BOSTON – After a weekend sidelined due to rain outs, the Suffolk softball team has set its sights on its GNAC opener, now versus Norwich as the Cadets come to East Boston Memorial Park Thursday, April 6 for a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader.
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LAST TIME OUT
Behind concrete pitching from Taylor Holmes and solid hitting from Jill Pulek and Delaney Sylvester the Suffolk softball team collected an 8-0 shutout win over Boston Commons neighbor Emerson Thursday night at Rotch Field. The win marks head coach Jaclyn Davis' 101 on the Rams' bench making the fifth-year head coach the program's winningest in the 33-year history.
RUNDOWN ON THE RAMS
Suffolk has splits its last two twin bills – at Salem and Emerson – to bring a 6-8 record in GNAC action.
Jill Pulek has been a force at the dish for the Rams with the sophomore not only producing team leading numbers, but sitting amongst the top in the league. The Cheshire, Connecticut product paces Suffolk's pack in batting average (.510), on-base percentage (.510), RBI (17), and homers (4). She leads the conference and the squad in slugging percentage (.922), hits (26), and doubles (9). Pulek's 10 runs are good for second on the squad behind Devlin Frost's 13 with the junior center fielder batting .320 for the Rams this season falling second on the team in hits (16) and RBI (9).
Ashley Zulla has had a standout freshman campaign thus far, sitting second on the team in average .423, on-base percentage (.444) and slugging percentage (.846) with 11 hits, five RBI and nine runs scored. Delaney Sylvester's hitting .326 and slugging .400 on 14 hits, nine RBI and six runs scored.
In the pitchers circle the tandem of Taylor Holmes and Ali Yamakaitis have excelled for the Rams. Yamakaitis boasted a 2.45 ERA heading into the weekend through 45.2 innings of work with 27 runs (16 earned) allowed on 48 hits and 34 Ks. Holmes, meanwhile, had a rough going, but has returned to her form in New England. The junior twirler holds a 6.28 ERA in 29.0 innings of work including a complete-game, eight-hit, nine-strikeout shutout at Emerson.
CATCH UP ON THE CADETS
Norwich has been unable to mark in the win column this season and most recently fell at GNAC rival Johnson & Wales, 7-0 and 8-2, to prep for the showdown with Suffolk. The Cadets have been shut out twice this season and have only produced 17 runs in their 10 outings.
Two everyday starters are producing over .300 averages for the Cadets with Sarah Perry's .308 leading the way and Madison Miller's .303 falling in a close second. Miller sits atop the team in hits (10), while Perry is top on the team in runs scored (4) and second on the squad in RBI (3).
Four different arms have taken the circle for Norwich this season. Sophomore Rachel Johnson has seen the most action. In 35.0 innings of work, she holds a team-best 3.60 ERA in three games started with an impressive 54 strikeouts.
INSIDE THE SERIES
Despite picking up the last five victories, Suffolk trails the all-time series with Norwich, 18-17.
Jill Pulek has made the most of her trips to the plate this season with the sophomore producing team high numbers in nearly every offensive category including batting average (.510), on-base percentage (.510), slugging percentage (.922), RBI (17), hits (26), doubles (9), homers (4) and total bases (47).
Her nine doubles are one shy of her 2016 total (10), while her four homeruns, which came over the last three games, are half the amount she produced as a freshman. Pulek is not only the first Ram to string three straight games together with a long ball in the Jaclyn Davis era, but the first Suffolk softball player to do so, joining an elite group of just 25 Division III athletes to knock a bomb in three or more games.
Jaclyn Davis, who earned her 100th victory at Salem State March 25, added more milestones to her coaching resume March 30 as she became the winningest coach in Suffolk softball's 33-year history thanks to an 8-0 cleansheet over Emerson, which gave her win 101. Davis surpasses Elaine Schwagge's 100 total from 2001-05.
With the 11-6 victory at Salem State, Jaclyn Davis picked up her 100th win on Suffolk's bench. She is just the second coach in the Rams' 33-year history to eclipse the 100-win mark. Davis joins Elaine Schwagger (100-82) as the only two coaches in Suffolk's softball annals to win 100 games in their careers at the helm of the program.
GNAC CORVIAS ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Ashley Zulla of the Suffolk softball team has been named the GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week after batting 0.625, slugging 1.375 and putting together a 0.667 on-base percentage during a doubleheader at Salem State Saturday, the league office announced Monday afternoon.
MORE READING: Zulla Named GNAC Corvias Rookie of the Week
GNAC CORVIAS PITCHER OF THE WEEK
In the first week of action, Ali Yamakaitis threw her way to GNAC Corvias Pitcher of the Week March 13 with the junior going 2-0 in a pair of starts with a 0.54 ERA.
MORE READING: Yamakaitis Earns GNAC Corvias Pitcher of the Week
Suffolk readies for a full weekend of conference contests with the Rams entertaining Johnson & Wales Saturday, April 8, before venturing across town for a twin bill at Emmanuel Sunday, April 9. Game one on each day is scheduled for noon.