Nardella And Stoltenberg Captain Trinity Softball Team Eager To Contend In 2011
Hartford, Conn., March 16, 2011 - The Trinity softball team, under the direction of Head Coach Caitlin Hitchcock (9th Season), is anxious to begin the road back to the post-season for the fifth time in the last seven years, after a pair of near misses the last two springs. Trinity's usual potent offense will be powered this season by 2009 All-NESCAC senior co-captain 1B Nicole Nardella (Beverly, Mass.) and 2010 All-NESCAC IF Caroline Blanchard (Norwich, Conn.), while senior co-captain Katherine Stoltenberg (Montgomery, N.J.) provides leadership, a clutch bat, and a steady glove at second base for the fourth straight season. An experienced and healthy pitching staff, a consistent veteran defense at several spots, and offensive firepower in the first-year class sets the Bantams up for another run at the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship title.
The Trinity pitching staff welcomes back three proven right-handers that includes senior Kristen Anderson (West Haven, Conn.) and juniors Katherine Poulos (Wilton, Conn.) and Lindsay Gibbons (Basking Ridge, N.J.). Anderson was 12-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 2010 and is equally comfortable starting and relieving. Poulos has won 14 games and saved two with 105 strikeouts in two seasons, and is healthier than any other spring of her collegiate career. Gibbons is 4-3 over two years and walked just two batters in 28.2 innings last spring as a reliever and occasional starter .
Junior Kristina Yu (Andover, Mass.) has displayed more than adequate offensive and defensive skills as the starter behind the plate last season, and should continue to contribute in a major way at a number of positions this year. Three rookie backstops have been impressive in pre-season for the Bantams, including powerful hitters Olivia Berry (Quincy, Mass.) and Abby Ostrom (Carlisle, Mass.) and athletic and versatile freshman Emily Kleidon (Oakdale, Minn.). All three could easily find themselves in the lineup at a couple of different places, as Berry will catch and bat as the DP, Ostrom can also play third base and in the outfield, and Kleidon has the skills to play several spots and a potent stick.
Nardella and Stoltenberg give the Bantams a pair of four-year starters in the infield, while Blanchard slides to her natural position from 3B to shortstop. Nardella batted .351 last season with nine doubles, eigth homers, and 21 RBI, after hitting .348 with eight doubles, five homers, and 25 RBI in 2009. Stoltenberg improves from .309 to .359 at the plate in 2010 and finished sexond on the team with 24 RBI, while Blanchard hit .382 with 12 doubles, and a team-high 28 RBI as a rookie. Freshman Kaitlyn Della Jacono (Stamford, Conn.), a quick player who is solid on defense, could step in for Blanchard at 3B.
Senior Melanie Orphanos (Norton, Mass.), who batted .330 in 2009, has two years of starting experience in the outfield, while sophomore OF Amelia Mostovoy (San Francisco, Calif.) hit .341 with three homers last spring. Yu, Ostrom, Kleidon, and sophomore 1B/OF Kerry McCarthy (Andover, Mass.) will push them for playing time at the corner outfield spots. Speedy first-year Christina Galese (Fairfield, N.J.) steps in as the centerfielder, replacing three-time All-NESCAC honoree Jessica Tait. Fellow rookie Claire Prosperi (Northbrook, Ill.) will be an immediate long-ball threat as the DP.