Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Schedule Changes

Our Binghamton games scheduled for this Thursday have been moved to next Tuesday for a 3pm start at SBU.

Our Dayton games scheduled for Saturday here at SBU have been moved to Kent State University, slated for a 12pm start. The weather has been the worst I have seen in my 15 years of coaching softball at SBU. Climate Change 101.


Monday, March 28, 2011


LaSalle Games....

The Bonnies came up huge on Sunday winning two must win games. Senior Maureen Wells had a huge day at the plate with a couple doubles and a homerun and in the field making a couple game saving plays in the 7th of game 2. Freshman Ashley Snider hit two more homeruns on the day to bring her total to 4 homers on the season. Freshman Jen Sansano pitched a gem in Game 1 and got her first win on the season. She has pitched well enough to have 3 wins so we are really happy with her progress.

We need to improve on the defensive side of the game but everything that has happened so far can be fixed with a little practice and a lot of confidence. One great defensive day and we are back on track.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fordham / LaSalle

The Bonnies lose two to Fordham today but at least we were able to play the games. Maureen Wells launched a massive 2-run homer to left in game one and Jen Sansano pitched well enough to win but our defense struggled. We need to find our defensive swag within the next 36 hours or things will get tough.

I am betting that the Bonnies come out to play tomorrow against LaSalle. There is no other choice. Losing just does not feel good.

Back to the Future??

The Bonnies are always the underdog...just how we like it! It has been done before...let's do it again!

Friday, March 25, 2011

SBU verses Fordham/LaSalle

We have arrived in NYC. Thanks to a lot of hard work and some wisdom from the A10 Conference office we were allowed to travel to Fordham for our games verses Fordham and LaSalle. We will play Fordham on Saturday at 12:00 and 2:00 and then LaSalle on Fordham's campus on Sunday at 12:00 and 2:00 as well. I am appreciative of a conference that allowed me to work this weekend and give our student-athletes an opportunity to compete.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Weather and the Atlantic 10

The snow hit hard this past week and Olean is under 5 inches of white stuff. All the athletic fields are unplayable and it looks like they are going to stay that way for awhile. We are hoping the A10 sees the wisdom of allowing our student-athletes the opportunity to play softball given the unusual circumstances of losing all four games this weekend verses Fordham and LaSalle to the weather. Stay tuned...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Games Dates and Times Switched...

Our games against Fordham this weekend will now be a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 12pm. Our games with LaSalle will remain the same...a doubleheader starting at 12pm on Sunday.

The weather forcast does not look promising with snow in the forecast all the way till Saturday and temps not reaching 40 degrees. Let us hope they are wrong.

Wins, Losses and Life...

Every now and then, something happens to make me realize why I love coaching so much. Coaching is not easy. I am responsible for a group of athletes that range in age from 18-22 who are just trying to prove to themselves and to others that they are going to make fantastic teachers, lawyers, chemists, accountants, police officers and so on. They also are trying to show a coach that they are outstanding softball players and can be great team-players at the same time.

It is easy to love coaching when your team is winning and everyone is feeling good but it is harder to love it when you are struggling to build a winner and adversity hits. However, when you are blessed with a group that deep downs understands wins and losses are just part of a game and the true importance in life is family, then you have discovered the St. Bonaventure softball team.

The beginning of this past week, we received that news that our freshmen pitcher, Jen Sansano lost a family member that was very close to her. Your first thought is always of how Jen will feel and your concern for her family at such a time. Your second thought is how this will affect the softball team on and off the field. But in true Bonaventure spirit, the team responded by conforting Jen and letting her know that we all understood that she needed to be with her family no matter what that meant for our coming Atlantic 10 games.

In a perfect world, we would have been by Jen's side the entire weekend, but the rest of us had to travel to Washington for a series with the GW Colonials to start our Atlantic 10 season. Our pitching staff knew it had to step up and put in some extra innings and the team was ready to go come game time. Through a 6 hour bus ride and two games, I never heard one player lament the fact that Jen was not with us. They understood that everything was how it needed to be.

Unfortunately the games did not turn out the way we wanted but the team played hard against a much improved GW team and we had our chances at winning both games but came up just short. Diana Phalon was a trooper throwing 10+ innings on the day and Erin Nargi fought through some nagging pains to give us some quality innings but we did not make quite enough defensive plays to keep GW off the scoreboard. Our bats stayed decently hot with some quality at bats and big hits in both games. We put up 15 hits on the day but it was just not quite enough.

We have gone through a lot of adveristy so far this season but it will make us closer as a team, which will make us better and a program. Jen returned to us today to hugs and smiles. We are glad to have her back and we are looking forward to the remaining games on our schedule and the opportunity to compete for a spot in the A10 championships. Don't count the Bonnies out yet. There are a lot of games to be yet to be decided and I am excited to see this team compete in them all. GO BONAS!!

Monday, March 14, 2011

One serious gut check...that we answered!!

The team was amazing fighting through the flu, late nights and early mornings to play four outstanding games out of five. They could have easily made excuses but everyone stayed positive and I stayed proud of them.

The flu and cold bug hit us harder than ever in my 15 years of coaching softball. Jen Sansano and Kristin Sullivan spent the entire trip in their hotel room while others faught with a real tough head cold. I have not had to take many trips to the doctor while on the road but we had to on this one.

We slugged the ball in every game but one. Pittsburgh showed us the level we want to get to while our games against ETSU, South Carolina State and North Carolina A&T showed us that we are getting better as a team. There were a ton of positives that came out of the trip. The freshmen, Lindsay Stowell, Christine Watson, Kacie Strong and Ashley Snider all contributed and got their feet wet. Stowell and Snider both hit homeruns on the weekend and Christine Watson got her first two college hits of her career.

The upperclassmen showed what they are made of. Sophomore Jessenia Andujar is hitting at a robust .480 clip and junior Ashley Nowak has gotten herself back in the groove at the plate. Junior Brooke Frey hit an absolute bomb and put a few more hits together on the weekend as well. Sophomore Hali Enderby hit a homerun that just missed hitting the scoreboard and senior Kara Morenus when yard twice and could have had a few more hits if she did not get unlucky by hitting the ball right at people. Junior Brittany Storch had a huge hit and the eventual game winner against SCSU. Brittany has been working harder than ever this year and it paid off! Last but not least...Senior Maureen wells hit a game ending homerun to end the entire trip against South Carolina State. You can't ask for anything more than that! Walk off...let's go home! :)

The ones I have the most respect for on the weekend was the pitching staff! We knew going in that Jen Sansano was most likely out and the combination of juniors Diana Phalon, junior Erin Nargi and sophomore Jill Murphy stepped up and put in a lot of innings. Not once did any of them fold. They took the ball when I asked them to and went into the game full throttle. After an initial rough start for Erin Nargi against Pitt, Erin was outstanding with 12 strikeouts against SCSU Saturday night. Diana Phalon threw like 10 million pitches and kept us in every game. Our new pitching instructor, Paul Furlong did a great job keeping everyone calm and ready to go. I am hoping we don't have to go into any tournaments shorthanded again but if we have to...we know with have pitchers with a lot of guts.

Overall...I would have liked to have a better showing against Pittsburgh but a we swung the bats well all weekend and that is a great sign. With a healthy Sansano to go with Phalon, Nargi and Murphy, we have a shot a making a lot of noise in the Atlantic 10.

Next stop...George Washington University. 12:00pm start in Mount Vernon. GO BONNIES!!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Tennessee - Day One

The Bonnies are in Johnson City, Tennessee. The team has been caught by the flu bug. Jen Sansano and Kristin Sullivan are both under the weather and could not go today which left SBU a little short but the team gathered its energy and played a tough Pittsburgh team that lived up to its Big East potential. Jessenia Andujar hit her first home of the year but The Bonnies lost 10-1. The night cap ended up very differently.

The Bonnies scored a 9-1 victory against North Carolina A&T. Brooke Frey and Kara Morenus both paced the Bonnies with their first homeruns of the year and freshmen Lindsay Stowell and Christine Watson add solid at bats and three hits to the party. Diana Phalon evened her record at 1-1 on the year and the Bonnies got into the win column for the first time.

The flu has hit the team hard and it has been hard to get ourselves in any kind of rythmn. However, this is becoming a close team and I am confident that they will stick together through this adversity and come out even stronger than ever. For all those wondering what the Bonnies say after hitting a homerun...it's a circle around home plate and BOOM! when the hitter reaches home. :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hawaii Trip Wrap-up

What a trip! A trip of many ups and downs, the team is safely back from the long trip and in pretty good shape except for one lost bag of luggage(which has been found)the airlines took great care of us. We suffered only some scrapes and brusised that will heal quickly, which will have to seeing that we will be on a bus in 48 hours headed to Johnson City, Tennessee for our next tournament and the final tune-up for our Atlantic 10 season.

It was a busy week. A trip to Pearl Harbor and a Luau highlighted the non-softball aspect and kept us excited to experience more. We were able to practice outside before our first games which in Olean is never possible. The University of Hawaii was an outstanding host and catered to our every need. It's one of the friendliest places I have ever been.

As for the reason we traveled to Hawaii, our trip did not end up the way I envisioned it but there were some highlights from an 0-4 start. Two freshmen stood out. Lindsay Stowell has a great start getting a hit in her first college at bat and then hitting her first college homerun in our final game of the trip. Freshman Jen Sansano, although not gaining a win, pitched well enough to beat SDSU in her first outing and did a great job against Hawaii. With a little more help from the defense and production from the offense we would have made that game much closer. Sophomore Jessenia Andujar came home hitting .400 and Junior Brooke Frey and Junior Ashley Nowak both had decent trips. Ashley Nowak was named All-Tournament team as she swung the bat well.

We have some work to do. We need to play better defense and we need to be more confident and relaxed at the plate. Once we get to that point, we will start seeing the results in the win column. I think we are trying a little too hard and not just letting our God-given ability to take over. We have quality players and once we start playing to our potential...things will get better. We have a long long way to go...there is no way I am going to let 4 games determine a season. Only three teams in the A10 are over .500 right now. The start of the season is a time to learn...we leaned some things this trip, so we will correct them and move on. The weekend ahead will be go along way to finding out where we are really at. I suspect we will play much better.

I am looking forward to the trip. Our opponents are Pittsburgh, North Carolina A&T, South Carolina State and host East Tennesee State. The weather looks good for the weekend right now. So there is a lot to be excited about. GO BONNIES!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Bonnies verses the Rainbow Wahine

Tonight's game verses the Rainbow Wahine of Hawaii will be broadcast live at 11pm EST on www.espn1420am.com

Hope you nighthawks are ready for some softball!!

The Luau and two great days of practice...

It has been a busy two days here in Hawaii. On Wednesday the day started with our first practice outside! We were able to get on the University if Hawaii's field for two hours and it felt so good to get going. The ladies were excited and we had a great day of practice. We focused primarily on the fundamentals...a ton of ground balls, fly balls, hitting and the pitchers worked out in the pens. We had a lot of grass stained and dirty shirts for the laundry that night. Good stuff.

Wednesday night we headed to our Luau. What a great night. The team was treated to a drive by of the new PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ship that was docked in the local harbor then headed over the the Luau were we were greeted by beautiful Hula girls. The dinner was fabulous and the show was even better. Jessenia Andujar, who is never afraid to strut her stuff on the dance floor along with Jill Murphy made it up on stage for a Hula lesson...call it Coach House bias...but they were the best up there! :)

Thursday was a practice day as well. We found ourselves back over at Hawaii, once again just sharpening our fundamentals. It was another solid practice and the ladies are excited about the start of the tournament. The Bonnies take on the Rainbow Wahine at 6:00pm (11:00pm EST). All is well...I will keep everyone up to date on scores and the action. I will post pictures of our Luau soon. The weather has been outstanding!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hawaii Day 2 and 3 - Pearl Harbor

The last two days have flown by. We have had great weather and the ladies have enjoyed the beach. We had a nice team dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen on Monday which is right next to our hotel. Our hotel is centrally located in Waikiki, so we can get to most places simply by walking. I must say, it is a very busy area.

Day 3 was our trip to Pearl Harbor. As you can see by the pictures I previously posted, it was another beautiful day but quite the departure from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. Pearl Harbor is a solemn place where the echoes of war still linger. As you look around, you see young and old trying to understand the horrors of what war brings to a world. I saw many veterans there today. Once gentleman stood silently looking at the names etched in marble as tears rolled down his face. One can only imagine the images going through his mind as he gazed upon the white wall that allows us all to never forget what those men gave us...everything.

I hope the ladies took away just a little piece of history with them today. We lose more and more of our Greatest Generation every day. It is important that we remember them and honor them for what they gave. We owe them everything.



Pearl Harbor 2011

More pictures of Pearl Harbor 2011.

Pearl Harbor 2011

Part of our day at Pearl Harbor.

Sully, Coach Halladay, D. Frye, Brooke and Murph...coming back from the beach.

The view from our hotel...Diamond Head Crater.