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Coaches Pick Eagles Softball To Finish Fourth In Commonwealth

(Posted February 15, 2005)

All-Conference infielder Allison D\'Ambrosia is one of nine players the Juniata softball team returns from last season\'s 19-win team.

Huntingdon, PA - After earning its second-consecutive berth in the Commonwealth Conference postseason the Juniata College softball team is ranked fourth in the conference preseason poll as selected by the eight conference head coaches. Juniata finished the 2004 season with a record of 19-13, and a 7-7 conference mark during the regular season.

Defending conference champion and 2004 NCAA Division III runner-up Moravian tops the poll with 49 points and seven first-place votes. Lebanon Valley earned 40 points and one first-place tally to finish second, while Messiah is just two points ahead of Juniata in third place.

Juniata matched a program record with 19 victories in 2004 and earned a spot in the Commonwealth postseason for the second time in as many seasons. Juniata returns nine players from last year's team, including senior Allison D'Ambrosia (State College/Boalsburg) who earned second-team All-Conference recognition last season. Juniata also returns its entire pitching staff led by juniors Renae Hobbs (Mount Union/Mount Union) and Lizzie Bartosik (Penn/Granger, In.) who combined for 18 of Juniata's 19 wins last season.

The past two seasons have been two of the most successful in the history of the Juniata softball program. The Eagles finished with 19 wins in back-to-back seasons, after never having won more than 13 games in any previous campaign. The program's conference postseason berths in 2003 and 2004 were the first appearances in the conference postseason for Juniata softball since the 1982 season.

Juniata will open its season with a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C. the week beginning March 5.

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Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.