Wednesday, November 6, 2013
The Westminster College softball team returns 11 letterman, including four starters for the 2014 season. The reigning Presidents' Athletic Conference regular season champions are led by seniors outfielder Katy Balko, outfielder Erika Pamer, second baseman Kelsey Squelch, and first baseman Lauren Stoczynski.
"We lost significant role players in last year's graduating class," said 18th-year head coach Jan Reddinger. But to our benefit, this year's seniors had important roles in the success that we had last season. We expect them to not only challenge themselves but also their teammates in order to have continued success. I have no doubt that they will."
Squelch, an All-PAC Second Team honoree two seasons ago, and Stoczynski are the returning RBI leaders as Squelch had 13, while Stoczynski had 12 in 2013. Balko and Pamer, both three-time letterwinners, have combined to start in 133 games.
The Titans are returning three pitchers that have game experience, led by sophomore Ashley Smith who appeared in 16 games (12 starts) and posted a 7-5 record with an earned run average of 2.07. Smith's seven complete games and 31 strikeouts were second on the team. Classmate Amber Forrest had the lowest earned run average last year (with a minimum of eight appearances) with a 1.24 ERA. Forrest went 2-0 on the mound in nine appearances (four starts) to go along with 22 strikeouts. Junior Carly Leffakis is the most experienced pitcher on the Titan squad and will look to be the leader on the mound this year.
Sophomores Brenna Guard, Kayla Kormanik, Alexis Sheffer, and Sara Sieczkowski all lettered their first year and will aim to make a significant contribution at the plate and on the field in 2014.
"Rebuilding is not a term that coaches like to use, but the reality is that this is a young untested team," added Reddinger. "I am excited about this year's freshmen class. They will be expected to contribute immediately and we certainly feel that they are ready to do just that."
Despite losing six lettermen, including five seniors, Reddinger is hopeful for this year's team.
"The seniors need to continue to improve, as they have each year," said Reddinger. "Our underclassmen need to fill the roles vacated by our graduating seniors. If we each do our part, I believe we will be successful this season. "
About Westminster College...
Founded in 1852 and related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Westminster College ranks first in the nation as "Best College for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math," according to Forbes.com. Westminster is a top-tier liberal arts college and a national leader in graduation rate performance, according to U.S. News Best Colleges guide. Westminster is also honored as one of "The Best 378 Colleges" by The Princeton Review, and is named to the President's Honor Roll for excellence in service learning.
Nearly 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students benefit from individualized attention from dedicated faculty while choosing from 41 majors and nearly 100 organizations on the New Wilmington, Pa., campus. Visit www.westminster.edu/advantage to view "Advantage: Westminster" A Strategic Plan 2010-2020.