The Moravian College softball team finished its 2006 season in the NCAA
Division III National Championship Tournament for the ninth consecutive
year, falling to Ramapo College of New Jersey in the regional championship
round of the Salisbury (MD) Regional. The Greyhounds also won the Commonwealth
Conference Tournament for the sixth straight year and the Commonwealth
Conference Championship for the seventh straight season.
The Greyhounds under the direction of 13-year head coach John
Byrne, who as a career mark of 407-134, posted a 37-9 overall
record in 2006, the 13th consecutive season that Moravian has won at least
23 games, and a 13-1 mark in Commonwealth Conference action. The Greyhounds,
which have won over 30 games eight times under Byrne,
including the last six years, were in the postseason for the 12th consecutive
season. Moravian, which is 22-18 in NCAA games since 1999, made the regional
championship games for the fourth straight season.
One of the keys for the Greyhounds again this season was their pitching
staff, which had a 0.94 ERA, 20 shutouts, 351 strikeouts, 182 hits allowed
and 92 walks allowed in 318 2/3 innings.
Senior pitcher Meagan Hennessy (Freehold, NJ/Freehold HS),
who was named the Commonwealth Co-Pitcher of the Year and Rookie of the
Year in 2003 and Pitcher of the Year the last three seasons, was 25-7
in the circle this season with a 0.66 ERA, 16 shutouts, five saves, two
no-hitters, 267 strikeouts and just 115 hits, 53 walks and 30 runs (22
earned) in 234 2/3 innings of action. Hennessy, who already
owns every Moravian pitching record, is continuing to climb the NCAA Division
III record books. Hennessy, who also earned a spot on
the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III East Region First
Team for the fourth straight season, finished her career with a 92-24
record and as one of the top pitchers in NCAA Division III history. Hennessy,
who was also on the Regional All-Tournament Team for the fourth straight
season, is ranked in the top 15 in shutouts with 53 which is second all-time,
fourth in complete games with 105, fifth in strikeouts with 876, sixth
in wins with 92, sixth in innings pitched with 819 2/3, tenth in games
started with 114, tied for tenth in games with 129 and 14th in ERA at
0.91. Hennessy, who was the Commonwealth Conference Pitcher
of the Week six times this season and was the Commonwealth Conference
Tournament Most Valuable Player for the second straight year, had one
hit at the plate this spring and has scored 12 runs.
Freshman Kristie Pellicani (Sparta, NJ/Sparta HS) was
10-2 on the year with two shutouts, 28 walks, 71 strikeouts and a 1.42
ERA in 74 innings. Freshman Katie Agnew (Doylestown, PA/Lansdale
Catholic HS) had a 2-0 record with 11 walks and 13 strikeouts
in ten innings in the circle for the Greyhounds. Pellicani
had one hit, an RBI and three runs scored while Agnew
had a hit, two runs and an RBI.
As a team at the plate, Moravian had a .314 batting average this season
with 401 hits, 65 doubles, four triples and a school record 26 home runs.
The Greyhounds scored 187 runs and drew 68 walks while striking out just
118 times in 1,420 plate appearances. Moravian also had a .964 fielding
percentage this spring.
Freshman outfielder Erica Klepeisz (Nazareth, PA/Nazareth HS)
led the Greyhounds with 59 hits to go with a .353 average, 17 RBIs, 22
runs, 11 doubles, a triple, two homers and 15 stolen bases. Klepeisz,
who set a school record with 167 at-bats this season, was named to the
Commonwealth All-Conference First Team and NFCA All-East Region Third
Team. Junior outfielder Justina Black (Orefield, PA/Parkland HS)
hit .331 with 42 hits, 13 runs, 24 RBIs, two homers, seven doubles and
a triple while sophomore second baseman Beth Paly (Whitehall,
PA/Whitehall HS) had 48 hits, a .324 average, 22 runs, 18 RBIs,
seven doubles and three homers. Black was on the Commonwealth
All-Conference Second Team while Klepeisz, Black
and Paly were each named to the Regional All-Tournament
Sophomore third baseman Kelly Santry (Hatboro, PA/Upper Moreland
HS) had a .331 average with 41 hits, 20 runs, 17 RBIs, ten doubles
and three homers, all hit in one game at Haverford College to set the
single game school record. Santry earned spots on the
Commonwealth All-Conference Second Team and the NFCA All-East Region Third
Team. Senior designated player Richelle McWilliams (Riegelsville,
PA/Easton HS) hit .344 with 42 hits, 24 RBIs, 11 runs, eight
doubles and eight home runs. McWilliams, who finished
her career second in school history in home runs with 23, was on the Commonwealth
All-Conference and NFCA All-East Region First Teams this season.
Junior outfielder/first baseman Lauren Homa (Chalfont, PA/Central
Bucks West HS), who earned a spot on the Commonwealth All-Conference
Second Team, contributed 42 hits, 15 runs, nine RBIs, two doubles and
a .321 average while freshman first baseman/catcher Sheri Bieniek
(Lumberton, NJ/Rancocas Valley HS) was also named to the Commonwealth
All-Conference Second Team and had 29 hits, 12 runs, 10 RBIs, seven doubles
and five home runs.
Freshman shortstop Jordan Oplinger (Allentown, PA/Parkland HS)
had 41 hits, 20 runs, nine RBIs, six doubles, a triple and nine stolen
bases. Junior catcher Danielle Carrione (Bloomfield, NJ/Mt. St.
Dominic HS) has 21 hits, 13 RBIs, nine runs, a homer and four
doubles, and she has become the school's all-time leader in putouts and
has a career total of 807 putouts.
Freshman catcher Deanna Mangieri (Pleasantville, NY/Byram Hills
HS) had 14 hits, four runs, a double, a triple and five RBIs
while sophomore outfielder Megan Ritchey (Boyertown, PA/Boyertown
HS) added 11 hits, 14 runs, four RBIs and two home runs including
the first one at Blue & Grey Field with the new six-foot fence. Sophomore
infielder Keri Traficante (Chalfont, PA/Central Bucks West HS)
contributed four hits and six runs while junior first baseman Becky
DeJulio (Vineland, NJ/Sacred Heart HS) had three hits with two
doubles and two runs scored.
Hennessy, Paly, DeJulio
and Traficante all earned spots on the Middle Atlantic
States Collegiate Athletic Corporation Spring Academic Honor Roll while
Hennessy was on the ESPN The Magazine Academic
All-District First Team.
Coach Byrne loses two valuable players off the 2006
squad but with a strong recruiting class coming in for the 2007 season,
the Greyhounds look to continue their dominance in the Commonwealth Conference
and make a tenth straight trip to the NCAA Championships.