BANGOR, Maine — Husson University sophomore first baseman Deb Colpitts said Sami Schultz has always been a very good hitter.
But former Hermon High School softball teammates Colpitts and Schultz agree they never anticipated Schultz having the kind of freshman season she has for Husson University of Bangor.
The 31-10-1 Eagles are seeded seventh entering Thursday’s 4 p.m. game against 37-7 second seed Rowan (N.J.) in the eight-team, double-elimination NCAA Division III regional at Babson (College) Park in Wellesley, Mass.
Schultz leads the Eagles in batting average (.415), home runs (4) and runs batted in (30).
“I didn’t expect her to produce like she did,” said Colpitts. “It’s a big jump (from high school to college softball.)”
“I didn’t expect this at all,” said Schultz, who is the designated player. “I’ve just tried to stay focused and do what I can to help the team.”
Colpitts is also having an outstanding season. She is the team’s second-leading hitter at .396 with 17 RBIs and a team-high 13 doubles.
“Sami has really stepped up for us,” said Husson senior center fielder Lona Sargent. “She has been clutch when we’ve needed her. Deb has also done a great job of hitting.”
Husson coach Amanda Bourgoin said the former Hawks have played a vital role in the team’s success.
“Sami has done a fantastic job. She hits with power, sees the ball well and has a quick bat,” said Bourgoin. “Even most of her outs are pretty well-hit balls.
“Deb hits with power from the left side of the plate, she has started almost every game at first base for us and she also pitches,” said Bourgoin.
Cleanup hitter Schultz admitted having Colpitts on the team made her transition easier.
“It was scary being a freshman and not knowing anyone,” said Schultz. “It was much easier for me having Deb here.”
Colpitts, who hits either third or fifth, and Schultz have each been happy with their seasons to date.
Colpitts hit .429 last season but had only 35 at-bats.
“I’ve done a lot of work off the batting tee,” said Colpitts. “I’ve focused on my swing and made sure I watched the ball all the way through. And I’ve had a lot of support from my teammates.”
Schultz has been seeing a lot of changeups and outside pitches lately as pitchers “try to keep me off-balance.”
So she said she is concentrating on keeping her hands back and “going with the pitch if I can.”
The Husson women are looking for their first NCAA tournament win on Thursday. They are 0-8 in their previous four appearances.
Sargent, Colpitts and Schultz are optimistic about their chances to claim that first win.
“At the beginning of the year on our spring trip, we almost beat Texas-Tyler (3-2) and they’re the No. 2 team in the country,” said Sargent. “After that game, I knew this team was capable of doing it. Our offense is so good. We hit when we need to.”
She also said they have a good, deep pitching staff. It is headlined by Brewer’s Amanda Ryan (10-3, 1.78 earned run average) and Skowhegan’s Becca McCarty (12-5, 2.52).
Saint Joseph’s College of Standish also is involved in the tourney as the fifth-seeded Monks (33-11) take on No. 4 Springfield College (26-18) in the noon game on Thursday.