Last season was disappointing for Pitt finishing with an overall record of 17-29 while going 12-24 in ACC play. The team finished in eleventh place in the conference just outside of the ten teams that made it into the ACC Conference Championship Tournament. This season the team has the added incentive with the 2022 ACC Tournament being held at Pitt’s home Vartabedian Field this year to be part of it.
The Panthers did lose several players from last year’s team starting lineup including, Hunter Levesque, Morgan Batesole, Lolo Sanchez, and Walker Barbee. Pitt head coach Jodi Hermanek will be hoping though to improve the team’s play in 2022 with several talented players that are returning this season along with several new additions to the team.
Providing offensive power to Pitt will include returning players, outfielder Cami Compson, who lead the team last season with a .325 batting average along with infielder Sarah Seamans who led the team in home runs drilling 13 of them last season. Another big plus is returning outfielder EC Taylor. Taylor, one of the several Florida connection players on the team, is a speed demon on the bases along with having a good bat. Taylor accounted for just under half of all Pitts stolen bases last season finishing the year with 27.
Pitt’s pitching looks good on paper but they always seem to have to deal with injury problems affecting the staff that can quickly change the outlook for the season. Dani Drogemuller is coming back from a foot injury she suffered last season. Senior pitcher Abby Edwards is back again and hoping that she’ll be able to hit the strike zone more this season. Becca Miller who saw very limited action last season is also back for 2022. Pitt added two freshmen pitchers, Maya Johnson and Kendall Brown to the rotation. If either one of them could step up to a regular starting spot this season it could improve Pitt’s chances of winning more consistently this year. The Panthers also added graduate student pitcher Ally Muraskin to their roster. Muraskin is a right-handed pitcher from Deerfield Beach, Florida. She spent three seasons (2018-20) at Florida International before playing one season at the University of South Carolina Beaufort in 2021. She most recently attended Jacksonville University during the fall semester. Muraskin is a past Florida Gatorade Player of the Year with 818 Strikeouts in her high school career. With her experience Muraskin should be both a stabilizing force and helpful mentor to the younger members of the pitching staff.
The Panthers get their 2022 season going with play in the Northern Lights Southern Nights Tournament in Leesburg, Florida starting on Feb. 11th.
I look for Pitt to improve on last season’s record and be part of the ACC Tournament played at Vartabedian Field this year. I also look for them to make the NCAA tournament. How far they can go once there will depend a lot on how good their pitching staff is at throwing strikes and getting outs instead of letting opponents run up the score like a pinball wizard playing their favorite game.