BOSTON – Suffolk softball was selected to finish second in the 2018 GNAC Coaches Preseason Poll, announced Thursday by the conference office.
Johnson & Wales was the No. 1 pick in the poll, topping the ranks for the third straight season. The Wildcats, who hoisted their third consecutive conference trophy a year ago, were chosen to make it four in a row with 12 first-place votes and 168 points.
Suffolk slides in second with 150 points and received one-first place nod. Saint Joseph's (Maine) (139) and Albertus Magnus (138) are separated by one point for third and fourth, respectively, while Saint Joseph (Conn.) (102) completes the top five.
The Rams, fresh off the program's fifth conference championship chase, enter the 2018 campaign with a strong core of returners, including six seniors, Madison Eucalitto, Devlin Frost, Taylor Holmes, Sydney Littlefield, Delaney Sylvester and Ali Yamakaitis, who look to lead the blue-and-gold where no team in Suffolk softball's 34th-year history has gone before, to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The Class of 2018 makes up the majority of the Rams' everyday starters that are back on the diamond for Jaclyn Davis' sixth season in Boston. Junior infielders Jaclyn Flint and McKenzie McGrath and sophomore outfielder Ashley Zulla will look continue to make an impact in the line-up.
Davis brought in a five freshmen to add to a mix, which returns nearly 70.0 percent of its offensive production (68.8% hits (295-429), 61.6% RBI (149-242) 63.0% runs scored (170-270)), half of its putouts from last season and all four twirlers from last season that combined for a 3.30 ERA. Kelly Keane will be called upon to fill the shoes of former first baseman, Lindsay Pagano, who graduated last spring as the program's all-time leader in putouts (1,234). Payton Sylvester looks to contribute in the field, at the plate, and in the circle, while Constance Phelan will be in the rotation of pitchers as well. Grace Boehler and Hailey Cockroft will also make their collegiate debuts this season in Suffolk blue-and-gold.
Suffolk is set to throw its first pitch of the 2018 slate at The Spring Games on Saturday, March 10 versus SUNY Geneseo at 9 a.m. Members of Ram Nation have the chance to catch the blue-and-gold in action live, even if they cannot make the trip to the Sunshine State, via live stream courtesy of Flosoftball.com.
|2018 GNAC SOFTBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL|
1. Johnson & Wales
3. St. Joseph's (Maine)
4. Albertus Magnus
5. St. Joseph (Conn.)
9. Mount Ida
13. Anna Maria
|2017 GNAC RECORD