By Gavin Woods ’22
As the winter season rages on, we begin to look forward to the start of the spring and the collegiate sports that come with it. Perhaps the most notable is the Providence College Softball Team, led by new Head Coach Jill Karwoski. The Friars are looking to bounce back from a somewhat underwhelming 2018 season, ending with an overall record of 13-32.
The primary change from last season is the difference in team management. The Friars said goodbye to longtime prior Head Coach Kerri Jacklets, who served in the position for a staggering total of 13 seasons with the College. In her time as head coach of the Friars, Jacklets was able to produce 15 All-Big East selections, one All-Big East Tournament Team player, three All-Northeast Team selections, one College Sports Madness Big East Rookie of the Year, and one NFCA All-Region Team player.
However, Karwoski is no stranger to the job; this will mark Karwoski’s return to Friartown as she formerly served as volunteer-assistant coach for the Friars’ 2012-2013 season, ending with an overall record of 23-28-1. While she looks forward to bringing her new head coaching experience back to PC, Karwoski insists, “I am still the same person and coach as I was when I volunteered with the Friars. The biggest difference now is that I feel I am able to invest all of my time and energy into building relationships with each player equally and play a more significant role in enhancing their overall student-athlete experiences.”
Karwoski returns to PC after serving five years as head coach for the Quinnipiac University Bobcats. Coach Karwoski values her time with the Bobcats and looks forward to following their next season, this time as a fan. As far as carrying over her experience from Quinnipiac to PC, Karwoski maintains, “With me I have already brought my love for the game as well as my coaching philosophy that has allowed our team to frame out the program’s new core values. It’s through these core values, every player, no matter what program, can be guided when making decisions on and off the field and long after they’ve received their hard-earned degree.”
When asked how she feels about her return to the PC program, Karwoski replied, “Words can’t express how grateful I am to be back in Friartown. Previously, when I was with the program, the Friars were able to leave a positive impression that I still cherish to this day.”
Another development from last season is the change in experience. Last year, the Friars had a relatively young squad. With only four seniors on the roster, PC fielded as many freshmen as they did seniors. This year, however, PC’s softball team features a total of seven seniors. This increase in experience will, no doubt, assist the Friars in improving their overall record.
While PC softball only lost four seniors to graduation, they will certainly be missed. Such talents include Julianne Rurka ’18, who held the Friars’ highest batting average at .333, and Brittney Veler ’18, who led the team in RBIs, home runs, and second to most runs. While these are enormous losses for the program, PC softball has much to look forward to with this relatively older team. Emma Lee ’19 looks to improve her already-stellar reputation from last season with the most hits, runs, and second to highest batting average on the squad. On defense, the Friars pitching staff features four relatively young players. The oldest of which is Miranda Trinidad ’20, who held the lowest ERA of all pitchers last season.
Coach Karwoski remains poised and eager to make her mark on the Big East conference, this time as head coach. She is especially enthused over one match-up in particular, “New to the Big East, every opponent will be an exciting match up for both our players and coaching staff. Having grown up in a suburb just northwest of Chicago, I am particularly excited to travel to DePaul to see some of my family and friends in the stands cheering for the Friars!”