Thursday, February 14, 2008

UAlbany Softball Picked Second in America East Preseason Poll

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Cambridge, Mass. – The defending America East Conference champion University at Albany softball team has been chosen to finish second in the conference standings, according to the preseason poll of the league’s head coaches. Boston University, which has appeared in five of the last six championship title games, was chosen first with five first-place votes, as announced on Thursday, Feb. 14.

UAlbany won its third straight America East Conference championship last season and reached the NCAA Regional Finals for the first time in school history. The Great Danes, who posted a 35-17 record, defeated Harvard and Hofstra to advance to the 2007 regional final against nationally-ranked Baylor.

Two all-conference first-team standouts return this year, including sophomore second baseman Michelle Connors (Shenendehowa) and senior outfielder Amber Maisonet. Connors finished second in the conference with 41 runs scored and belted nine home runs. Maisonet ended up leading the conference in batting average (.382) and hits (65) after going 7-for-19 in the postseason.
UAlbany is led in the circle by all-conference rookie team member Leah McIntosh, who went 11-6 on the mound as a freshman with a 3.02 ERA. McIntosh tossed four complete-game shutouts and fanned 158 opposing batters.

Head coach Chris Cannata, whose team opens the season on Feb. 29 against Maine at the Stetson Invitational in Florida, will be working with a very young team this spring. With just two seniors and one junior on the roster, the Great Danes feature eight sophomores and seven freshmen. Brittney Rose (Schenectady), a first-year hurler, posted a 1.03 ERA as a high school senior and was named to the all-area first team.

The 2008 America East Championship will be held on May 8-10 at the highest seed that has a field with lights.

2008 America East Conference Softball Poll
1. Boston U. (5), 47, 2. UAlbany (2), 42, 3. UMBC (1), 35, 4. Stony Brook, 34, 5. Hartford, 23, 6. Maine, 22, 7. Vermont, 12, 8. Binghamton, 9.

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