LEICESTER, Mass. ---- The Becker College softball program is gearing up for their 2019 season under seventh-year head coach Richard Hurley.
"We are excited to be heading to Florida this week to start the 2019 season." Hurley said. "The team goal is to get better every day and if we accomplish this it should be a very good season. We have a team of student-athletes that understand that they have to compete daily to be in the position to help us succeed."
A young Hawks team will look to senior pitcher Samantha Belenchia (Ansonia, Conn. / Ansonia) and senior outfielder Vasia Murphy (Dracut, Mass. / Dracut), both team captains on this year's team, for leadership. Belenchia was voted NECC All-Conference Second Team at first base last season after hitting .305 with three home runs and 19 RBI. She also won six games in the circle with 41 strikeouts. Murphy was a All-NECC Third Team selection in 2017 when she led the team in home runs and RBI.
"Samantha Belenchia and Vasia Murphy are two seniors who we think will lead this team to great heights." Hurley added. "Sam will not only be pitching but playing centerfield this upcoming season. We hope that [Murphy] will have a bounce back year at the plate while patrolling left field."
Joining Belenchia and Murphy as a team captain will be sophomore shortstop Sarah Ellis (Berkley, Mass. / Bristol County Agricultural) who was voted All-NECC Second Team last season.
Ellis hit a team-leading .427 at the plate in her rookie season, with two home runs and 22 RBI. Her 20 doubles led the Hawks, and ranked eighth nationally.
"[Veillette] has the potential to be a top conference pitcher and player." Hurley gushed. "[Iacovelli] will catch and play third."
"Our conference, like our program has come a long way over the last six years and hopefully we will continue our past success and keep the Becker Softball program in contention for a Championship and this group of student-athletes does have the ability to achieve that."
The Hawks open their season on Sunday when they play Lakeland University in Clermont, Florida.
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