On Saturday, the Pride will host a doubleheader with the Seahawks beginning at 12 noon as part of Friends of Jaclyn Day. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families. Through the "Adopt-a-Child" program, FOJ creates lasting relationships between children battling pediatric brain tumors and athletic teams. The child becomes an honorary team member, gaining a new group of friends, and the team gets inspiration from the child. FOJ's programs are based on love, support, and friendship between the child, the child's family, and his or her "adopted" team.
Hannah Prokop of Mattituck, who the Hofstra Softball program "adopted" prior to last season, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
In addition, the Pride will also have a ceremony prior to the game on Saturday (note: date changed due to possible rain on Sunday) to honor its players who were chosen to the Colonial Athletic Association Silver Anniversary team, including current senior Michele DePasquale (Waterford, NJ). Other honorees expected to attend include Casey Fee (2006-09), Ashley Lane (2004-07), Callie Osborne (2004-05). Pam Dreslinski (2005-08), Kayleigh Lotti (2006-09), Amanda Hallaway (2000-03), Danielle Stewart (2002-03), Tara Ulrich (2003-06) and Lisa Wambold (2003-06) will be unable to attend.
On Sunday, the two teams will play a single game at 12 noon as part of Think Pink Day for breast cancer awareness. Ceremonial first pitches will be thrown out by Louise Valentino, mother of junior catcher Laura Valentino (Smithtown, NY) and Linda Dreslinski, mother of junior shortstop Trisha Dreslinski (Kingsville, OH). Louise Valentino is a 10-year survivor of cancer, while Linda Dreslinski's sister Patty (Trisha's aunt), passed away after a courageous six-year battle with the disease in 2007.
On the field, Hofstra will try to maintain its current hold on first place in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Pride comes into the weekend with a 32-8 overall record, and an 11-1 mark in the CAA, giving it a three-game lead over Georgia State for first place. Hofstra still has to travel to Georgia State for a three-game series next weekend, leaving it still with some work to do before it can secure the top seed and the right to host the CAA Tournament.
The Pride bounced back from a modest two-game losing streak on Wednesday with a 10-2 win over St. John's. Junior third baseman Sara Michalowski (Philadelphia, PA) had two homers and five RBI in that game, setting career highs in both categories. It was also the first two-homer game for any Hofstra player since Ashley Lane went deep twice against Georgia State on April 5, 2007.
Freshman pitcher Olivia Galati (West Babylon, NY) will try to achieve a pair of milestones as well. She comes into the weekend with a 19-4 record and a 1.15 ERA, ranking 15th in the nation. She needs one win to become the seventh different pitcher to record 20 wins in a season, and the third freshman. She also needs just one more strikeout for 200 this season, which would make her only the third pitcher (and the only freshman) in school history to reach that milestone.
To listen to the games on line, sign up for the PrideZone (audio only is free) at www.GoHofstra.com.