Blue Hen Softball Team To Open 2011 Campaign This Weekend at UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational
February 17, 2011
photos courtesy of Mark Campbell
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The University of Delaware softball team opens its 2011 campaign this weekend when the Blue Hens play five games at the UCF/Courtyard by Marriott Invitational hosted by the University of Central Florida.
Delaware will play its first game of the season on Friday when the Blue Hens face Miami (Ohio) at 9 a.m., followed by a game against Illinois-Chicago at 11:30 a.m. UD will take on Notre Dame at 4:30 p.m. and the host Knights at 7 p.m. on Saturday. Delaware will then play one game on Sunday at either 9:30 or 11:30 a.m. in the invitational’s playoffs. All games will be played at the UCF Softball Complex on the Central Florida campus.
The tournament will mark the Blue Hen debut of first-year head coach Jaime Wohlbach, who enters her first season at the helm of the Blue Hens. Delaware went 20-30-1 overall last season and finished sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association with an 8-13 league mark. The Blue Hens, who return nine letterwinners and seven starters from last year’s squad, were picked sixth in the CAA Preseason Coaches Poll.
The UD offense will be paced by sophomore Jenny Richards, a CAA First Team and All-Rookie Team selection a year ago when she led the team with a .354 batting average, 63 hits and seven doubles. Richards started in centerfield and batted leadoff during all 51 games for the Blue Hens, posting a team-high 17 multi-hit games on the year.
Junior Amanda Stacevicz (at right), a Second Team All-Northeast Region and All-CAA honoree a year ago, batted .273 with 38 hits, 18 runs scored, and 14 RBI at the plate. She will also anchor the UD pitching staff again, coming off a 2010 campaign in which she finished 11-13 with a 3.20 ERA and 137 strikeouts.
Junior Rachel Jones, who started all but one game last season, batted .254 on the season with 34 hits and 15 runs scored, while senior Michelle Grap (at left) started all 51 games while hitting .232 and leading the team with 30 RBI. Grap also hit a UD single-season record 13 home runs on the year, and is the school’s career leader with 22 longballs.
In addition to Stacevicz, Blue Hen senior Anne Marie Pagano also returns to the circle for Delaware. Pagano compiled a 7-13 record last season with a 3.85 earned run average and 75 strikeouts.
Following this weekend’s action, Delaware returns to the field on Friday, February 25 when the Blue Hens play a 3 p.m. doubleheader at Longwood. Delaware’s home opener is scheduled for March 29 when UD will host Villanova in a twinbill beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Delaware Softball Stadium.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive