NEWBURGH – Under the direction of new head coach Samantha Howe, the Mount Saint Mary College Softball squad has been picked to win its third straight conference title according to the Skyline Conference Preseason Poll released on Thursday. The Mount picked up 62 votes in the poll voted on by the league’s nine head coaches.
Mount Saint Mary, who won the league crown in 2016 and 2017 and went on to win a game in the NCAA Tournament in 2016, collected 62 points and six first place votes from the head coaches. The Knights edged out Farmingdale State who totaled 56 points and a pair of first place nods.
Mount Saint Mary welcomes back a pitching duo in Cindy Connoly and Bridget Bennet who combined to go 24-13 in 2017, with Connoly fanning 190 batters in 152 innings pitched. The duo also helped themselves at the plate with each hitting better than .400 and Connoly driving in a team-high 36 runs.
The Mount had six players named All-Skyline Conference in 2017, led by Connoly being named the league’s Pitcher of the Year. The Knights welcome back First Team selections Courtney Barbara and Nicolette Moustouka along with Second Team selection Amanda Almodovar.
College of Mount Saint Vincent sits in third place with 47 points according to the coaches, while St. Joseph’s-L.I. earned 42 points and a single first place nod to round out the top half of the league.
Purchase ranks fifth with 29 points and is followed by St. Joseph’s-Brooklyn (28) in sixth, Old Westbury and Sarah Lawrence (26) who tied for seventh and Yeshiva (8) in ninth.
Coming off its second straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament, Mount Saint Mary begins the 2018 season at home against Rochester on March 14.