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2021 Patriot League Forecast

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(Editor’s Note: This article is presented in full for all readers to enjoy. Some of our remaining Forecasts, however, will be accessible only to JWOS subscribers. Make sure you don’t miss any of our preseason content and subscribe now!)

I. Conference Breakdown

The Patriot League has seven member schools that sponsor the sport of softball. Boston University is the reigning conference champion, having won the conference’s regular-season and tournament championships in 2019. When the 2020 season ended, conference play had not yet begun for Patriot League teams. In non-conference play during the shortened year, only Boston U (14-8); Army (14-9); and Colgate (11-9) had winning records.

II. 2021 Predictions

Player of the Year: Ally Snelling, Army
Pitcher of the Year: Ali Dubois, Boston
Coach of the Year: Cheryl Milligan, Army
Conference Champions: Boston Terriers

III. Who to Watch

Alicyn Grete, Army — Grete had a stellar freshman campaign – one that earned her a mention on the JWOS All-Freshman Team – and ended the year with time logged both at the plate and in the pitcher’s circle. Offensively, she finished with a .472 batting average in 53 at-bats, scoring fifteen runs and collecting a slugging percentage of .679. She notched 48.2 innings of work in the pitcher’s circle, collecting 36 strikeouts and finishing the year with a 3-5 overall record.

Boston Terriers Ashley Waters is a coaching superstar in the making, she’s got an All-American-esque arm in the circle, and a bevy of offensive pieces. The Terriers remain the team to beat, and that’s in no small part thanks to Ali Dubois and her prowess in the pitching circle. Three of the top five batting averages in the Patriot League at last season’s abrupt end belonged to Terrier hitters, while Dubois owned a 1.44 ERA and 95 strikeouts in just nineteen appearances. Keep an eye on BU as they continue to work toward status as a permanent mid-major softball power.

Bailey Misken, Colgate Misken finished her inaugural collegiate season with a 1.02 ERA and 71 strikeouts, but perhaps most impressive was the fact that she gave up just six extra base hits in 260 batters faced. She held those same opponents to a .196 average against her, and collected an impressive strikeout/walk ratio of better than 5/1.

Colgate Raiders Head coach Marissa Lamison-Myers was making a quality case for Coach of the Year before last season ended, and lost a handful of seniors despite the NCAA’s decision to give an extra year of eligibility to returning seniors. Bailey Misken was masterful in the circle as a true freshman, while former staff ace Jess Hay and second-leading hitter Nicole Rounsavil were among those who departed. The Raiders do return offensive juggernaut Morgan Farrah, who led the squad in nearly every major category last season.

IV. Key Movers

Departed Seniors: Jess Hay, Colgate; Nicole Rounsavill, Colgate; Macey Newbary, Army; Raeanne Geffert, Bucknell

Transfers: Parker Boyd, Lehigh (transferred to Creighton); Allyse Volpe, Bucknell (transferred to UCF)

Coaching Moves: Sarah Sigrest Caffrey was hired as the new head coach at Bucknell; Bryce Neal joined Caffrey’s staff as hitting coach.

V. Burning Questions

* How many Boston U records can Ali Dubois break in the second go-around of her junior year?
* Will any of the league’s stellar freshmen from 2020 be able to continue the hot starts to their careers after nearly a year off?

VI. Projected Standings

  1. Boston Terriers
  2. Army Black Knights
  3. Colgate Raiders
  4. Bucknell Bison
  5. Lehigh Mountain Hawks
  6. Holy Cross Crusaders
  7. Lafayette Leopards
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