Falcons open 2019 season against Albertus Magnus on March 10th
Fitchburg, Mass. – The Fitchburg State softball team's 2019 season has been announced with the Falcons scheduled to play a total of 40 games, including ten games during its annual spring trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Green and Gold finished last season with an overall record of 13-20 and a 6-8 mark within Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play, en-route to earning the sixth seed in the 2018 MASCAC Softball post-season tournament.
This season, Fitchburg State is scheduled to play a pair of teams who qualified for the 2018 NCAA DIII Regionals, while also playing seven teams that won at least 20 games last season.
"I am really excited to see how this season shapes out as we have an interesting dynamic of seven seniors, seven freshmen and four combined sophomores and juniors" said Fitchburg State head softball coach Merry MacDonald. "The core of this team have worked hard for the past three or four years together both on and off the field, in the off season and in the weight room, so it's now up to them to show their progress on the field this season," continued MacDonald.
Junior McKenzie Lambert (Wilbraham, Mass.) returns as the Falcons top offensive threat, posting a team-leading .365 batting average with eight doubles, three triples, four home runs, 28 runs scored and 23 RBI, while senior Melissa DiPhilippo (Norfolk, Mass.) hit .343 with 24 hits, eight runs scored, three double and ten RBI.
Other impact returners include senior Nicole Sylvester (Everett, Mass.), who finished with a .287 batting average, including seven doubles, one homer, 13 runs scored, 12 RBI and three steals, while sophomore Taylor Colvin (Lancaster, Mass.) returns as the Falcons pitching ace after recording a team-best 3.61 ERA with five wins and 52 K's in 71.2 innings of work.
Senior Hayley McCarthy (Lawrence, Mass.) provides leadership in the Falcons infield after collecting 24 hits with five doubles, eight RBI and 11 runs scored to earn her first MASCAC All-Conference selection, while junior Emma Campbell (Goffstown, N.H.) adds pitching depth for the Green and Gold after concluding the 2018 season with an overall record of 4-6 with 30 strikeouts in 16 appearances.
Key incoming players for the Fitchburg State softball team this season include freshmen Lundyn Forcier, Audrey Johnson, Courtney Luker and Olivia Pietersen to name a few.
"We have a tough non-conference schedule of ten games down south this season as usual, while up north some solid competition we will be facing are Plymouth State, Curry and Clark" said MacDonald.
"Within our conference, there is a lot of parody and on any given day, any team can win. You definitely want to show up and battle every MASCAC contest. Framingham State has been the two-time defending tournament champions, so we are definitely excited to get another shot at them this season." Continued MacDonald.
The Falcons open their 2019 slate at the Fast Pitch Dreams Spring Classic in Myrtle Beach, S.C. as they take on Albertus Mangus and Iowa Wesleyan (3/10), Norwich and Franciscan (3/11), La Roche and Clarks Summit (3/12), Greenville and Lycoming (3/14) and Keystone and Pikeville (3/15)
Fitchburg State returns up north as it travels to Anna Maria for a non-conference double header on March 21st before the Green and Gold hosts the Colonels of Curry College for a non-conference matchup (3/23).
The Falcons then travel to Becker College for two games (3/26) before hosting Regis College on March 28th for a non-conference double header. Fitchburg State opens MASCAC play on March 30th as they visit Mass. Maritime for a pair of contests, while returning to Coolidge Park to host Plymouth State (4/4) and MCLA (4/6) for a pair of games each.
The Green and Gold continue their home stand as they host Worcester State for a conference double header on April 9th, while also hosting Lasell College on April 11th. Fitchburg State hits the road for a MASCAC twin billing against Bridgewater State (4/13) before returning home to host Westfield State (4/15) for a conference double header.
The Falcons visit Rivier University (4/17) for a non-conference tilt then travel to Salem State (4/19) for a pair of MASCAC games. Fitchburg State's non-conference schedule wraps up on April 23rd as it hosts the Cougars of Clark University for a pair of games, while concluding its 2019 regular season on April 27th as they host Framingham State for a conference twin billing at Coolidge Park.
The Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament starts on May 1st and runs through the championship game on May 4th.