Hofstra softball set to take on Liberty in opening round of NCAA Tournament
The Hofstra softball team will be in Columbia, South Carolina this weekend for the regional round of the NCAA Softball Tournament hosted by the University of South Carolina.
There will be four teams competing in a double-elimination bracket to decide who moves on to the super-regional round of the national tournament. The four teams that will be playing in this regional are the University of South Carolina (USC), the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), Liberty University and Hofstra.
Hofstra (40-12) will start the regional against Liberty on Friday, May 18, at 5:00 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
The Pride is making their 10th NCAA tournament appearance in the last 14 years – the second under head coach Larissa Anderson. Anderson last led the Pride into the national tournament in 2015 when the members of this senior class were freshmen. Five of the seniors on this year’s roster were also on the roster with that tournament team.
Liberty (47-12) is riding a 17-game winning streak, the second longest active streak in the nation, which includes their third conference title in program history. The team is led by twin sophomores Amber and Autumn Bishop, who lead the team with .378 and .369 respective batting averages.
Liberty has six starters who are hitting at or above .300.
In the circle, junior Julia DiMartino leads Liberty with a 27-7 record and a 1.79 ERA. She recorded 212 strikeouts this season, a program record, and pitched 23 complete games. It seems like a no-brainer that DiMartino will be in the circle against the Pride.
Hofstra is led by seniors Brielle Pietrafesa and Brittany Allocca, who are both hitting .358 this season. Allocca leads the team with 15 home runs and Pietrafesa is right behind her with 13 dingers.
The Pride have an incredible one-two punch in the circle with sophomore Sarah Cornell and freshman Sophie Dandola holding 2.36 and 1.90 respective ERAs. Cornell recorded 230 strikeouts this season. Expect for Cornell to get the start against Liberty, but Dandola is always in the arsenal at Anderson’s disposal.
Hofstra’s begins their tournament run on Friday, May 18, at 5:00 p.m. The winner will face the winner of USC vs UNCG on Saturday, May 19, at 1:00 p.m. and the loser will play an elimination game on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. All games will be broadcasted on ESPN 3.
Image courtesy of Hofstra Athletics