Rispoli will turn tide for softball

Matt GadSports Writer

Start looking at Jill Rispoli’s recruiting classes – break them down year-by-year and position-by-position. They are looking more and more promising as the years go on.

After what will be another losing season for softball this spring, who currently sit near the bottom of the NE10 at 7-30, it will be important to keep the focus on the positives.

This year many underclassmen have made an incredible impact, like freshmen Jacqueline Dumont and Alexa Bacoulis and sophomores Jazmyn Martinez and Cailey Botteon.

The tide is going to turn. If you look back on the program’s recent history, serious success did not come all that long ago. In fact, in 2013, the team went 32-22, its best season to date, and they had not just an NE10 Tournament run but two NCAA Tournament wins, as well.

The year before that, they were clicking even more, winning 43 games and dominating NE10 play at 24-6. They opened the season 10-0, had a 5-1 NCAA Tournament mark and were good enough to advance to the College World Series, winning a game, 3-2, to Saint Joseph’s (Ind.).

As we keep going back, the success stays.

In 2011, the team won 35 games, including 20 NE10 contests, and a year before that it was a 42-13 campaign, with a remarkable 21-1 record at Pelz Field.

Rispoli will continue bringing in fresh talent in hopes that the on-field play will start to turn around and the program will gain momentum again, making them a top destination like they once were.

She may be the finest coach Mitchell College Softball will ever have and even though that was Division III, her record should speak for itself.

She has an extremely successful resume that has to eventually break through to the Division II game. The coaching is there, the philosophies, the grit – now is the time to see the breakthrough.

43 wins in 2012 seems to stand as the program record, the year they won the Super Regional.

Now, jumping all the way back up there right away may be a pretty lofty goal, but as long as the tide turns, albeit slowly, this program can start to return to the glory days, when it felt like a dynasty might have been on the horizon.

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