The College of Staten Island women’s softball team has earned the No. 1 seed into the 2011 CUNYAC Softball Postseason Championship, and anticipation is flying high leading into the double-elimination tournament, which starts this morning at the CSI Softball Complex.  The top-seeded Dolphins will face No. 4 Brooklyn College to start competition at 10:30am.  If you can’t make it to the game, follow live and all tournament long for CSI games via CSI SportsNet at  In the other opening game, scheduled for 12:30pm, No. 2 Baruch College takes on No. 3 Hunter College.  The two losing sides play at 2:30pm in the first elimination game of the tournament, while the two winning sides meet at 4:30pm.  The tournament continues tomorrow, beginning at 10:30am.

The Dolphins have good reason to be excited.  CSI boasted a CUNYAC-best 23-11 record, with the 23 wins sitting fourth all-time at CSI under Head Coach Stella Porto, who boasts 199 career wins for the Dolphins.  CSI whipped through the CUNYAC slate, sporting a 13-1 record in conference play, their only blemish coming at the hands of Baruch College, 4-3, in a single game played on April 21.

CSI’s attack is three-pronged, as the Dolphins offer a hitting punch, lights-out pitching, and the CUNYAC’s best fielding percentage, one of the trademarks of their success. 

At the dish, CSI is highlighted by an extraordinary middle of the order, led by junior third-baseman Kaitlyn Flynn, the surefire CUNYAC Player of the Year nominee sports a .487 batting average with seven doubles, five triples and a team-leading four homers.  Joanna Tepedino follows, leading the team with 35 RBI while sporting a robust .400 average.  Raechel Strobel is next at .389, topping a list of another five Dolphins who sport .300 or better averages at the plate.  CSI is batting .345 as a team, with 77 extra base-hits.

Not to be outdone is the production in the circle.  Junior Danielle Ponsiglione stands to break every CSI pitching record by the time her career is over, and this year she leads the way with an 11-6 record and a 3.39 ERA, logging 119.1 innings, allowing just three walks, fanning 95.  The emergence of freshman Stefanie Solari has also been striking, who boasts a 4-2 record with a 4.89 ERA.  Not to be outdone, CSI expects production from Michelle Ferraiuolo, who sports a 6-2 mark in 48.2 innings pitched.

CSI has also been aces in the field this season, accomplishing a percentage of .951 in the field, the third highest mark in CSI history, committing just 47 errors in 34 games.  The outstanding fielding is led by the sure glove of Jennifer Volpe at centerfield and the arsenal of Tepedino, Strobel, freshman Diana Stout, and Flynn around the infield horn.

All told, CSI is simply looking for success to carry over into the postseason, as they have already logged wins against every CUNYAC team still left in tournament play.  The Dolphins have won 13 postseason championships since 1985.  They fell to Baruch College in last year’s final after winning the Final in 2009.

CSI took both meetings against Brooklyn College in shortened games, 9-1, and 12-4.  They hold a 33-10 overall record against the Bulldogs.