Spring sports

Spring Sports: What You Missed While You Were Gone

As finals came to a close on May 11, many students packed their bags and headed home for the summer. However, students that participated in spring sports remained behind as each of their seasons rolled on.

The baseball team had an excellent bounce back year, after finishing under .500 last season with a record of 2227. This following season the team posted a record of 3619, including a record of 257 in the NEC. Possibly the most impressive statistic about their record was that the Hawks were near unbeatable at home, compiling a record of 193 on home turf.

The Hawks season came to an end on May 22, when they fell to Sacred Heart 92 in the NEC Championship game at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, Connecticut. The loss gave the Hawks a second place finish, which is a huge improvement on last season.

“It was a fun fulfilling year and we had a unique team which helped us make it as far as we did. They liked each other and each guy cared about the next and it helped us be a successful team,” said Head Coach Dean Ehehalt.

Leading the way offensively for the Hawks this past season was senior infielder Ryan Terry. Terry tore it up in his final season as a Hawk, leading the team in hits, RBIs, runs scored, doubles, and batting average. Terry’s talents did not go unnoticed by pro scouts, as Terry was selected in the 21st round (660th overall)by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 2011 Major League Baseball Draft.

“Ryan has been a great player for a long time for us. He was a catalyst for us and loves to do well and win. He was instrumental in our success last year on and off the field,” said Ehehalt.

Graduate student Nick Meyers had a stand out season pitching this past spring. Meyers went 91 with an ERA of 2.85 and 68 strikeouts.

The Hawks were happy with turning things around this season, but they were not satisfied. This upcoming spring they look to take the next step and win the NEC title.

“As long as we’re not decimated with injuries, I believe we will compete for the championship again in our conference. We’ve got some guys to replace, but once we figure out who is going to play where and how our lineup is going to settle in then I believe we’ll have a chance to be very good,” said Ehehalt.

The baseball team also received some great news in these last few weeks with the news that former pitcher Brad Brach, who was in the minor leagues for the San Diego Padres, got the call up to the majors. Brach became the first baseball player from Monmouth to ever make it to the majors.

“It’s a great accomplishment for our program and it is exciting to get your first guy. Brach is a guy who is a quality person and is still connected to the program so that made it that much more special,” said Ehehalt.

Brach debuted on August 31 in Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Brach went 1.1 innings with three strikeouts in his first ever major league game.

The men’s and women’s outdoor track team had yet another outstanding season this past spring. The Hawks took home the NEC crown once again, winning their third straight NEC championship right here on campus.

For the men it was their seventh title in the last eight years and for the women it was their fourth in the last five years.

The women dominated the meet and had six first place finishes in events. On the men’s side the 4×100 relay team finished in first and so did Tom Ciccoli in the shot put, and Vincent DuVernois in the javelin.

Head Coach Joe Compagni attributes the team’s success to both the drive of the team as well as the support of the school. “New folks come in and have some expectations about being a team that is going to compete for a championship. There are a lot of things that we do here that are unique that we can’t do unless we have the support of the whole school,” said Compagni.

The Hawks were back in action only a week later in the Eastern College Athletic Conference meet. It was a fast turnaround, but the team still had a strong showing and finished at 33 overall. Rachel Watkins, Jennifer Nelson, Mary Wilks and Lindsey Walsh won AllEast honors at the event.

Three track athletes went on to compete in the NCAA Division 1 Championships. This was senior Mary Wilks’s last track event and in the event she broke the school record in the javelin with a throw of 149’5”. DuVernois advanced from the first round to the finals and earned All-American honors in the finals. Lindsey Walsh had a strong showing and it was her last meet of a very good year. All three earned Academic All-American honors as well.

The track team did an excellent job of getting the job done both on the field and in the classroom. “It’s important because they’re student athletes and the student comes first. The school side is the most important side as only a select few have gone on to make a living at the next level,” said Compagni.

The Hawks will look to keep their NEC streak of dominance in tact next season and hope to remain atop the NEC.

The softball team had a much tougher season than the 2010 season, as they finished 2121 overall. The team suffered many setbacks throughout the season.

They suffered from the injury bug, as the team struggled to stay healthy. It also did not help that the weather often did not cooperate and they did not play in one midweek game until the last week of the season.

Head Coach Louie Berndt says a lack of numbers, injuries, and the fact that they only had one pitcher was what held the team back last season. “Basically we only had 12 able bodies to play in 10 spots. This meant the same people were playing every day through tiredness, soreness, and injuries,” said Coach Berndt.

Last season the Hawks were led by junior catcher Emily deLong and Christine Scherr. deLong led the team in batting average, home runs, and total bases. DeLong was even named to the First-Team All NEC team.

Scherr started all 48 games as a freshman and earned NEC rookie of the week honors. Scherr was second on the team in runs scored and played solid defense at second base. Unfortunately she got injured towards the end of the season.

There are six new players this season and a new assistant coach, former University of Georgia star Megan McCallister, who should be able to help the team have success.

The Hawks will look to turn things around next season and hopefully experience much success. “We just have to stay healthy and have mother-nature on our side. Other than that the talent is there we just need the weather to cooperate and let them play,” said Berndt.