Students Edge Faculty in Annual Softball Throwdown

In what many around the sporting world are describing as the “Upset of the Century,” the Seniors of the UMass Journalism Department squeaked by the Faculty Fanatics in a thriller, winning the Second Annual Softball Throwdown, 8-7  last Friday afternoon.

Kevin Koczwara drove home the winning run for the students under the outstretched glove of Journalism alum Courtney Smith.  Smith, Amber Vaillancourt and Eric Athas were part of a strong alumni corps that helped build a commanding lead for the Faculty Fanatics.  Melissa Turtinen, B.J. Roche and John Katzenbach helped round out the faculty squad, who were cheered on by Maddy Blais and Karen List.

But weeks of grueling training under the direction of student coach Wil McGuiness finally paid off with some strong hitting and fielding by the students.   And the student squad seemed to elevate its game as McGuiness gave new definition to multitasking when he took time out from the game to conduct a phone interview.  Rookies Alexa Marcigliano, Ashleigh Bennett and Jackie Hai were whacking balls all over the field, showing once again that softball is a game for all!

The series is now tied at 1-1 and an off-season regimen is currently being devised for the Faculty Fanatics.

About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at He also edits part-time for with the NFL and college football network.
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