Feb. 3, 2010
The Sacred Heart softball team has been picked to finish second in the Northeast Conference in 2010 in the annual preseason poll of the league's head coaches. The Pioneers are the defending NEC champions after running through the tournament last year as the #3 seed. Sacred Heart is anchored by junior Jen Russell (Seymour, CT), a first team NEC All-Star and NEC Tournament MVP.
Co-head coaches Pam London and Elizabeth Luckie of Sacred Heart (26-28, 11-7 NEC) were selected collectively for the 2009 NEC Coach of the Year award. They will team up for the 22nd season guiding the Pioneer softball program after leading Sacred Heart to its first NEC Tournament championship.
Russell finsihed 2009 tied for the league lead with 19 wins and logged a conference-best 228.1 innings. She also ranked third with a 1.84 ERA. After earning victories in each NEC Tournament game for the Pioneers, she went on to collect an NCAA Tournament win as well in a 3-1 triumph over Cornell.
A trio of All-NEC second team honorees in juniors Taylor Froelich (Garden Grove, CA) and Courtney Lee (Camarillo, CA), along with graduate student Amanda Bradley (Langley, BC/Brookswood Secondary), will provide a solid nucleus for Sacred Heart. Froelich, an outfielder, led the Pioneers with a .335 average, nine homers (sixth in NEC) and a .576 slugging percentage (sixth in NEC). Lee, a first baseman, ranked second on the club with a .298 average and stole a team-high 13 bases. As a designated player, Bradley hit .283 and tied for the team lead with 19 walks.
The Pioneers softball season kicks off February 26th as they travel to North Carolina to compete in a tournament featuring UNC-Greensboro, Niagara, and Cleveland State.