Montclair, NJ (2/15/12) – The Montclair State softball team was picked to finish fourth in the recently released 2012 New Jersey Athletic Conference Softball Coaches Preseason Poll.
The Red Hawks were tabbed behind Rowan, The College of New Jersey and Kean University. William Paterson, Ramapo, Richard Stockton, Rutgers-Camden, Rutgers-Newark and New Jersey City rounded out the poll.
Montclair State received three first place votes. Predicted to finish eighth in the 2011 NJAC preseason coaches’ poll, 2011 NJAC Co-Coach of the Year Anita Kubicka led the Red Hawks to a 27-12 overall record, a second place finish in the NJAC via a 14-4 league mark, and an at-large selection to the 2011 NCAA Tournament. In 21 years at the helm of the MSU program, Kubicka has guided her team to an overall record of 664-252-2.
MSU returns four all-conference players from its 2011 NCAA squad, including junior catcher Heather Bergman (Berkeley Heights, NJ / Gov. Livingston), sophomore third baseman Dana Amato (Hillsdale, NJ / Pascack Valley), sophomore second baseman Katie Muglia (South Plainfield, NJ / South Plainfield), and the reigning NJAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year in sophomore right-hander Alex Hill (Parsippany, NJ / Parsippany Hills).
The Red Hawks open their season on Sunday, March 11 at the Rebel Spring Games in Kissimmee, Florida. MSU will play 10 games including its opener versus Edicott College. Montclair State returns to New Jersey for its home opener on March 22 against DeSales University. It will be one of 12 home dates at the Montclair State University Softball Stadium.
NJAC league play will begin on Saturday, March 31 with all 10 teams in action, including Montclair State which hosts Richard Stockton at 1:00 pm.
The top six regular season finishers will advance to the double-elimination 2012 NJAC Championship Tournament which will begin at campus sites on Tuesday, May 1. All six of the participating teams will then travel to the site of the top-seed where the remainder of the tournament will be conducted from Friday, May 4 through Sunday, May 6. The winner of the NJAC Tournament receives the conference’s automatic qualification to the 2012 NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament.