Softball Looks to Clinch First Playoff Berth Since 2012

Photo courtesy of Ramapo Athletics

Ramapo’s softball team is hoping to clinch its first New Jersey Athletic Conference Playoff berth since 2012 in their second season under head coach Bridgette Quimpo. Her first season at the helm resulted in an 18-17 overall record and a 8-10 record in NJAC games.

The team’s record was impacted by their yearlong search for chemistry.

“We came into a situation where we came in right in the middle of a season and they had already started their fall season,” Quimpo said. “We were getting to know our players’ personnel, learning about what our strengths are, what our weaknesses were as a team in the process of still teaching them about what we’re about in our program.”

Some returning players from last year’s team include senior infielder Kim LaPenta, sophomore outfielder Taylor May, junior pitcher Danielle Isenberg, senior outfielder Jaclyn Lima, junior infielders Mikayla Melendez and Melanie Walling, junior catcher Melissa Moreno, sophomore infielders Grace Brennan and Nicole Mahoney, junior outfielder Danielle Saporito and sophomore utility player Alexandria Rigoli.

LaPenta finished the 2014 season batting 33 for 113 for a .292 batting average with a team leading 21 RBIs and 21 runs scored, 18 stolen bases on 23 attempts with a .328 on-base percentage and a .372 slugging percentage.

May placed second on the team with a .319 batting average, while collecting 23 hits in 72 at bats to go with 26 times on base, eight RBIs, a .338 on-base percentage and a .361 slugging percentage.

Lima was perfect in the stolen base department, with a team leading 20 stolen bases on as many attempts. Additionally, she drove in seven runs and was second on the Roadrunners with 20 runs scored, a .331 on-base percentage and a .309 slugging percentage. She touched base 34 times.

Melendez was tied with Rowan University junior Shilah Snead for sixth in the NJAC in batting average with a .370 average, collecting 37 hits on 100 at bats in the process with 13 RBIs, 17 runs scored, nine stolen bases on 10 attempts, a .440 slugging percentage, a .466 on-base percentage that was good for third most in the NJAC and 44 total bases, which led all Roadrunners last season.

In 2014, Walling posted a .277 batting average with 14 RBIs, 16 runs scored, 23 hits in 83 at bats, a team leading .458 slugging percentage, a .390 on-base percentage and 38 total times on base.

Last year, Moreno hit .268 with 14 RBIs, five runs scored, 19 hits on 71 at bats, a .310 slugging percentage, a .342 on-base percentage, and 22 total bases.

LaPenta said she believes there is much better chemistry on this year’s team than on last year’s.

“I think that as a whole and as a group, we’re a lot more tight knit,” said LaPenta. “I think we’re much more of a family than we were last year, so I think that’s going to really help us with our record.”

May feels the same way heading into the season.

“We already see it now,” said May. “It’s pretty great to see, just in practices alone we can tell.”

The Roadrunners start their season on March 14 in a 10 a.m. game against Muskingum University in Winter Haven, Fla.