HC Softball Team Looks to Return to AMCC Tourney

Release Date:
March 1, 2006
The Office of Sports Information
(716) 649-7900 ext. 333

2006 Season Preview

HAMBURG, NY - It’s not hard to understand why Hilbert College head softball coach Bill Goc has high expectations for his 2006 Hawks. Last spring’s team finished 11-14 overall and 9-9 in the 10 team league, good enough for a fifth place finish and a spot in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) post-season tourney. The thought of losing only one starter from last year’s playoff team and a talent laden freshman class has the forth-year mentor focused on another run at post-season play in the AMCC.

Perhaps the best chance comes from the leadership and bat of senior catcher Amber Fie (Olean, NY/Olean). As the team’s only all-conference selection from a year ago, Fie lead the Hawks in HR’s (3), RBI’s (20), TB’s (49), and hit .425 while starting all 25 games. To help with the catching duties will be freshmen Stephanie Lewandowski (Depew, NY/Depew), and Kelly Goodwin (Niagara Falls, NY/Niagara Falls).

As impressive as the catching platoon is, the strength of the team is up the middle. Centerfield will be manned by last year’s shortstop, junior Kaitlyn Miller (Depew, NY/Depew). At the plate last year Miller hit .397 with 15 RBI’s from the leadoff spot. She also led the team with 9 stolen bases. The middle infield will be secured by freshman shortstop Lacy John (Versailles, NY/Gowanda), while second will be defended by Goodwin when not backing up Fie behind the plate. Rounding out the middle infield is freshman Crystal Bateman (Angola, NY/Lake Shore) who will look to jump in wherever needed. “This is potentially the best middle defense our program has ever had, even with two freshman, the leadership given by Fie and Miller, will rub off on Lacy (John) and Kelly (Goodwin)”, commented Goc.

To round out the infield, sophomores Nicolette Newton (Forestville, NY/Forestville) and Laura Stranc (West Seneca, NY/West Seneca West) will be counted on to improve upon their play from a year ago. Each play third and first base respectively where both hit in the low .270’s during their rookie campaign.

Another anticipated strength will be the tandem of pitchers coach Goc will have at his command. Junior Megan Gollaher (Rochester, NY/Spencerport), a 2004 Upstate ECAC selection, will look to improve upon her career leading wins (22), with some much needed assistance from freshman Kate Moyer (Scio, NY/Scio). While Gollaher has the experience and strength to overwhelm batters, Moyer is more of a control pitcher who will get a chance to showcase her talents immediately. Goc adds, “The two pitchers are nothing alike, their styles, though different, will compliment a double-header very well”.

This year’s outfield is expected to be very deep with talent. Besides Miller in centerfield, senior co-captain Jeanette Testa (Forestville, NY/Forestville) is looking to make it back from an injury to handle duties in right field. Returning junior and career .303 hitter Kim Klein (Yorkshire, NY/Pioneer) will look to secure left field and will receive competition from freshman Christine Libby (Lackawanna, NY/Lackawanna). Other players looking to get some time in the outfield are senior Karen Kalwicki (Sloan, NY/JFK) and freshman Jenelle Layfield (Olean, NY/Olean). “When I think of the word team, I immediately think of Jenelle (Layfield) and Karen (Kalwicki). Their positive attitudes and smiles are infectious, they complete our program”, mentions Goc.

The Hawks will be taking part in the Snowbird Softball Tournament in Myrtle Beach, SC during the week of March 11th -14th. The trip includes eight games highlighted by 2004 NCAA Division II ECAC Champions Mansfield University.

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.