(19-0 CAA) begins another tourney run on Wednesday as they take on the
Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens(8-12 CAA).
I’ll be in studio for however long the Pride’s run lasts this year. Having been a part of numerous softball broadcasts this season, I really “pride” myself on being able to follow this team and discuss on the air. Softball is not really a sport that gets a lot of attention, especially at the mid-major level, but this team has proven that it deserves national recognition.
This may be, next to men’s lacrosse, the most successful program at Hofstra. They’ve put together 22 straight winning seasons, have won 17 NCAA Tournament games in 12 appearances, 16 conference championships, and 11 consecutive from 1998-2008.
In any sport, those stats hold historical significance. This year’s softball team dominated
their conference slate going 19-0. Before that though, the Pride played their most difficult non-conference schedule in the school’s history; they went 16-13. But none of that really matters once the tournament begins; it’s a new season for all four teams that will compete (Delaware, James Madison, and defending champion Georgia State will also play).
Since the Pride hold the one seed, the tournament will be held at Hofstra Softball Stadium for the second year in a row.
Last year’s run saw an unexpected end as Hofstra lost to the Georgia State Panthers in the opening series. This year though, head coach Bill Edwards and his squad are set on making a serious postseason run.
Star pitcher Olivia Galati finishes the regular season with stats that are off the charts. Here are some to show
just a few of the accolades the junior has earned this year:
As a pitcher, Galati boasts a 27-5 record, in which she set Hofstra’s mark for most consecutive wins at 23, a 0.95 ERA which leads the conference, and 296 strikeouts, another conference topper.
But, that’s not all Galati does. With the bat, she finished tied for first in the CAA with a .370 average. Here’s what she had to say in an interview with my colleague Dan Hilton after her perfect game against conference foe UNCW: click here
That’s been a key to Hofstra’s success this year. Galati, of course, stands out as the most important piece to the puzzle, but Coach Edwards has a lot of weapons behind her in the field.
Junior outfielder, Tessa Ziemba finishes the regular season with an impressive, CAA high, 43 runs batted in, and also finished tied atop the conference standings with 11 home runs.
Also, here’s what Coach Edwards had to say after his team concluded a perfect conference slate in an interview with my colleagues Dan Hilton and Brian MacDonald: click here.
There have been bumps in the road, but this team has been able to overcome many of them. There has not been a game this season, once conference play started, that Hofstra looked uncomfortable in or was not in the driver’s seat. This should be a deep tournament run for the Pride.
All things considered, Hofstra is a school that’s recognized as having a top Men’s Lacrosse program. But, statistically, the softball team deserves a lot of hype and attention, especially entering this year’s postseason.
Game one between Hofstra and Delaware can be heard live on 88.7 FM, WRHU and WRHU.org. Coverage starts are 1:30pm with the Pre-Game Edition of the Locker Room, then first pitch at 2.
Be sure to tune in as I’ll be in studio breaking down the tournament action.