Former Massachusetts softball All-America Sara Plourde has been hired at Lafayette as an assistant coach. The 2012 UMass graduate was named to head coach Jexx Varner's staff on Wednesday. She joins a group of more than a dozen former Minutewomen who played or coached under Elaine Sortino that are now in the college coaching ranks.
Click the link below for the complete announcement from Lafayette...
Former UMass All-American softball standout Sara Plourde (@s_pizz10) will be playing her professional softball closer to home this season. After a year playing with the Carolina Diamonds in the National Pro Fastpitch league, the franchise is moving to the New York/New Jersey area. Plourde's contract was picked up by the NY/NJ Comets during the transition, so the UMass grad will be playing softball in the northeast once again.
Paul Angilly of the Bristol Press wrote about the move here in Tuesday's paper.
The National Pro Fastpitch softball league, the highest level of professional competition in the sport in this country, recently announced that a new team, the NY/NJ Comets, will play its home games in New Jersey and New York this season, plus a two game "outreach" series in Pennsylvania.
UMass opens play in the 2012 NCAA Softball Regional today at University Field in Columbia, Mo. against DePaul. The Minutewomen bring a 22-game winning streak into the tourney and are playing away from Amherst for the first time since 2005. Don't forget to tune in to UMassAthletics.com for a live video and audio broadcast of the games this weekend for free. Here are a few previews from newspapers in Massachusetts on the team's preparations.
The Daily Collegian has a preview on today's game at Boston College. UMass will look for a season sweep of the Eagles when they meet up at Shea Field in Chestnut Hill. First pitch is at 4 pm and the game can be heard online at UMassAthletics.com.
After showing signs of inconsistency at the beginning of the season, the Massachusetts softball team appears to be getting hot at the right time.
Plourde has been on top of
her game as of late, posting six shutouts in that stretch to go along with
three no-hitters and a perfect game. Arguably her most significant improvement
is the fact that she has only issued 39 walks, helping minimize her ERA to
Wednesday was a day of celebration out at the UMass Softball Complex. After a one-day delay, the 2012 home opener went off without a hitch as the Minutewomen defeated Quinnipiac 1-0. Senior pitcher Sara Plourde established herself as the strikeout queen of UMass softball by becoming the school's career strikeout leader, surpassing Danielle Henderson's mark of 1,343 strikeouts. Oh, and SP also tossed her fourth no-hitter of the season in the process. Just a reminder that UMass hosts Dayton this weekend with single games on Friday at 3 pm and Saturday at Noon.
Graham Hays of ESPN.com has his weekly preview of softball around the country and has a couple of UMass mentions. He has Saturday's game at No. 1 Alabama listed in his Games to Watch This Weekend and in his Player of the Year sidebar, mentions UMass senior right-hander Sara Plourde. In saying her stock is rising, he references her strong game against No. 12 Michigan last weekend when she struck out 16 in leading the Minutewomen to a 1-0 victory. He goes on to mention her 16 Ks in his By the Numbers segment.
Alabama has already faced some good mid-major pitching this season, including North Dakota State's Whitney Johnson, Memphis' Carly Hummel and Lipscomb's Whitney Kiihnl, but UMass ace Sara Plourde is as good a power pitcher as they will face all season, in or out of conference.
Stock up: There were some special pitching performances in Cathedral City, but one of the best of the weekend came on the other side of the country in the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Florida. Pitching her second game of the day, Plourde allowed just two hits and struck out 16 in a 1-0 win against Michigan. The senior's overall numbers are still modest for a mid-major award hopeful (4-4, 2.17 ERA), but 83 strikeouts in 51.2 innings will keep her in the debate.
16: Massachusetts senior pitcher Sara Plourde struck out a season-high 16 batters in a 1-0 win against Michigan Friday, making it the first time the Wolverines had been shut out since a May 27, 2010 super regional loss to Tennessee. Plourde showed no letup in her next start, striking out 15 in a no-hitter against Georgia Tech.
Well the Stratford Brakettes softball team is up to its old tricks again, posting a 55-0 record so far this summer with the season winding down to the Women's Major Softball National Championship on Aug. 4-7.
This year's squad features three former Minutewomen, Brandice Balschmiter, Denise Denis, and Carly Normandin, and one current player, two-time All-American Sara Plourde.
It was a historic day at the UMass Softball Complex on Wednesday as junior pitcher Sara Plourde, with a 14-strikeout three-hitter, led UMass to a 3-2 win over Boston University and recorded the 1,000th strikeout of her career. She is just the third pitcher in UMass history to reach the mark, joining Danielle Henderson and Brandice Balschmiter, and the first to do it prior to her senior season.
The Minutewomen travelled to Storrs, Conn. on Wednesday and shut out the Huskies, 2-0. Stephanie Mayne hit a two-run home run in the third inning to account for all the scoring, while Sara Plourde pitched her eighth shutout of the season with a three-hitter. Playing in her home state, she struck out 13 batters, including the final three of the game with two runners on base. Below are recaps of the game.
Pete Vasquez of the Daily Collegian has a recap of Friday's softball win at Dayton, 9-1. Sara Plourde struck out 17 in a three-hitter, and Meghan Carta and Stephanie Mayne hit back-to-back home runs, Carta's being her second grand slam of the season. The Minutewomen have won eight in a row.
This week will be a busy one for the softball team. It travels to Storrs on Wednesday to face UConn before returning home for five-straight to close the week. On Thursday, The Minutewomen host Fairfield, on Friday it's a doubleheader against Syracuse, and on Sunday, George Washington comes to the UMass Softball Complex for an Atlantic 10 twinbill.
Senior Cerie Mosgrove of the women's basketball team and senior Sean Busch of the men's track & field squad have been named the 2011 UMass Winter Scholar-Athletes. The duo will be honored at the UMass Sports Luncheon today, Apr. 6, at Room 1009 of the Campus Center at 12:15 p.m.
Also, the UMass Athletes of the Week will be recognized: Sara Plourde of the softball team, who was also named the National Player of the Week and Katie Ferris of the women's lacrosse squad, who tallied 12 points in two wins for No. 11 UMass.
The UMass softball team opened up their home schedule in style on Wednesday, sweeping a doubleheader from Dartmouth, 1-0 and 6-2. Sara Plourde and Caroline Raymond combined to hold the Big Green hitless through the first 12 innings of play. Check out the coverage of the two wins below.
Michael Wood of the Daily Collegian has a feature on senior first baseman Audrey Boutin. The story focuses on how the Bristol, Conn. native is a key member to the offense in 2011, and after a slow start, has caught fire as of late, batting .417 with nine RBIs in the last seven games.
With Atlantic 10 Conference play just underway and the home opener on the horizon, the Daily Collegian released its annual Baseball/Softball Issue on Wednesday with extensive coverage of both squads. Check out the links below to all of the softball coverage in today's issue.
Paul Angilly of the of Bristol Press in Connecticut has a story on softball pitcher Sara Plourde as she prepares for the 2011 season that begins on Feb. 18 in Boca Raton, Fla. The story points out how Plourde was named to the National Player of the Year Watch List, is fully recovered from a hip injury suffered at the end of last season, and will be joined by two freshmen additions to the pitching staff. Angilly also points out that fellow Bristol native Audrey Boutin goes into her senior season as a leading candidate to help lead the Minutewomen's offensive attack.
The injury Sara Plourde received during the UMass run in Division I post-season
play in May, a stress fracture of the hip, has taken her off the playing
field this summer. She's been advised by her doctor to use crutches and
to keep weight off her leg. She'll get an X-ray on Monday to see how
she's doing. The Bristol Press has an update. "I'll definitely be back for next season," she said, "without a doubt."