The Hofstra softball team entered this afternoon’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Tournament finals needing only one win over Georgia State to clinch its eighth trip to the NCAAs in nine years. Unfortunately for the Pride the CAA title hopes came crashing down with two close defeats to the Bulldogs and now their 2011 season is more than likely over as well.
Despite being 40-13, Hofstra head coach Bill Edwards said following the Pride’s 2-0 CAA title game loss to Georgia State that they likely don’t have the resume to receive an NCAA at-large bid due to not picking up enough quality non-conference wins. Hofstra entered the CAA Tournament ranked 54 in the RPI.
“I’d be very shocked,” said Coach Edwards of his team’s at-large chances following the CAA title game loss where Georgia State scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. “We had some games early that we had to win that we very competitive in but didn’t win.”
Some of the early-season losses that Hofstra nearly pulled off against quality competition that could have bolstered the Pride’s at-large resume were 5-4 to East Carolina on Feb. 21 and 1-0 in nine innings to LSU on March 4. The last time Hofstra received an NCAA at-large bid was 2003 when the Pride were 37-15 and won the CAA title when league did not have an automatic bid.
If the Pride do not receive an at-large bid then today marked the final time that first baseman Sara Michalowski, Trisha Dreslinski and catcher Laura Valentino will have worn a Hofstra uniform. “They are class people and they are very successful out in the real world,” said Edwards of his graduating seniors. “What they have left here in a legacy will be passed for many years.”