On the heels of their seventh-straight CUNYAC Championship, the College of Staten Island softball squad will be taking on Christopher Newport University in the first round of the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament today to kick off further postseason play.  First pitch is scheduled for 4:30pm and will be played at the campus of Kean University in Union, NJ.  Kean takes on Endicott College in the opening game of the four-team, double-elimination pod at 2pm.

Matchup: College of Staten Island (18-15) vs. Christopher Newport University (33-7)
Where: Kean University – 1000 Morris Avenue, Union, NJ
Live Statshttps://kean.sidearmstreaming.com/sidearmstats/softball/summary
Live Video:  https://kean.sidearmstreaming.com/watch/?Live=848&type=Live
All-Time Series:  First Meeting
Players to Watch (CSI): The Dolphins have a host of talent up and down the lineup and they got some good news this past week with the naming of two major award winners from the CUNYAC.  Leading hitter Patricia Riches, who is batting a healthy .540, was named the CUNYAC’s Player of the Year.  She leads the way with 61 hits, and boasts a team-best 12 doubles and four triples with 36 RBI, tied for the team lead with Claudia Porcaro.  Sierra Kaplanek was named the Rookie of the Year, and she is hitting .321 with 35 RBI and tied for a team-high five home runs.  Antoinette Galbo is second on the team with a .364 average, placing second on the team with 35 runs scored and leading the way with 13 stolen bases.  Doing most of the pitching this weekend will be Jaclyn Kateridge, who comes in having been named the CUNYAC Tournament Most Valuable Player.  She is 7-10 with a 4.06 ERA through 99.2 innings and she is also hitting .343 this season.
Players to Watch (CNU):  The Captains are batting .361 as a team this season and they have a lineup that can do a lot of damage.  Leading the way is Caitlin Abernethy, who is hitting .483 in 58 at-bats.  Patty Maye Ohanian and Grace Wild are next in line with identical .437 averages.  Ohenian has 44 RBI with 12 doubles and 10 home runs, while Wild leads the way with 16 doubles.  Kaitlyn Hasty is destroying opposing pitchers to the tune of a .414 average, seven doubles, 19 home runs and 58 RBI.  All four CNU pitchers this season boast under a 2.00 ERA, led by Aubrey Bates. 1.27 ERA with an 11-2 record.  Emily Weatherholz is 13-1 with a 1.55 ERA.
News & Notes:  Despite their successes through the years, this is the first ever meeting between the two teams in program history.  CNU comes in as the winners of the Capital Athletic Conference, defeating the University of Mary Washington in a pair of games, 8-0, and 10-6.  The two teams share no common opponents.  The Captains are making their 17th NCAA appearance in the 35-year history of the program, and are 34-32 all-time in NCAA play.  This is their 13th-straight NCAA Tournament.  As for CSI, this marks their 12th appearance in the tournament and their seventh-straight.  CSI is 5-22 all-time in the tournament, having never advanced past the regional round.  CSI’s game with CNU will be played after Kean takes on Endicott in a game that starts at 2pm.  The two winning teams will meet on Saturday at 12 Noon with the two losing sides will play at 2:30pm in what will be the first elimination game on the tournament.