After enjoying its most successful season in a decade last spring, the Massachusetts Maritime softball program has its sights set on even greater heights during the 2017 campaign. Head Coach Megan Giammalvo is looking to build on that momentum as she begins her fifth season as the Buccaneers’ mentor with a veteran-laden lineup that will be infused with talented newcomers.
Leadership has been a defining characteristic of the program since its inception, and Giammalvo will look for the tradition to continue this year with juniors Kaylene Murphy (Randolph, Mass./Ursuline Academy) and Carli Thomas (Brewster, Mass./Nauset) serving as Massachusetts Maritime’s co-captains. Giammalvo, a former standout at Salem State, describes the duo as “dedicated leaders who have shown an exceptional commitment to making themselves and their teammates better each day. They have helped lay a foundation for success over the last two seasons, and they will work hard to ensure that our program continues to move forward in pursuit of our goals.”
Here’s a look at how things are shaping up for the 2017 edition of Buccaneer Softball:
INFIELD. Sophomore Rachel Gardner (Bourne, Mass./Sturgis West) anchors the left side of the infield after batting .333 with eight doubles and 10 RBI at third base as a rookie last spring, while fellow sophomore Emily Goodwin (Halifax, Mass./Silver Lake) provides additional depth after posting a .300 batting average that included three doubles, three triples and homer and a team-best 17 RBI. Goodwin will move from shortstop to first base this season and forms a solid duo at the first sack with junior Emily Bacchiocchi (Wareham, Mass./Wareham), who rapped out 13 hits and drove in nine runs for Massachusetts Maritime a year ago, while fellow junior Sarah Monteiro (North Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) is back at second base after recording 10 hits and seven RBI in 2016.
Junior Elizabeth Bramhall (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth North) is back in the Buccaneer fold at shortstop after a year’s hiatus, as she batted .286 in her rookie campaign of 2015, and Giammalvo will welcome five newcomers to the infield mix this spring in sophomores Hannah Benton (Hyannis, Mass./Barnstable) and Serena Colbert (Plymouth, Mass./Plymouth South) as well as freshmen Emily Walsh (Braintree, Mass./Braintree), Sara Coffey (Norton, Mass./Coyle-Cassidy) and Rachel Turley (Marshfield, Mass./Marshfield).
OUTFIELD. Junior Haley Delahanty (Holden, Mass./Wachusett Regional) anchors an experienced outfield corps for Giammalvo after batting .256 with four doubles last season, while sophomore Brooke Miles (Lynn, Mass./Essex Aggie) added nine hits (including a trio of two-baggers) while starting 26 of 27 games played. Freshman Jill Corazzini (Paxton, Mass./Wachusett Regional) will also be vying for a spot in Massachusetts Maritime’s outfield as a rookie in 2017.
PITCHER. Thomas, a second team all-Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference honoree last spring, posted five victories and fanned an even 100 batters inside the circle for the Buccaneers in 2016, as she batted a team-best .415 at the plate with three doubles, three homers and 15 RBI. Freshmen Jenna Nalette (Goffstown, N.H./Trinity) and Melissa Cochrane (Walpole, Mass./Walpole) join Thomas in the pitching rotation and will also see time in the outfield for Giammalvo’s crew as newcomers.
CATCHER. Murphy started in 25 of 26 games behind the dish for Massachusetts Maritime last season, as she batted .250 with 18 hits, six doubles, two triples and 10 RBI while also scoring 16 runs. Freshmen Madison Ovadek (Greenland, N.H./Portsmouth) and Allyson Crowley (Leicester, Mass./Leicester) are also looking to be in the catching mix for Giammalvo during their rookie campaigns this spring.
SCHEDULE. The Buccaneers will embark on a 26-game regular season slate in 2017 that includes non-league home twinbills with Wentworth, Maine-Presque Isle and Pine Manor as well as MASCAC dates with Fitchburg State, Salem State, Framingham State and Bridgewater State. Giammalvo’s crew will travel to Daniel Webster, Becker and Pine Manor in non-league action while also heading to Worcester State, MCLA and Westfield State for conference clashes.
Massachusetts Maritime begins the 2017 campaign on Thursday, March 16th by entertaining Wentworth in a non-league doubleheader at Alison Rollins Field at 3:30 p.m. EDT.