CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. – The Queens College softball team has been projected to finish fifth in the East Coast Conference (ECC) standings, as the ECC Softball Preseason Poll was released late last week. Queens notched 22 points in the poll, which is voted upon by the league's head coaches.
LIU Post earned the top spot in the poll with 47 points and six first-place votes. Defending conference champion Molloy was second, followed by NYIT and Bridgeport. Queens was selected ahead of Mercy (6th) and St. Thomas Aquinas (7th).
The Knights went 14-23 overall and 11-17 in ECC action in 2016, just one season removed from winning the ECC Championship in 2015. This season, Queens will be guided by first-year head coach Christina Berardi, who previously spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach at Southern New Hampshire University. The Penmen earned NCAA Championship berths in each of Berardi's last three seasons with the team.
Many familiar faces from a season ago return for the Knights this season. Kristen Boody and ToniMarie Valeriano, who both earned spots on the All-ECC Second Team in 2016, will be back for the 2017 season. Boody led the team in hits (38), batting average (.345) and on-base percentage (.405) last season. Valeriano drove in a team-leading 17 runs last season, while she posted a 2.45 ERA with 101 strikeouts in the circle.
Queens will open the 2017 season on March 11 at Virginia State. The Knights will begin ECC play on March 28 at Mercy.