2011 Softball Season Recap

Release Date:
June 6, 2011
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

2011 Season Review: The senior-less Hilbert College softball program, under the leadership of a first-year head coach, took an early non-conference victory but then struggled to find the next win the rest of the season. The Hawks lost an AMCC All-Conference player (due to injury) thirteen games into the season and finished 1-26 and 0-18 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. 

With limited outdoor practice opportunities, Hilbert traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC to participate in the Fast Pitch Dreams spring tournament. Taking the field for the first time live, the Hawks faced mainly Division III teams also from the northern states looking for sunshine and productive field conditions. Hilbert opened the season with three losses (Morrisville State, Baptist Bible and Pikeville) the first day, then rebounded in game two 24-hours later when they captured their first win (Becker: 11-1) after an early morning loss to Keystone State.   Morrisville, the University of Cumberlands and Becker outscored the Hawks 41-8 over their final four games of the southern swing sending the royal and white back north 1-8.

Once the team returned to campus, they waited for Mother Nature to give in and allow them to play a college softball game back up in Western New York. Nine game dates were rescheduled, and four double headers were cancelled. Of the 9 AMCC regular season double-header games, only three games were played as originally scheduled. Rain or snow, and poor field conditions kept the Hawks from taking their home field which meant that, for the first time in the program’s history, the women’s softball team at Hilbert College did not play one single HOME softball game on their own field during the 2011 season. Of the four home games on the schedule, two were switched to the opponent’s fields (La Roche and Penn State Behrend) and the other two were played at Erie Community College’s north campus (Medaille and Mount Aloysius). 

Scoring runs and crossing home plate was challenging for the young Hawks in AMCC games. In the first game against Behrend, the Hawks surrendered 11 runs in the first two innings but battled back to 11-9 deficit at the bottom of the 6th inning. Behrend scored 5 runs in the top of the 7th putting the game out of reach grabbing a 16-10 win.

On April 27th, Hilbert held a 9-8 lead by the middle of 6th inning against D’Youville College, before giving up 4 unanswered runs at the bottom of the 6th. D’Youville captured the 12-9 victory and continued on by the end of the season to become eventual AMCC champions. 

Then, in the game played in Erie, PA, against Franciscan University, the Hawks held a 9-6 lead after their 7th at bat. Franciscan scored 3 runs in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings with both teams searching for their first AMCC win. After placing a runner on second base, Hilbert’s first two batters flew out, before the third batter earned a base on balls. Then the next batter finished the inning with another fly-out, keeping the score knotted at 9.  Franciscan inserted a designated runner on second base who moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Hilbert intentionally walked the next two batters loading the bases. The last batter singled, which sent the winning run home, giving Hilbert a 10-9 loss.

Unfortunately, due to the terrible 2011 spring weather, the Hawks played three fewer games than the 2010 season which impacted team statistics as well as individual stats. Junior Jill Martucci (Hamburg, NY/Hamburg) lead the Hawks hitting with (.361) average, scored 20 runs off 30 hits (with 5 doubles and two home runs) earning 11 RBI. She also held the team high slugging percentage of (.494).   Sophomore Amber Grosch (Depew, NY/Depew) broke her wrist 13 games into the season but still led the team with 10 stolen bases (out of 11 attempts) and had the team high (.412) batting average. Sophomore pitcher Emili Ripley (Batavia, NY/Notre Dame) hit a team high-9 doubles for the Hawks, improving her batting average (.329) and slugging percentage (.378). Her 10.14 era contributed to her 0-16 record on the mound. Seeing a marked improvement in hitting percentage from her freshman season was Devan Jonathan (Basom, NY/Akron) who improved from (.172) to (.339).  

With four juniors and five sophomores returning in 2012, Coach Melissa Markle will have experienced players who are hungry for a few more wins.

Click (here) to see the 2011 season recap.

Hilbert College, located in suburban Hamburg, N.Y., south of Buffalo, is a private four-year college founded in 1957 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition. With nearly 1,100 students, Hilbert is a dynamic Western New York college that offers career-focused majors, including one of the top criminal justice programs in the region, and more than 50 minors and concentrations. The college’s engaging, student-centered campus community offers numerous leadership, internship, and service learning opportunities from which students launch successful careers while making positive changes in their communities. The Hilbert Blueprint promotes a well-rounded student experience over four years – starting with the Foundations Seminar in the freshman year, followed by Sophomore Service, Junior Symposium, and culminating with the Senior Capstone. Hilbert has expanded its academic offerings with the college’s first graduate programs and new Accelerated Degree Programs geared to adult learners.