After posting the third highest single-season win mark in program history last year, the Mount Ida softball team is looking to continue its success during the 2018 campaign. Veteran Head Coach Katie Zuman returns six letterwinners and five starters this spring as the Mustangs look to make a run to the top of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference standings.
One of the traditions of Zuman’s program has been outstanding leadership provided by its captains, and this year will be no exception with senior Hayley Microulis (Pawtucket, R.I./Saint Raphael Academy) serving in that role and juniors Jenni Jackson (Marlboro, Mass./Marlboro), Kristina Stella (Revere, Mass./Revere) and Kelsey Weston (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) adding additional support as assistant captains. Zuman, a former standout at Wheaton and the winningest coach in Mount Ida history as she enters her 11th campaign, describes the quartet as “an extension of the coaching staff with the impact they have made both on and off the field. They know what I expect of them, and they in turn hold their teammates to those same expectations and high standards.”
Here's a look at how things are shaping up for the 2018 edition of Mustang Softball:
INFIELD. Microulis anchors Mount Ida’s infield at the shortstop position after batting .380 in 34 outings with five doubles and 16 RBI a year ago, while Weston started in 29 of 30 contests played at first base and rapped out four extra base hits with eight RBI. Jackson made 27 starts at third base for the Mustangs in 2017 and collected three doubles and six RBI along the way, while sophomore Jessica Weiss (Great Neck, N.Y./Miller Great Neck North) split time between the infield and the circle as a rookie, as she played in 12 outings and recorded a win in five starts. Freshmen Shelby Nolan (Ansonia, Conn./Notre Dame Catholic) and Kendal Carvalho (New Bedford, Mass./New Bedford) will also be vying for spots in Zuman’s infield rotation as newcomers this spring.
OUTFIELD. Sophomore Alisa Benson (Middletown, R.I./Middletown) enjoyed a solid first collegiate campaign in 2017 for Mount Ida, as she batted .284 and started all but one of 34 games while recording 16 stolen bases. Stella belted a homer and drove in five runs while starting in 26 of 31 contests last spring, and the freshman duo of Caitlin Hogan (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy) and Vanessa Puopolo (Revere, Mass./Revere) will look to impact the Mustangs’ fortunes during their rookie seasons.
PITCHER. Weiss and Microulis combined for nearly 29 innings of work inside the circle last year for Zuman, who welcomes in a group of talented newcomers that includes freshmen Hannah Doherty (Hampton, N.H./Winnacunnet), Savannah Neilan (Somerset, Mass./Somerset-Berkley), Carrigan Costello (Wolcott, Conn./Wolcott) and Madeleine Smith (San Diego, Calif./Mt. Carmel) looking to make their mark in 2018.
CATCHER. Five freshmen will be vying to take over the backstopping duties for the Mustangs this season, as Katie Jaroneczyk (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck), Nikolette Papadopoulos (Coventry, Conn./Coventry), Lindsay Finney (Bennington, Vt./Mount Anthony Union), Michelle Cilley (Dracut, Mass./Dracut) and Jill Skalski (Cranford, N.J./Cranford) combine to provide depth in Zuman’s catching corps.
SCHEDULE. Mount Ida is set to take on a full 40-game regular season slate this spring that includes eight contests at The Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. during spring break. The Mustangs open their home schedule on Saturday, March 24th with a GNASC twinbill against Albertus Magnus and will also entertain Newbury, Anna Maria, Saint Joseph (Conn.), Dean, Lasell, Suffolk and Norwich on campus. Zuman’s crew will travel to Wentworth and Wheelock for non-league doubleheaders while also heading to Saint Joseph’s (Maine), Simmons, Rivier, Regis, Johnson & Wales and Emmanuel for conference twinbills.
Mount Ida begins the 2018 season on Sunday, March 4th by taking on Saint Vincent and Saint Elizabeth in opening action at The Spring Games in Clermont, Fla. at 9:00 a.m. EST.