WATHAM, Mass. --- Seniors Jackie Gauthier (Braintree/Braintree HS), Kelly Sanborn (Hopkinton/Hopkinton HS) and Samantha Tierney (Wappingers Falls, N.Y./Roy C. Ketcham HS), a trio of four-year starters, will serve as captains of the 2014 Bentley University women's softball team, coach Michele DeGregorio announced.
Over the last three seasons, Gauthier has started all 122 games, Tierney has been in the lineup 121 times and Sanborn has missed only two.
"These three young ladies have helped create a very strong leadership presence," said Michele DeGregorio, who has 20 years of head coaching experience, including eight at Bentley. "They are three of the most coachable players I have coached and they work very hard at everything they do. They have learned a lot over the past three seasons watching and observing others. They always show up ready to give their all and their best. We always talk about proper and strong leadership starting at the top so it can trickle down to the rest of the team and they have done just that.
"They have helped to create strong team unity and camaraderie and have really brought the team together," continued DeGregorio. "Their work ethic as a group is second to none. They are determined leaders who have set high goals and standards for the team this season and everyone is working very hard to obtain those goals. The three captains are always looking to give that little bit extra. I would love to see nothing more than this team have the best spring season in Bentley softball history, starting with the senior captains."
Gauthier, the team's centerfielder, was one of the team's top hitters last season with a .235 average and nine extra base hits, including two homers, among her 28 hits. She scored 15 runs, drove in nine and had a .316 on base percentage.
"We'll look for Jackie to be the leader in the outfield this season," said her coach. "She has tremendous foot speed and we look for Jackie to be among league base-stealers. She leads by example and always gives her all whether it be in a practice, conditioning workout, or in the classroom. Jackie plays the game hard, the way it should be played, all the time and has a tremendous work ethic."
Sanborn has been a fixture at third during her first three seasons. She was third on the team last year with a dozen RBI while hitting .228 with a .279 on base percentage.
"Kelly is a strong leader both on and off the field," said DeGregorio. "She has set a very good example for the younger players in the program and always puts the team first."
Tierney has been on the other side of the infield, at first base. She's hit .215 over the last two years and she'll enter this year number three on Bentley's all-time list in putouts with 872.
"Samantha loves the game and plays hard all the time," said DeGregorio. "She leads by example and is a mentor both on and off the field for the younger players. Sam is very coachable and hard-working."
Bentley opens its season Saturday in Clermont, Fla. against Saginaw Valley State.