(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) – The UMPI women's softball team will play its first game of the 2012 season on Friday, March 16 when they travel to the Orono Dome to face the Maine Maritime Academy Mariners. Looking to build on a 14-13 record in the 2011 season which ended in a loss at the conference championship, first-year coach Peter Coffin has a team goal of returning to post-season play.
Coffin, who replaced Terry Cummings at the helm of the softball program, has prioritized pitching staff development in the preseason. This included working with two freshmen, Whitney Donovan (Fr./Ashland, ME) and Courtney Bishop (Fr./Saco, ME) who are expected to contribute immediately from the mound.
"[All of] the four freshmen are working very hard," says Coffin, "I am counting on all my returning players to have a positive impact on this year's squad. They all bring different strengths and all have different leadership roles. I expect us to be very competitive. I expect my players to work hard and give 110%. I also have expectations that the girls can play more than one position. Our goal is to make post season play."
When asked what will need to happen for the team to be successful this season, Coffin replied, "We're going to have to learn from our early season mistakes and make corrections quickly as we will be playing 22 games in the first 15 days of the season. We'll also need to stay healthy and avoid injuries as we only have 14 on our roster."
The 2012 roster finds a breadth of experience with seven upperclassmen including three senior captains, C/3B Desiree Smith (Sr./Thomaston, ME), 2B/3B Kathleen Higgins (Sr./Cole Harbour, NS), and OF Carolynn Tuck (Sr./Brewer, ME).
The Owls will play 6 games on their opening weekend all taking place at the Orono Dome on the University of Maine campus. After a pair vs. Maine Maritime Academy, UMPI will play a double dip against Thomas College on Saturday, March 17th and Husson University on Sunday, March 18th.