WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the abrupt end to the spring sports season for the 2019-20 academic year, as well as the cancelation of several year-end activities for all student-athletes. As the semester comes to a close, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) Department of Athletics would like to take the opportunity to thank its spring senior student-athletes whose seasons were cut short with a virtual Senior Day for each team.
Concluding our virtual Senior Day tributes is the USJ softball team. The softball team features three four-year seniors who will be greatly missed; senior infielder #22 Brianna Barfield, senior outfielder #8 Bianca Pappacoda, and senior catcher #18 McKenna Driscoll.
Barfield saw action in 68 career games for the Blue Jays, finishing with a career batting average of .240. She tallied 31 hits across 129 at-bats with four doubles and 19 RBI. She scored 13 runs and drew 14 walks, while committing just four errors in 108 total chances for a .963 career fielding percentage. Barfield, a native of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, is majoring in Social Work.
"Brianna was an excellent fielder at third base and there were so many times where I would hit several balls to her in a row and she would make the play on every one," stated head softball coach Jim McKinnon. "Brianna is a great example of a player who worked very hard during practice to improve her game --- and it showed."
Pappacoda appeared in 81 career games over her four-year career with USJ. The left-handed speedster finished with a career .232 batting average, logging 26 hits across 112 at-bats with three doubles and a triple. She drove in 15 RBI, scored 22 runs, and stole four bases. A native of East Haven, Connecticut, Pappacoda is set to graduate with a major in Biology.
"Bianca earned the respect to be named captain in her senior year, and she brought intensity to every practice and game," said McKinnon. "She was never one to take a drill off and she led by example. Bianca always gave her best effort both on and off the field in all of the different roles that she was involved in on USJ's campus."
Driscoll was a staple in the middle of the order for the Blue Jays over her career. She saw action in 110 career games and finished with a career batting average of .369, collecting 111 hits in 301 at-bats. She smashed 24 doubles, three triples, and five homeruns to post a .518 career slugging percentage, while driving in 67 RBI and scoring 45 runs. An All-GNAC and All-Region selection in 2018, Driscoll was a formidable out throughout her career, while also posting a .987 fielding percentage behind the dish at catcher. A product of Bristol, Connecticut, Driscoll will be graduating from USJ with a major in Secondary Education.
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