UMass Picked To Claim 2013 Atlantic 10 Softball Crown
Jan. 23, 2013
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Massachusetts softball team was picked to win the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference title in a vote of the league's 12 head coaches.
UMass went 38-13 overall a year ago, including a 19-0 mark in conference play for its 23rd regular-season title before sweeping through the postseason championship for a matching 23rd tournament crown en route to its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance.
Head coach Elaine Sortino enters her 34th year at UMass and welcomes back 13 letterwinners and seven starters from a year ago.
The Minutewomen return more than 80 pct. of its offense and defense, led by senior All-America left fielder Cyndil Matthew. She set career-highs in every offensive category, while ranking 37th nationally in batting avg., seventh in steals and triples, and 20th in runs. She is joined in the outfield by classmates and co-captains Katie Bettencourt and Christine Della Vecchia to form one of the fastest defensive trios in the country.
Sophomore Quianna Diaz-Patterson is also back after hitting .327 and leading the team in doubles and runs batted in which garnered her the league's Rookie of the Year award.
Fordham was chosen second, George Washington - last year's tourney runner-up - took the third spot, followed by Saint Joseph's (fourth), Temple (fifth), Charlotte (sixth), Butler (seventh), Saint Louis (eighth), Dayton (ninth), St. Bonaventure (10th), Rhode Island (11th) and La Salle (12th).
UMass will play host to the 2013 A-10 Championship, May 8-11 at Sortino Field.
UMass opened practice earlier this month and will begin the season Feb. 15-17 at the FAU Kick-Off Classic.
2013 A-10 Softball Predicted Order of Finish