PREVIEW: Softball looking for a run to CAC Tournament in 2018

PREVIEW: Softball looking for a run to CAC Tournament in 2018

DOVER, Del. – After being on the cusp of making the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship Tournament last season, the Wesley College softball team is ready to make a splash in the 2018 season.

"There's a good amount of depth in the lineup and rotation this year," said head coach Juli Greep. "Practices and training have been going really well and we are ready to get the season started."

The Wolverine offense will be highlighted by NFCA All-Region and All-CAC player junior Ashley Royer. Royer ranked fourth in the CAC in runs batted in (40), tied for eighth in home runs (4) and tied for ninth in doubles (10). She tallied a .495/.500/.796 batting split in 2017. Joining Royer will be fellow junior Megan DiRubbio. A CAC Second Team honoree last season, DiRubbio registered the fourth-highest batting average (.441) and eighth-highest on-base percentage (.485) in the CAC.

"Megan has become a very versatile part of our lineup. We can use her in a variety of positions and spots in the lineup and she will be effective. Ashley showed last year that she is a capable middle of the order bat that can drive in runs. Getting both going will be key in the season."

Senior outfielder Lauren Hoffman will look to better her 2017 season where she hit .349 with a home run, nine doubles, four triples and 26 RBIs. Hoffman also registered a .538 slugging percentage, third-best on the team last year.

Sophomore infielders Karina Cardona and Brooke Retkowski also return to the Wolverines in 2018. In 2017, Cardona notched a .342 batting average with 11 RBI and seven doubles. The team's Rookie of the Year in 2017, Retkowski saw the majority of playing time at second base last year.

A solid group of freshmen and underclassmen will look to compete for starting roles in the everyday lineup for the Wolverines.

Fresh faces will be on the mound for the Wolverines this year. Sophomore Allison Mills is joined by freshmen hurlers Dori Loukopoulos, Juli Neel and Abbey Mayse.

"Our pitching staff is young, but they have shown the potential to be game-changers on the mound."

In the CAC Preseason Poll, the Wolverines were slated to finish sixth in the CAC. Defending champion Christopher Newport was picked to repeat as champions.

The Wolverines open the 2018 season with a weekend of doubleheaders at home. The Wolverines host the Swarthmore Garnet on Saturday, Feb. 24 and the Gallaudet Bison on Sunday, Feb. 25. The doubleheader against Swarthmore starts at 11 a.m. while the Gallaudet doubleheader begins at noon.

The Wolverines head south to Myrtle Beach for spring break for eight games starting on Sunday, March 11.