted a .279 batting average, one home run and 16 RBIs. In addition, she finished second on the team in doubles (10), third in runs scored (22), hits (39) and walks (12). In 23 conference games, Garcia had a .333 batting average and finished tied for second with 23 hits. She also led the BIG EAST Conference with eight doubles and became the first PC short stop to earn all-league honors since 2005.
Senior Christy Becker (Atlanta, Ga.) will compete for the first base position. Becker is coming off a strong 2009 season in which she finished second on the team in numerous offensive categories, including batting average (.284), runs scored (25), hits (40) and slugging percentage (.489). In addition, Becker led the team with seven home runs and finished third with 20 RBIs. She also recorded a .990 fielding percentage.
Junior Justine Stratton (Fresno, Calif.) looks to return to the starting lineup at second base for the Friars. Stratton played in all 51 games last season and batted .272 with four home runs and finished second on the team with 27 RBIs. In addition, Stratton was third with two triples and a .415 slugging percentage.
Senior Katelyn Revens (Warwick, R.I.) will compete for her fourth consecutive run as the starting third baseman. Revens, the school’s all time leader with 44 career stolen bases, played in all 51 games last season and finished second with three triples and nine stolen bases. She also led the team with 121 assists.
Jen Abrams (Reading, Mass.) and Kim Pelland (Saunderstown, R.I.) will provide versatility to Friar lineup. Abrams will be competing for all infield positions and will be fighting for a defensive position in the outfield as well. Pelland also has the ability to fill in at any infield position. Abrams, who played two games in the outfield as a freshman, finished with a .269 batting average, four doubles and seven RBIs in 36 total games. Pelland played in 20 games last season and finished with a .278 batting average and one home run.
Freshmen Devin Kelly (Milton, Mass.) will add depth as a utility player as well. Kelly, who can play first base and catch, was a three-sport athlete at Milton High School. She also was a Bay State League First Team All-Star in 2009 in softball.
Sophomore Michelle Huber (Dana Point, Calif.) will lead the outfielders. During her freshman season, Huber played right field and was PC’s leadoff hitter. She played in all 51 games and finished third on the team with 39 hits. Huber also led the Friars with 17 walks and 12 stolen bases.
Senior Julie Fowler, junior Ava Pandiani (Shrewsbury, Mass.), sophomores Jen Abrams, Kim Pelland, Megan McCann (Hopkinton, Mass.) as well as freshmen Alaina Thomas (San Jose, Calif.) and Jessie Bryant (Marlborough, Mass.) will battle for playing time in the outfield.
In addition to her pitching, Fowler will add depth to the outfield with her speed and experience. Pandiani saw action in 16 games last season, including one in the outfield.
Abrams and Pelland also could see time in the outfield in addition to their abilities to play in the infield. McCann has ability to fill in at any middle infield position. McCann attended Boston College during her freshman season before transferring to Providence. Prior to BC, she was a three-sport (soccer, track and field, softball) athlete at Marian High School.
Thomas played softball at Archbishop Mitty High School where she earned WAC All-League Honorable Mention accolades in 2008. She also helped her team to a No. 1 national ranking in 2009 in the ESPN Rise Poll. Bryant earned league all-star honors in softball four times and was named league MVP as a senior at Marlborough High School. She finished her career with 129 hits and a .667 on-base percentage.