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Softball Looks to Take Championship Step

Softball Looks to Take Championship Step

Third-year head coach, Kyle Knoblauch, returns four All-NACC performers in seniors Emily Snow and Rachel Ziemba, junior Amanda Manssen, and sophomore Lorrin Pondo along with eight starters from a batting lineup that combined for a .328 batting average, .394 on-base percentage and slugged .449 as a unit in 2018.  The group also stole a NACC leading 92 bases.

Senior Emily Snow leads the group, as she returns behind the plate after hitting .458 with 20 doubles, 4 home runs, 39 runs scored and 36 runs batted last season. She was again named to the NFCA All-Region First Team and for the third-consecutive season was named to the All-NACC First Team.  Snow enters this season with 53 career doubles, 18 doubles shy of becoming the NCAA's DIII all-time doubles leader.

Senior Rachel Ziemba was named to the All-NACC Second Team in 2018 as an outfielder. As the catalyst of the Raider offense, she batted .410 with 39 runs, which placed her second on the team in batting average and tied for the lead in runs.  She also broke two school-records with 7 triples and 21 stolen bases.

Junior Amanda Manssen is coming off a fantastic sophomore campaign.  She was named to the All-NACC Second Team, after batting .364 with 13 doubles and 32 runs batted in.  Manssen has not committed an error over the last 275 chances playing first-base dating back to freshman season.  She has also started all 83 team games at first-base over her first two seasons.

Senior Emma Megal took over as the team's centerfielder in 2018 and looks to once again lead the Raider's outfield. She batted .336 with 24 runs stole 14 bases.  She also posted 12 multi-hit games.   

Senior Julia Marsh is a staple of the Raider defense, holding down right field for most of the 2018 season, but also spelling Snow behind the plate from time to time. She appeared in all 40 games with 35 starts. She batted .290 with 8 doubles. 

Two more upperclassmen were fixtures in the lineup, junior third baseman Kim White and Gabi Roderman.  White handled the hot corner, starting all 40 games, batting .319 with three home runs and 26 runs batted in. Roderman served as the second baseman collecting 15 hits in 73 at-bats with three doubles and 10 runs scored.

Sophomore Alyssa Baffin and Junior transfer Ali Braddock will add depth to the outfield. Baffin appeared in 32 games with three starts, collected eight hits in 13 at-bats for a .615 batting average.  Often used as a pinch-runner, she scored 15 runs with seven stolen bases.  Braddock batted .324 in two seasons at Madison College, logging 204 at-bats with 48 runs scored and 45 driven in.

The Raiders were strong in the circle in 2018 behind the arms of Lorrin Pondo and Liz Gale.  The pitching staff recorded a 2.57 ERA with 293 strikeouts compared to 80 walks. 

Sophomore Lorrin Pondo was named to the All-NACC Second Team, after a stellar freshman season.  She pitched a team-high 131.2 innings with 155 punch-outs and a 2.18 ERA.  She also posted a team-high 12 wins in the circle.  Senior Liz Gale posted a 7-1 record with a 2.80 ERA.  She struck out 63 hitters in 65.0 innings against just 13 walks.

A key addition to the pitching staff will be Junior transfer Emily Wiederholt.  She pitched in 44 games over two seasons at Madison College, posting a 23-5 record with two saves and a 2.31 ERA. She also struck out 144 hitters over 151.1 innings.

The Raiders kick-off the 2019 season Feb. 26 on the first day of a 10-game trip to Florida.

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