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The Softball team gets seasoned coach

By Sarah Jousset

Section: Sports

February 5, 2016

The Brandeis women’s softball team started their season Monday with their first official practice, and with the new year comes a new coach and new promise for the season. Danielle Delponte has taken over the role as new head varsity softball coach. Delponte speaks to her excitement to be part of the Brandeis community, “My experience at Brandeis has been nothing short of amazing so far. The support from our department and other coaches has been outstanding. I have a great team that has really taken to my coaching style and want to work hard … I can’t ask for anything more as a coach.”

Head Coach Danielle Delponte has been named as this season’s new head softball coach. Delponte is a 2009 graduate of the University of Connecticut where she majored in education. During her time at UCONN she played as a catcher for the softball team and still ranks in the top five in career home runs and RBI. She was a two time Big East All-Academic selection and National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Academic team member. Delponte was an assistant coach at Boston University before earning her first head coaching job at Daniel Webster College for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. In 2012 she led the Daniel Webster Eagles to their best record in program history and a spot in the ECAC Division III New England tournament. For her accomplishments in that season Delponte was named 2012 New England Collegiate Conference Coach of the Year. In 2014 Delponte worked as the head softball coach at Anna Maria College, where she also served as an admissions counselor. Delponte is excited to start her journey as Brandeis’ head softball coach. “Being part of the Brandeis community is a privilege and I am very fortunate to have been given this opportunity. Brandeis, from an academic standpoint, is a top university in the country and that is extremely appealing for prospective student-athletes and their families,” admits Delponte.

The Brandeis softball team has been to the ECAC Division III New England tournament its last five seasons and won the title last season. Delponte has even higher hopes for her team, stating making NCAA’s and winning the UAA conference tournament among this year’s goals. “I hope to take the program to the next level and compete at the national level. I have a great group of young women and with my passion and their dedication we are a team that can go pretty far in the post-season,” states Delponte. The Judges return seven of ten starters from the ECAC tournament, making their potential lineup one full of experience. “We have great leadership in our senior class and our team is working very well together. The returners know how talented this team is and want nothing less than a UAA championship under their belt.” In addition to the veteran returners, the Judges have six first-years this year, and expect big things from them. Coach Delponte commented, “Every one of them has the ability to make a huge impact. It is so important for our sport to have depth at all positions, and we have that which can make us a very tough team down the stretch.” However, with an 18-person roster, every player will be fighting for her position. “Practice brings friendly competition, and it’s going to make my job harder when it comes to making final decisions. Every student-athlete knows what it takes and they determine their role on this team.”

Coach Danielle Delponte has already implemented positive changes for the Brandeis softball team. Normally the team’s first games outdoors are in March on the team’s trip to Florida for UAA conference play. These games can determine the team’s standing and whether or not the team gets into the NCAAs. This season the Coach has raised funds to help establish a trip to California over February break, so that the team gets to play on dirt before some of the most important games of the season. “Being a New England team we are at a disadvantage with our conference championship being played at the beginning of our season. This trip to California gives us the ability to play some outside competition and see where we are at as a team,” added Delponte. Especially with crazy New England weather, the team is at risk of losing some games due to cancellations, so every game counts. “…weather in New England can change at any moment and like every other team we need to adjust and work to be ready for every situation,” commented Delponte.

Danielle Delponte looks forward to what’s to come for the Judges, “We compete in the UAA and in my opinion it is the toughest conference in Division III. The UAA also attracts some of the best talent in the country, which makes recruiting exciting but extremely competitive with the other UAA schools.”

The Judges travel to California Feb. 14 for their short tournament at Vanguard. The women’s softball team won’t play at home until March 19 against Clark University.

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