PC Softball Preview: Returners and Newcomers Looking to Make an Impact

by O'Livia Lopes '26 on March 2, 2023
Sports Staff

Friar Sports

The 2023 women’s softball season has kicked off as they have traveled back and forth for classics and tournaments. During the Frank Griffin Classic, hosted by Stetson University, they took four losses and one win over Fairleigh Dickinson University. In the “Buc Up!” tournament hosted by Charleston Southern University, they swept away four wins over University of North Dakota, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Charleston Southern University, only falling short once in the five-game series. On March 7, the Friars will open the regular season schedule against Austin Peay State University in Tennessee. Expectations for this year’s roster look promising as nine new freshmen join the team. This roster includes utility players Elisa Smith and Sara MacKinnon and catchers and infielders Sofia Peterson, Geanice Morales, and Julia Renny. Pitchers include Riley Quirk and Emily Jonte and outfielders Gabriella Lee and Ryanne Hayes. In the spring of 2022, the Friars concluded their season with a 25–21 overall record and 11–3 in conference play. This year, with a solid bunch of incoming freshmen, we hope to see the Friars exceed expectations in conference play.

The team has returning starters Gianna Magrino ’23, Elysia Cunnigan ’23, Tiana Wren ’23, Jacque Harrington ’24, and Tori Grifone ’24, as well as sophomore catcher Leak Kosinski ’25, who has started 15 out of her 34 game appearances in her debut season last spring. These returning seniors and juniors have roles to fill as last year’s squad graduated pitcher Daniela Alvarez ’22, infielders Jessica Tomaso ’22, Lauren Nunez ’22, Madi Traver ’22, and utility player Mairead O’Sullivan ’22. These seniors carried the program to a 25-win season with 11 wins in the Big East Play in 2022. With the mesh of skills and talent from the incoming first years, it is possible for the Friars’ 2023 season to see more wins against the competition in conference play. There was a difference in last season’s overall record of 25–21 and the conference record of 11–13. In talk of the Friars’  new players, besides the freshmen, new to Friartown is Lehigh University transfer Hanna Aldrich ’25 who appeared in 32 games with 15 starts as a freshman. Aldrich will certainly be a standout for Providence College as she holds a batting average of .625 and previous experience from another NCAA Division I softball program. Along with the talk about Providence’s new players, pitching will be a position projected to be filled by a rotation of players since Daniela Alvarez ’22 graduated. The pitching staff will likely include Grifone, Cunnigan and Jessica Walter ’25 with plenty of experience from previous seasons with Providence. New freshmen seeking to also contribute to pitching for the team this season include Emily Jonte who held the highest Earned Run Average in the state of Texas for the 2021 season and Riley Quirk who held a .861 Earned Run Average from her high school career. 

This season’s nine freshmen players, in contrast to last year’s seven freshmen, have each begun to prove their contributions and transform their work into early-season statistics. Starting with Elisa Smith ’26, who recorded two runs scored in a match against Fairleigh Dickinson University. Riley Quirk ’26 recorded an assisted out against Charleston Southern University, and Geanice Morales ’26 recorded two runs scored and had a tremendous defensive presence in the Frank Griffin Classic. Emily Jonte ’26 scored one run and had two assisted outs in the CSU tournament. In the same tournament Gabriella Lee ’26 scored a one run while playing great defensively as well. Ryanne Haynes ’26 scored one run against North Dakota in the CSU tournament as well. Given this, the bunch of first years seem to be a great fit into Providence College softball and will be a great asset to improving the programs’ overall records and rankings in the Big East Conference and NCAA. It seems like the coaching staff, head coach Jill Karwoski and assistant coach Kelsey Christensen, are doing a great job meshing and fitting players around in the rotation and instilling the momentum and flow needed for Providence to win as many games as possible.

For the official launch of the women’s softball Big East season, PC’s opening game will be at St. John’s University on March 10th. PC will face tough competition in Big East play, including schools such as Creighton University, DePaul University, Villanova University, and Seton Hall University. These will be the teams and matches that create defining moments for the Providence College softball program. As the competition gets better, Providence is an even match against any ranked team with a solid squad of players that doesn’t just prove it on the roster stats, but even more on the pitch. In support of these Friars, stay tuned for their match against Saint Louis University in the Lipscomb University “Purple and Gold Challenge” on Friday, March 3.