CCRI Softball 2016 Outlook
The 2016 Community College of Rhode Island softball team will strive to once again become regional champions. The Lady Knights will play a very competitive schedule. The Lady Knights will travel to spring training at the National Training Center in Florida in March. The team will face stiff competition and use this time to help prepare for regional play.
Head Coach Liz Afonso will return to the helm of the Lady Knights for her seventh season. Her staff will consist of two alumna of the program, Caitlin Montella and Jessica Borden.
Despite its size, the Lady Knights look to be solid and true contenders for the 2016 season. The team is returning seven sophomores, led by 2015 All-Region team honorees Meghan Rousseau (Richmond, RI), Kristina Rodriguez (North Kingstown, RI), Jenna Urso (West Warwick, RI) and Mikayla Fernandez (Burrillville, RI). Also returning are Jessica Spargo (Westerly, RI), Erica Jewett (Coventry, RI) and Samantha Archambault (North Smithfield, RI).
With a strong core of returning players, the Lady Knights look to come strong running out of the gate. Outfielders Rousseau and Rodriquez will be key assets patrolling the outfield as well as setting the table for the middle of the batting line-up. Spargo, Urso, Fernandez and Jewett will offer veteran leadership to solidify the infield defensively. In addition, both Spargo and Jewett look to add depth in the pitching rotation while Archambault will anchor the team behind the plate after redshirting last year because of injury.
Joining the sophomores are seven recruits, Bella Malvinni (Westerly, RI), Courtney Sheridan (Warwick, RI), Jenna Beauchamp (Warwick, RI), Abby Martinelli (West Greenwich, RI) Madison Cooper (Pawtucket, RI), Kaitlyn Campanelli (Lincoln, RI) and Natalie Gallucci (Coventry, RI). Sheridan comes in as a key pitching recruit as a starter. Malvinni, who was named All-Division in her senior year at Westerly High School, will add to the infield strength with excellent range, a strong arm and solid defensive skills. They will be joined by another 2015 RIIL All-Division player, Maddie Cooper (Pawtucket, RI), a strong catcher and first baseman with a solid bat will serve as an asset both offensively and defensively. Beauchamp’s strong fielding and hitting skills also will solidify the depth of the team. Martinelli, Campanelli and Gallucci will round out the incoming freshmen players and contribute in a variety of roles.
According to head coach Afonso, "We look to be a powerful defensive team with explosive potential at the plate, a very strong batting order and speed in the outfield. This team should be a contender for the Region XXI title as well as districts.”