Pirates Start Spring Break in D.C.
Courtesy: Seton Hall Athletic Communications
SPRING BREAK IN THE NATION'S CAPITAL
Seton Hall opens a 10-day Spring Break road trip with the George Washington University Colonial Classic, to be played Saturday-Sunday, March 2-3, in Washington, D.C. The Pirates open tournament play on Saturday morning with an 11:45 a.m., tilt with Dartmouth University, followed that afternoon by the first of two showdowns with Bucknell. On Sunday the Pirates will face Bucknell for a second time, before concluding tournament action against host George Washington, the second meeting this season between the Pirates and Colonials.
• When Seton Hall faces Dartmouth on Saturday morning it will be the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
• The Pirates have faced Bucknell seven times in school history, winning all seven games against the Bison. The most recent matchup came in 2006, which resulted in a 16-6 Seton Hall win at the ECU Holiday Inn Express Pirate Classic.
• Prior to this season Seton Hall had never faced George Washington but Sunday's game will be the second of three scheduled contests between the two schools this year. George Washington won the first game of the year, 8-0, at Campbell.
LAST TIME OUT
Against some stiff competition Seton Hall posted a 1-3 record at the Jacksonville University Invitational last weekend, closing out the tournament with a 5-3 win over Mount St. Mary's. In the tournament opener against Delaware the Pirates took a 2-1 lead into the seven but fell 4-2. Senior Brittany Hammer went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in the win over Mount St. Mary's.
PIRATES CLOSE STRONG IN JACKSONVILLE
Led by Brittany Hammer's 3-for-4 performance at the plate Seton Hall closed out play at the Jacksonville University Invitational with a 5-3 win over Mount St. Mary's on Feb. 23. The senior shortstop drove in three runs in the win while sophomore Danielle DeStaso picked up the win, allowing just one run over 4.2 innings with four strikeouts.
BREAKOUT FOR DELUCA
Junior Maria DeLuca had her first breakout game of the season when she went 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI against Delaware on Feb. 22. She ranks second on the team in batting (.350), RBI (7) total bases (13) and slugging percentage (.650).
DESTASO NAMED TO HONOR ROLL
Sophomore Danielle DeStaso was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Feb. 11, after leading Seton Hall to a 2-2 week at the Hampton Inn Campbell Stampede Tournament in Buies Creek, N.C. DeStaso finished the week hitting .692, with a 1.385 slugging percentage and eight RBI. It was the second time in her career DeStaso landed on the BIG EAST Honor Roll.
LIKE A BROKEN RECORD
In Seton Hall's season opening 12-5 victory against St. Bonaventure sophomore Danielle DeStaso took direct aim at the Pirate record books. She went 5-for-5 with seven RBI and 11 total bases to set a new single-game school record in all three categories. Making her performance more impressive, she faced all but three batters as the starting pitcher to pick up the win in the process.
A couple of freshmen made a significant impact for the Pirates in the first week of action. Center fielder Yasmin Harrell and catcher/infielder Alex Rabbetts both started all four games at the Campbell Stampede Tournament. As the lead off hitter, Harrell scored a team-high five runs, hitting .286 with a stolen base. Rabbetts hit .250, driving in a pair of runs, starting three games at catcher and one at third base.
EXTRA INNING AFFAIR
Seton Hall played its first extra inning game of the season, falling 7-6 in eight innings to Campbell on Feb. 9. Heading into the seventh inning with the score knotted at 5-5, both teams scored one run and after holding the Pirates in the top half of the eighth, Campbell escaped with the win in the bottom half of the frame.
RUNNING DOWN THE DREAM
Senior shortstop Brittany Hammer led Seton Hall with 34 runs scored during the 2012 season which ranks as the sixth-highest single-season total in program history. Katie Pierce holds the all-time Seton Hall single season run record with 47 set during the 2006 campaign.
Seton Hall had a knack for turning double plays throughout the 2012 season and the Pirates were one of the best in the nation in doing so. Seton Hall ranked 38th in the country with 0.38 double plays per game, and second in the BIG EAST with 20 double plays turned all season.
DRAWING FROM EXPERIENCE
Seton Hall sees all four of its top pitchers from last season return to the pitchers circle for 2013 in senior Brooke Rickards, junior Jen Metzger, sophomore Danielle DeStaso and sophomore Casey Moses. Combined, those four threw 350.2 of Seton Hall's 357.2 innings pitched a season ago.
SWINGING THE HAMMER
Senior Brittany Hammer is the top returning offensive threat from last year's squad. She started in all 53 games for the Pirates, one of only three players to do so and the only one that is back in 2013, ranking second on the team with a .300 average and third with four home runs, 18 RBI and eight doubles.
WELCOME BACK METZGER
Junior right hander Jen Metzger was off to a great start to her sophomore campaign in 2012 before she was derailed by injury. Limited to just 10 appearances and six starts last year, Metzger posted a 5-2 overall record and a team-leading 2.30 earned run average with 39 strikeouts in 45.2 innings pitched. She returns healthy to start the 2013 season.
SWING AND A MISS
Sophomore Danielle DeStaso was forced to step up and throw a lot of innings during her freshman season and the result was one of the most impressive single-season strikeout performances in program history. She finished her first collegiate season with 105 strikeouts, which was just eight shy of Misty Beaver's all-time freshman mark of 113 set in 1998 and already ranks 15th in Seton Hall history.
Junior infielder Meredith Henze has been a mainstay for the Pirates at third base, starting 40 games and hitting .257 with 12 RBI last season, but she will miss the first half of the 2013 campaign due to injury.
TOUGH NON-CONFERENCE FOES
Head coach Paige Smith has put together a challenging non-conference schedule to help prepare her team for BIG EAST action. The Pirates will face three teams that were either ranked or receiving votes in both the NFCA and ESPN/USA Today Preseason Top-25 polls in Hofstra, Texas Tech and South Alabama.
WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM
The Seton Hall softball program is under new management with the addition of first-year head coach Paige Smith to the program. Smith comes to Seton Hall after posting five winning seasons at Adelphi (2008-12) where she led the Panthers to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths. In five seasons at Adelphi, Smith posted an overall record of 169-104-1. She also had assistant coaching stints with St. John's (2007), North Idaho (2004-06) and Louisburg (2003).
PIRATES ADD FOUR IN 2013
Seton Hall welcomes four fresh faces to the program for the 2013 season in catcher/infielder Alex Rabbetts (Corona, Calif.), outfielder/shortstop Yasmin Harrell (Cheektowaga, N.Y.), catcher Faith Laudano (Islip, N.Y.) and infielder/outfielder Jackie DiPietro (Horsham, Pa.).
COACHING STAFF ADDITIONS
First-year head coach Paige Smith announced two additions to her coaching staff for the 2013 season in Betsy White and Lindsey Curran. White, who graduated from Lipscomb in 2005 and spent the last two seasons on Smith's staff at Adelphi, will work primarily with the Pirates' pitchers. Curran played for Rutgers from 2009-12, making three-straight BIG EAST Tournament appearances.
JUNIOR OF THE YEAR
Brittany Hammer was named the Seton Hall SAAC Junior Female Athlete of the Year at the annual SAAC Awards Banquet last spring. She was one of the Pirates' offensive leaders a year ago, starting in all 53 games and batting .300 with 34 runs scored, 18 RBI, eight doubles and four home runs.
PIRATES PICKED 12TH IN BIG EAST PRESEASON POLL
The Seton Hall University softball team received 24 points and was picked to finish 12th overall in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches Poll. The Pirates finished 13th in the league last season with a 3-19 record against league foes. USF earned 134 points and seven first-place votes to start the season as the preseason favorites to win the BIG EAST.
2013 BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
The 2013 BIG EAST softball championship will be held Thursday-Saturday, May 9-11, at the University of South Florida Softball Stadium in Tampa, Fla. The top eight teams in the conference will qualify for the single elimination tournament with the winner picking up the BIG EAST's automatic berth to the 2013 NCAA Championship. The BIG EAST Championship game will be held Saturday, May 11, at 4 p.m., and will be broadcast live on ESPN2.
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