STANDISH, ME - The 2011 Saint Joseph's College softball and baseball teams - both Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Champions and NCAA DIII Tournament participants last spring - were honored with a ceremony during halftime of the men's basketball game versus University of Southern Maine on Sunday night.
In 2011, the SJC softball team posted an incredible 37-10 overall record with a 21-3 mark in conference play en route to winning the conference championship. In the title contest, St. Joe's trailed Rivier College by a 4-2 margin in the bottom of the sixth when third baseman Heather Tripp jacked a three-run homer to help lift the Monks to the team's first GNAC Championship in four years as a conference member.
Saint Joseph's proceeded to represent Saint Joseph's and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference in the NCAA Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island where the sixth-seeded Monks defeated #3 Endicott College and stunned #2 Coast Guard, a team ranked sixth in the country at the time.
Jamie Smyth became the fourth head coach in SJC Athletics history to reach the 300-victory plateau when he guided the Royal Blue to a 5-4 extra-inning win over Rivier College on April 9th. Coach Smyth, the winningest and longest-tenured skipper in team history, heads into his 15th season with 322 career victories.
The baseball team also enjoyed an outstanding season as the Monks posted a 32-15 record, including a 12-2 mark in GNAC play, en route to earning a conference championship for the sixth time in the last seven years. With the title, St. Joe's advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time in the last six years.
St. Joe's defeated Suffolk University, 8-6, in the GNAC Championship game at Larry Mahaney Diamond with the help of infielder Dan Brown, who delivered what proved to be the game-winning hit – a double to right-center - as a pinch hitter with two out in the top of the ninth.
As the #6 seed in the NCAA New England Regional, the Monks defeated #3 Wheaton College and, with the help of a walk-off two-run double from catcher Ian Lee in the bottom of the 11th, knocked top-seeded Tufts University - ranked 14th in the country at the time - out of the tourney.
With his team's win over Suffolk in the GNAC Championship, Will Sanborn became just the second Saint Joseph's head coach to record 500 career victories. Coach Sanborn goes into his 20th season with a 503-288-5 record and needs just two wins to surpass Rick Simonds as the winningest head coach in SJC Athletics history.
|Softball Coach Jamie Smyth '92 & Baseball Coach Will Sanborn '86|