Falcons look to senior leadership
Steve Crook's veteran Falcon squad jelled at the end of last season, winning the NAC Conference Tournament after a 6th place conference finish, and advancing to the NCAA National level before being eliminated.
This year's team will feature most of the players who put together that amazing late-season run including all of the hurlers who combined for a 25-23 overall 2009 record.
Starting pitchers Jenna DiMaggio, Sheri Weidner and Danielle Burke, plus reliever Ashley Draeger all put together impressive stats in the circle a year ago.
DiMaggio was 9-10 overall with a 2.39 ERA but has been battling an injury and her early season availability is in question.
Weidner was 7-6 with a 2.47 ERA, and Burke finished 7-7. Utility player and top reliever Draeger allowed only one earned run in 20 innings of mop up work.
Offensively Concordia hit .316 as a team- 50 points higher than their opponents. Graduated are the top two batting averages (Rachel Homp and Erin Meier) but plenty of offense remains.
DiMaggio (.333); Emily Bennin (.320); and Angela Ward (.312) will be the senior leaders. Bennin led the Falcons with 34 RBI's while DiMaggio was second with 26 and Ward finished third (24).
CUW's number one offensive concern will be finding replacements for Tara Wagner, Meier, and Homp at the top of the lineup. Freshman Holly Zinnecker will bat near the top of the order and play a key defensive role. Both Sarah Cochran and Chelsie Strosina will be asked to play prominent roles, as they step into the centerfield and shortstop positions respectively.
"We have a veteran team. Aurora, Lakeland, and Benedictine are always very tough and they will be the favorites. We are looking forward to the NAC season with excitement, " said Crook.