Hofstra softball gearing up to host CAA Tournament

The Hofstra softball team clinched the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) regular season title last weekend by winning two of three at second place Georgia State but head coach Bill Edwards has no plans to take this weekend’s series against Drexel lightly.

“We’re not going to do anything different then we have done all year round,” said Edwards, whose team enters its final three regular season games against Drexel starting with a doubleheader Friday at 37-10 and 15-2 in the CAA. “We’re going to play every game to win.”

While Saturday’s regular season finale will be senior day for Pride seniors Michele DePasquale,  Kris Root, Stefanie Feinstein and Christie Novatin, it will not be the final time the foursome takes the field at Hofstra University Softball Stadium. By winning the CAA regular season title Hofstra earned the right to host the conference tournament from May 12-14.

“It is a privilege to host and they have earned it,” said Edwards. “It is a very good thing for us.”
Last year the Pride hosted the CAAs but was bounced in two games, ending Hofstra’s 11 year streak of capturing a conference title. Should Hofstra fall short this year the Pride may be in position for an at-large NCAA Tournament berth thanks to some impressive early season victories that puts it 36th in the latest RPI rankings. However Coach Edwards said an at-large berth is far from a certainty and he would like to avoid the drama by winning the CAA title and the league’s automatic bid to the NCAAs.
“You never know which way the committee is leaning,” said Edwards of the uncertainty over whether Hofstra has a strong enough of a profile to merit an at-large bid.  “There are so many good teams out there right now.”

A major reason for Hofstra’s success has been its stellar fielding. Hofstra is currently ranked fifth in the nation in fielding percentage at 0.978, according to the NCAA. Having a stellar defense is made easier by elite pitching, which Hofstra has received from freshman ace Olivia Galati and sophomore Erin Wade.
“They both have been able to make the right pitch at the right time,” said Edwards. “Pitching and defense wins championships and gives you a shot at a good season and I think that has pretty much been the strength of the team all year round.”

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