Season Preview: Softball Eyes Title Run with Hot Start in Arizona

Photo by: Garry Clark
Photo by: Garry Clark

The Nighthawks, who finished third in the preseasoning voting, get their season started in Arizona over Spring Break, playing eight games in five days. A great opportunity to start the season on the right foot in hopes of making a title run in 2017.

Monday the Nighthawks officially begin their season against Hiram College of Ohio at 11:00 a.m. Eastern. The Nighthawks then battle Bethany Lutheran College of Minnesota. at 1:30 p.m.

The Nighthawks get right back at it on Tuesday with another doubleheader, starting with William Penn of Iowa and finishing with Dakota Wesleyan.

Wednesday is the Nighthawks only off day during their playing stretch.

Thursday, it's again Hiram College for the Nighthawks, followed by NAIA's Mt. Marty College of South Dakota.

The Arizona Spring Trip wraps up on Friday with Dordt College in game one, followed by the familiar faces of Bethany Lutheran.

After arriving home, a week break for the Nighthawks before facing Emmanuel College on the road on Saturday, March 18.

The Nighthawks then have back-to-back home doubleheaders. First with Lyndon State on March 19, followed by Mount Ida on March 23.

The New England Collegaite Conference schedule gets started on March 25 at Regis College, the preseason number four. Home doubleheaders vs. Bay Path on March 26 and Gordon College on March 29, round out the month of March for the Nighthawks.

April starts with three conference series' in a four series stretch for the Nighthawks. April 2 the Nighthawks travel to Lesley for an NECC doubleheader. Newbury comes back out of conference on April 6 at Curry, before re-entering the NECC on April 8 at Becjer College and April 9 vs. Wheelock College.

Eastern Nazarene on April 12 is the final doubleheader against a non-conference team, as the Nighthawks finish the season with four series' against teams in the NECC.

April 15, Mitchell College comes to Brookline for a doubleheader. The following week, the Nighthawks travel to Southern Vermont for two against the Mountaineers on April 22. Another week off for the Nighthawks yields to Daniel Webster College at home on April 29, before a quick turnaround to an April 30 doubleheader at Elms College.

The Nighthawks return a number of valuable players including 2016 All-NECC Third-Teamers, senior Elizabeth Kia (Kea'au, Hawaii) and sophomore Alexis Vieira (Pawtucket, R.I.), and a 2016 All-NECC Second-Teamer and 2017 Preseason All-American, sophomore Noelle Sass (Randolph, Mass.).

The Nighthawks also have key returners in the defensive and pitching areas. Senior Lindsey Clark (Venice, Fla.) returns after a season of under 10 errors; a top-15 defensive player in that aspect. While sophomore Alina Milauskas (Elkridge, Md.) returns after recording 17 wins last season; tied for the most in the NECC.

Full Arizona Schedule (Scores Updated Daily, All Times EST)

March 6 vs. Hiram College (Ohio) L, 1-0

March 6 vs. Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) W, 4-3

March 7 vs. William Penn College (Iowa) L, 6-3

March 7 vs. Dakota Wesleyan at L, 14-6 F/5

March 9 vs. Hirma College (Ohio) at L, 11-10

March 9 vs. Mt. Marty (S.D) at L, 13-3 F/5

March 10 vs. Dordt College (Iowa) at 11:00 a.m.

March 10 vs. Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) at 1:00 p.m.