Hannah Hill named outstanding pitcher

SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. — When Hannah Hill arrived at Fryeburg Academy, she dramatically turned around the fortunes of the Raider softball program.

Now, Hannah is trying to spin her magic for the Seton Hall Pirates.

This past weekend, the Seton Hall softball team topped Sacred Heart, 3-1, in the championship game of the Seton Hall Pirate Classic. A sophomore, Hannah

went the distance for her third win of the weekend to take home the “most outstanding pitcher” honor, as well as being named to the All-Tournament team. Hannah improved to 5-8 after scattering six hits and striking out two for the Pirates (12-13).

During the Pirate Classic, Hannah posted a 3-0 mark with a paltry 1.00 ERA. She had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning in her first start against Manhattan. She ended up giving up one infield single and an unearned run while striking out four in a 2-1victory over the Jaspers. Hannah followed with a career-best eight strikeout performance, and surrendered just two earned runs in seven innings during the Pirates 4-3 win over Lafayette. In the championship game, Hannah gave up just one run on six hits for a complete-game victory.

Pirates Head coach Ray Vander May now has 398 career victories and will look to earn win number 400 next weekend when Seton Hall hosts a three-game series against Big East opponent Pittsburgh at Ivy Hill Park.

The Pirates were 19-31 a year ago (18-14 in Big East play), and were projected in a preseason poll to finish 12th in conference play in 2011 (Notre Dame was picked as the favorite, followed by Depaul, Louisville and reigning champ Syracuse). Hannah and her Pirate mates hope to do better than that after just missing the playoffs a year ago.

How far the Pirates go could fall squarely on Hannah’s shoulders. Tabbed as the club’s Number 1 pitcher, Hannah is eager to build upon the steady improvement she displayed in her rookie season, which included 15 appearances, five starts and a complete-game, 1 hitter against Iona — her first collegiate victory. She was slowed early on by a broken finger, but started to show the promise Coach Vander May saw in the Fryeburg phenom.

“Hannah has really stepped up big time. Right now, she is throwing and acting like a senior,” Coach Vander May said. “She is the leader of our pitching staff, for sure. She is hitting her spots and has much better control without a question… I think she has proved to us that her confidence is sky high after she beat Fordham’s All-American Jen Mineau during the fall.”

With 14 appearances, Hannah leads the Pirate staff with 73.1 innings, compiling a 4.10 ERA with 36 strikeouts, allowing 80 hits and 43 earned runs.

A nursing major, Hannah is the daughter of Sue and Jon Hill of Fryeburg.

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