When he heads out on the recruiting trail to make his pitch to potential prospects, Mount Saint Vincent head softball coach Mark Roldan uses geography as one of his most effective recruiting tools.
“We’re about 20 to 30 minutes from midtown Manhattan,” Roldan said. “Being so close to the city is something all the girls from out-of-state have taken advantage of in the past. They’ve gone into the city to see Broadway plays, the museums, you name it.
“There’s a lot to take in, especially when you’re not from around here. So absolutely, I use that in my recruiting pitch.”
Roldan was pitch-perfect on the road again this year as he roped in six diamond gems for next season, completing a 2017-18 recruiting class with the theme of versatility.
“At the Division III level it’s good to have players who are as versatile as possible to give us the best chance of being successful,” Roldan said.
Leading off Roldan’s recruiting haul is Camryn Webb, who will make the trip in from California to call Riverdale her home for the next four years.
“Camryn is an infielder who played her travel ball with the very successful SoCal Three-D program,” Roldan said. “We’re really excited to get Camryn. She has a great bat, (is) a really good hitter, and she is a great infielder. She can play multiple positions, but I would say third base and second base is where she is most comfortable.”
Erin Patterson, Roldan said, is a case of big things coming in small packages, coming in at 4-foot-9.
“She plays just about every position in the infield except first base,” he said. “You definitely can’t judge her on her size because she is very strong and very fast and is a very good athlete. Just an impressive player at many different positions.”
Julia Haeckel is a pitcher from Connecticut who will help offset the graduation of stud pitcher Mackenzie Heizer.
“Julia played for the Connecticut Charmers, which is a very good travel organization in the Northeast,” Roldan said. “I was really excited to get Julia. She’s a really good pitcher and an excellent student.”
The last three in the class all signed on with The Mount after attending the school’s softball clinic last fall. The clinic provided Roldan a chance to get a second look at particular players, while at the same time giving those players a better look at life at Mount Saint Vincent.
“That’s why I love our clinics,” Roldan said. “It gives you a secondary look at the players after you saw them with their travel teams, and they also have a chance to get a look at our campus and get a feel for things.”
Dominique Gil is one of the former campers was who has joined the Mount fold. From Alexandria, Virginia, Gil is a player who can command the corners on the softball diamond.
“When she came to one of our recruitment clinics with her parents, she just fell in love with the school and didn’t want to go anywhere else,” Roldan said.
Ashley Faccilonga is another versatile athlete who attended the clinic.
“She can play multiple positions, infield, outfield, and she can also pitch,” Roldan said. “She’s from Kellenberg Memorial High School on Long Island and also played for the Long Island Rampage travel team. When she came to one of our recruitment clinics, we just couldn’t help but notice her. She is a great athlete and can do just about anything.”
Rounding out the class is Angyl Santillana, who Roldan describes as a perfect utility player.
“She can do a lot of different things,” Roldan said. “She also came to our high school recruiting clinic and she’s an impressive kid, a great little player.”
Aside from geography, weather also played a part in helping Roldan land this class.
“I’m surprised how many of them can’t wait to see snow,” Roldan said, laughing. “When you’re from here, you kind of dread the snow. But they’re so excited to get to see snow and also the chance to buy a whole new wardrobe of winter jackets and hats and gloves and all that kind of stuff.”