2010 Season Review: The Hilbert softball team finished their 2010 campaign with one of the best seasons in school history. The Hawks tied the record for most wins in a season with 11 (11-19) and finished with another program best ranked eighth in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with seven wins (7-13). The driven leadership from duo head coach Pete Yuhas, and assistant coach Dave Vesneske, led the Hawks to the most successful season in program history.
Four of their seven conference wins were again a program first. The Hawks managed to sweep cross-town rival, D’Youville College, along with conference foe Franciscan University of Steubenville. The Hawks also took two from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg due to forfeit.
The softball season started out in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, at the Fast Pitch Dreams Tournament where the Hawks accumulated six wins giving them the best start in program history with a 6-2 record.
Junior Amanda Ratajczak (Cheektowaga, NY/ Maryvale) and sophomore Halsey Baker (Scio, NY/ Scio) registered their first home runs of the 2010 season and the first home runs for the team in the “Palmetto State.” Both of their home runs occurred in the same game on March 17, against Baptist Bible, as the Hawks would complete a nine-run comeback victory earning their fifth win of the season.
Ratajczak and Baker would again hit home runs in the same game against Penn State Altoona on April 19, in a decisive 14-9 conference victory.
Baker led the Hawks this season at the plate with a team best .388 batting average. Baker accumulated 33 hits and three home runs which was good enough for second best on the team in each category. Baker was also honored for her efforts in South Carolina earning AMCC Player of the Week and ECAC Player of the Week for March 23, 2010.
Sarah Collins (Milroy, PA/ Indian Valley) had an outstanding senior campaign in her final season in Hawk uniform. Collins led the team in multiple categories in 2010. The Pennsylvania native finished at the top of each category with 34 hits, three triples, four home runs and 28 RBI. Collins had a career first when she hit home runs at back-to-back at bats against University of Pittsburgh at Bradford on April 21. Collins also tied with fellow upper classman Ratajczak for second best on the team with six doubles.
Senior Rachel Parker (Hamburg, NY/ Hamburg) led the team this season with seven doubles. Parker tied for second best with Baker in the 4-bagger category registering three on the season. The Hamburg native was also successful stealing eight bases on nine attempts. Fellow senior, Carrie Sisson, (Elma, NY/ Mt. Mercy) tallied a team high 14 walks as the Hawks lead-off hitter. The senior made an impact at the plate this season with 12 RBI, three doubles and one triple. Her presence was also found on the mound as the senior provided dominating performances.
The Hawks underclassman made their presence known in 2010. Freshman Amber Grosch (Depew, NY/ Depew) was third best on the team with a .353 batting average. The freshman scored the most runs on the team with 28 while connecting with the ball 30 separate times this season. Grosch also reached second base on five different occasions.
Jill Martucci (Hamburg, NY/ Hamburg) was another impactful underclassman. Martucci tallied 20 hits this season, one of them good enough for a triple. The freshman also sent 13 runs across home plate in her first year debut. The 5’1 spark plug stole 15 bases on 16 attempts for a team best.
Fellow freshman Emili Ripley (Batavia, NY/ Notre Dame Academy), Devan Jonathan (Basom, NY/ Akron) and Rebecca Sutton (Eden, NY/ Eden) provided for a solid pitching crew. Each pitcher was a force at the mound this season gaining experience in multiple games. Ripley carried her forceful performance on the mound to the plate. The Batavia product hit her first collegiate home run and scored the game winning run on May 1, as the Hawks completed a comeback victory to sweep Franciscan University of Steubenville for two AMCC wins. Ripley collected 22 hits, scored 13 runs and sent home 18 runs in her freshman campaign.
The Hawks are returning a core group of players who gained valuable playing experience in 2010 (season recap notes). The 2011 incoming class will look to complement the returning players and build on their successful 2010 season.