Building The Championship Program

Building The Championship Program

The CMS softball team looks toward the 2009-2010 season with great expectations.  The program has improved steadily in the last few years, gaining regional prominence and for the first time in Athena softball history, breaking onto the national scene with an invitation to the National Championship Tournament in 2009.

Since her inaugural season in 2006, Coach Betsy Hipple has guided the program to three top four finishes in conference, two successive conference tournament appearances and an exciting trip to the first round of Nationals last year.  During this span, the Athenas have placed 15 players on the SCIAC All-Conference teams, four players on the NCAA All West Region teams, one player on the all-tournament team at Nationals, and had one ballplayer awarded National Player of the Week by the NFCA.

In addition to their athletic achievements, the Athenas continue to flourish in the classroom with nine players earning the prestigious All America Scholar Athlete Award for the 2008-2009 academic year. At the top flight, highly rigorous Claremont Colleges, this is no small feat.

Along these lines of superior athletic and academic performance, every Athena softball player since 2006 has graduated and done so in four years.

Recent graduates’ current successes further illuminate the quest for excellence Athena softball players represent. Since 2006, softball student-athletes have gone on to:

• Medical school at New York Medical College.
• A professional career in an engineering firm in LA – hired within three months of graduation.
• A Fulbright scholarship teaching English in Sri Lanka.
• An entry level position in the financial services sector in LA – hired within six months of graduation.
• An MPH program while working full-time as a paramedic.
• A captainship in the US Army currently serving in Afghanistan.
• A full-time teaching position while concurrently pursuing a Master’s Degree at nearby Claremont Graduate University.

Though only a sampling, the Athena softball dugout is clearly full of extraordinary women and high achievers. Success on the field, in the classroom and in post-graduate pursuits go hand-in-hand.

These burgeoning traditions of excellence on the field and off promise to continue in 2010. The Athenas return a stellar nucleus of skilled, battle tested players motivated to return to regional and national prominence. Ranked in the ultra-competitive West Region almost every week of 2008 and 2009, the squad is committed to pushing for number one in the West in 2010.

Leadership demands will fall largely on the sophomore and junior classes beginning with two-year All West Region awardees Michelle Harvey and Melissa Munoz. Strong performances will also be needed from All-SCIAC recipients Emily Nordhoff and Gizelle Pera. Count on consistent contribution from returnees Chelsea Baker, Rebecca King, Emily Lopez, and Katerina Yale. A trio of young pitchers will step into the circle to make their marks individually and collectively in Amanda Banducci, Emma Friedenberg and Rebecca Gularte. Rounding out the squad are returnees Michelle Brody, Emily Coleman, Kara Mantani, Megan Morris and lone senior Katie Schlein. The Athenas look forward to the addition of freshmen Kendall Kritzik and Harmony Palmer as they round out their 2010 roster.

The 2010 schedule will go on-line in December with a slate of exciting match-ups both in conference and from across the region and country.

Upgrades to the facility continue as the Athenas progress in their quest for top flight play and top tier results.