Middlesex County College softball is back!

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There was excitement in the air as Coach Jim Muldowney unveiled his new class of players on Thursday, June 6. Ten players – along with their families and friends – packed into Crabiel Hall’s Brunswick Room to sign their National Letters of Intent.

Since the softball program at MCC has been dormant, Muldowney is eager to quickly start it up. He said he may schedule some games for the fall.

“You will be a better softball player – mentally, physically,” Muldowney told the players. “I can’t guarantee wins. I can’t guarantee losses. But I can guarantee improvement.”

Muldowney has been busy since being selected as the new coach by athletic director Derrick Johnson two months ago. He said he watched 44 high school games this spring, scouting the top players in the area and beyond. He said the biggest strengths of this class are its balance and the versatility.

MCC softball team photo

Seated from left: Kayla Van Pelt, Madison Buttitta, Georgia Logothetus, Rebecca Alfrey, Shayla Benbow, Kaitlynne McCarthy. Standing: Assistant Coach Cheryl Kjersgaard, Assistant Coach Anthony Muldowney, Madison Menafaro, Head Coach Jim Muldowney, Alida Pellicane, Assistant Coach Dave Razzano, Julie Davis, Gabrielle Ignotis, Assistant Coach Marylynn Muldowney, Athletic Director Derrick Johnson.

It doesn’t hurt to have players such as Alida Pellicano (Edison High School). She said she’s comfortable playing the outfield or the infield. She always comes to the field with two gloves – one for infield, one for outfield – since she’s never sure what position she might play day to day. “It’s a dream of mine to play in college for MCC,” Pellicano said. “I always wanted to play on this level.”

Gabrielle Ignotis (Spotswood High School) said she enjoyed getting to see all the players who will be her teammates going forward. She said she played against many of them in high school competition. “It’s exciting to help the school restart the program,” she said. “I can’t wait to get on the field with these players. It’s good to have them now as teammates rather than opponents.”

Among the other players who attended the letter of intent signing event were Rebecca Alfrey (East Brunswick Vo-Tech), Sheyla Benbow (Piscataway High School), Madison Buttitta (John F. Kennedy High School), Julie Davis (South Plainfield High School), Georgia Logothetus (South Brunswick), Kaitlynne McCarthy (Woodbridge High School), Madison Menafaro (Bishop Ahr High School) and Kayla Van Pelt (John F. Kennedy High School).

Among the players who are committed to play at Middlesex County College but did not attend the event were Olivia Tirso and Yaselin Gonzalez. They were teammates at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth and previously signed letters of intent to play for the basketball team at MCC.

Muldowney, a legendary mentor, previously coached baseball at MCC and Edison High School, posting a combined 416-156 record during 22 seasons. For five years, he coached the travel softball teams of his daughter, Marylynn, a 2017 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she was a four-year starter and team captain who played in every game the Rams played during her stellar career.The MCC softball program did not field a team last season. The team won 12 games in each of the previous two seasons.