2018 Hamilton softball season preview

Photo by Michael P. Doherty
Photo by Michael P. Doherty

Hamilton College team captains Liz Brautigam '19 and Phoebe Collins '18 lead 13 returners into the 2018 softball season.

Collins -- an infielder -- and pitcher/first base Zoe Singer '18 are the seniors on the 14-player roster. The Continentals won 11 games in 2017, and they welcome head coach Kate Refsnyder, who joined the program last July.

Hamilton's schedule is highlighted by 14 games in nine days in Florida in March. The Continentals are slated to play 12 home games at 2-year-old Loop Road Softball/Baseball Complex. Hamilton hosts NESCAC West Division foe Williams for a three-game series on March 30 and 31, and Amherst visits Clinton for a three-game set on April 27 and 28.

The five-team NESCAC West Division advanced two of its members to the eight-team 2017 NCAA Division III Softball Championship after they won their NCAA regionals and super-regionals last year. This spring for the first time in NESCAC history, each division will send its top four teams to the single-elimination conference championship. From 2001 to 2017 only the division leaders and runners-up qualified for the four-team championship.

The Continentals' offense took center stage last year as they hit .317 as a team and set program records for hits, runs and doubles. Outfielder Daphne Assimakopoulos '17 led the way and made the NESCAC all-conference second team after she hit .375 with 10 doubles and 20 runs batted in.

Caitlin Berreitter '20 (.357 BAvg./.476 OBP/.524 SlugPct.) led the team in on-base percentage and is one of three utility players listed on the roster. Berreitter cracked four homers and scored 26 runs. Helen Lin '19 (11-for-33, 19 games) and Jodi Weiss '19 (6-for-19, 13 games) are the other two utility players on Hamilton's roster.

Infielder Kendall Searcy '20 (.330/.405/.491) played in all 35 games as a first-year. Searcy nearly tied the program record with 14 doubles and added 13 walks and 20 RBI. Collins (14-for-44, 21 games) and Sophia Cerreta '20 (15-for-51, 29 games) are the other infielders. Cerreta had one of the Continentals' biggest hits of 2017 as her three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted Hamilton to a 6-4 victory against Middlebury on April 15.

Brautigam (12-for-59, 23 games) and Ashleah Yzaguirre '19 (.311/.373/.473) are the catchers. Brautigam made the all-NESCAC team as a first-year, and Yzaguirre could see some action in the outfield as well.

Emily Fraser '20 (.356/.383/.478) and Caroline Chivily '19 (9-for-27, 13 games) will also compete for time in the outfield. Fraser led the team with seven stolen bases and added eight doubles and 15 RBI as a first-year.

Dez DePaulis '19 led the pitching staff with 14 starts and 24 appearances a year ago. DePaulis pitched three complete games and posted three wins and a save. She handled 30 chances in the field without an error. Singer had eight starts and 21 appearances in 2017 when she recorded two victories and a save. Molly Leitner '19 was next with four starts and 15 appearances and picked up two wins as well. Claire O'Brien '21 is the lone newcomer but will be an important factor as she is one of the team's four pitchers.