By Trey Hannula
SMC Athletic Communications
MORAGA, Calif. — With a roster full of new talent, the Gaels’ softball team anxiously awaits the coming season and a chance to fight for their first ever West Coast Conference Championship this spring.
After a fourth place finish in the conference standings last season, the Gaels feature a reloaded roster with a number of key returners. Senior Katie Moss proved herself as one of the league’s top pitchers for the Gaels last year and will lead the pitching corps fresh off an All-WCC Preseason Team selection. Another Gael named to the Preseason Team, junior Hailey Sparacino, will be a key cog in the offense after batting .278 and manning the hot corner in 2016 for Saint Mary’s. Dylan Linton and Bailey Lotz will also return to Gaels’ lineup after each making 42+ starts last season.
The team has ten incoming freshman this season to replenish the eight seniors that graduated last year. The new additions consist of four infielders, two outfielders, two pitchers, and two catchers. With only two seniors and five total upperclassmen on the roster, Saint Mary’s will rely on their young guns for production all around the field in 2017.
The Gaels will play in their first games of the season this weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz. from Feb. 10-12. The following weekend, Saint Mary’s will travel down south again to partake in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic taking place in Palm Springs, Calif.
Saint Mary’s returns to Moraga for their first home game of the season on Feb. 22 against Cal. Tickets for that game and all future Gael home games can be found at the Tickets Link on SMCGaels.com or by calling the SMC Athletic Ticket Office during weekday business hours at (925) 631-GoTx (4689).
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