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Panther Spotlight: Lignelli Prepared for Final Performance

By Andrew Smith

Angela Lignelli has been a part of the Adelphi softball team since her first year on campus, serving as catcher. As the senior prepares for her final season as a Panther, she and her teammates are coming off a dominant 47-8 record and qualifying for the NCAA Division II Championship last season.  Even though the team’s bid for a national championship fell short, they have their eyes set on 2024.

“Entering this season, I feel very prepared and excited. Coach [Carla Campagna] does a great job preparing us at practice for every possible scenario we would see in a game,” Lignelli said. “We scout a lot and study the other teams we’re playing this year, so I feel like we’ve put ourselves in a great position to succeed.”           

Angela Lignelli was an excellent situational hitter as she brought in 14 runs on just 12 hits last season. Photo by AU Athletics

The backstop started in 37 games last season and led the team with 302 putouts, with a season-high 18 at UNC Pembroke. No stage was too bright for Lignelli throughout her career.  Last season she brought in 14 runs (RBIs) on 12 hits. She tallied two hits, brought in two runs in the East Super Regional against Wilmington in 2022, and even tallied a base hit on the national level against Seton Hill at the NCAA Division II Championship during the same season. In 2021, Lignelli also registered three hits at the NCAA East Region Tournament.         

After defeating St. Thomas Aquinas College and Bentley University, the Panthers fell to Wilmington University in a best-of-three series in the East Super Regional to conclude their 2023 campaign.            

“I think we learned a lot from last season,” Lignelli said. “We had a great year, but falling short in the super-regional fueled us for this season. We worked on a lot of little things and know what to expect for this year.”       

When looking back on her favorite memory as a Panther, Lignelli discussed the historic season the softball team had in 2022, when they made an appearance in the College World Series–and she was named NE10 Defensive Player of the Year. “My favorite memory at Adelphi is going to Colorado my sophomore year to play in the World Series,” she said. “All of our hard work paid off that year, and we had so much fun with each other and competing on the field.”

Angela Lignelli started 37 games at catcher and led the team with 302 putouts last season. Photo by AU Athletics

Lignelli was just as successful on the diamond as she was in the classroom. Lignelli, who is an accounting major, was named to the NE10 Academic Honor Roll List every semester, including two where she was given Academic Excellence distinction. 

As she reflects on the beginnings of her athletic career, Lignelli, who is from Carlstadt, New Jersey, credits her family. “My family has played a huge role in my athletic career. They have invested so much of their time taking me to practices, games and lessons over the last 10-plus years,” she said. “My dad crosses the GW bridge three to four times a week during the season to make sure he comes to every game, so I’m very blessed to have my parents’ support.”

The professional athlete who served as her role model is the New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter who led the Yankees to five championships and eventually was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. “Growing up, I was a huge Derek Jeter fan. I loved how he handled himself on and off the field and his style of play. He was a very team-oriented player with a strong, winning mentality,” she said. 

While the AU softball season is still very young, there are many lessons to be learned. The senior currently has an incredible .375 AVG (batting average), .385 OBP (on-base percentage) and .583 SLG (slugging percentage) across the first 30 games of the season. Lignelli has tallied nine total hits with four of them being for extra-bases. In addition, the backstop has brought in four runs and scored three.  

Lignelli said, “I am really excited for this season. I am very grateful for the girls I’ve played with in my last four years. The senior class are some of my closest friends, and we all want to play for each other and the rest of the team, of course, for our final season.”

Be sure to come out and support Lignelli and her fellow senior classmates as they look to have another remarkable season.  

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