PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Neumann University softball team is heading to the Division III NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.
The Knights, champions of the Colonial States Athletic Conference, will open things up on Friday, taking on the host school Kean in their first game in the double-elimination regional.
“It’s really a great feeling after all the hard work that these kids have put (in),” Neumann head coach Len Schuler tells KYW Newsradio.
Listen to the entire interview with Neumann’s Len Schuler
Neumann brings a 28-14 record into the tournament. Schuler says a lot of different players have helped make this success possible.
“Been a good blend of veterans who have been with us, this is their fourth season,” he says. “We’ve got some three season kids that have really stayed in there and battled. And our freshmen have really just stepped in and taken over some things and become very, very big in our program.”
Sophomore OF/DP Jackie Schneider leads the Knights at the plate with a .496 average, six home runs and 50 RBI. Freshman Jen Siemenski is the top arm on the mound with an 11-6 record and a 2.43 ERA.
Since this is the third straight NCAA appearance for the Knights, a lot of players have tournament experience and Schuler says that is really big.
“They talk with the underclassmen and let them know what to expect,” he says. “Try to make sure that they understand what we’re all trying to do and as a group, come together, be a team and get ourselves in the right direction every day that we step onto a field.”
Neumann and Kean will be joined in this regional by Christopher Newport and Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.). The last team standing will advance to the super regionals.
Neumann and Kean will get underway at 3:30 on Friday in Union, New Jersey.