STJ players end careers on high note
Already some of the most decorated players in the history of St. John’s softball, graduate students Gretchen Bowie, Kaitlin Mattera and Marissa Rizzi each earned spots on the 2021 All-Big East Teams.
Bowie and Rizzi were selected to the First Team for the fourth and second times in their careers, respectively, while Mattera landed on the Second Team, marking the third time she has been honored by the conference over her collegiate career.
“Gretchen and Marissa will be remembered as two of the most successful student-athletes in the history of St. John’s softball,” said coach Bob Guerriero. “The leadership and on-field performance of Kaitlin will not be easily replaced either.”
Bowie, Mattera and Rizzi have combined for nine selections to the All-Big East First and Second Teams over their respective careers.
The trio of graduate students combined to hit nearly .375 in Big East play this season, with Bowie and Rizzi each finishing in the top-ten in batting average in conference play.
The three five-year athletes were an integral part of the Red Storm’s success over the last few years, having been keys to the program’s 2017 and 2019 Big East Regular Season Championships.
This marks the fourth season that Bowie was named to the All-Big East First Team, the most in program history. The Red Storm third baseman hit .378 in conference play this season, adding eight doubles, which was tied with Rizzi for second in the conference.
The former Big East Defensive Player of the Year’s 28 hits were tied for the best mark in the conference this season, while her ten stolen bases were also tied atop the Big East in conference action.
Overall, Bowie’s .340 average on the season was the second best of her career. In 200 games played, the Johnnies third baseman caps off her career as the program leader in triples in a career with 13, while just three RBIs short of the all-time program mark.
Bowie also recorded 193 hits, finishing just seven shy of 200.
As for Rizzi, the Red Storm first baseman earned her second consecutive First Team selection. The graduate student hit .386 in Big East play, finishing ninth in the conference, while smacking eight doubles, tied for second, and landing tied atop the conference in stolen bases.
Rizzi’s 22 hits were good enough for fifth while she led the conference in triples with two in Big East action.
Overall, Rizzi finished the 2021 campaign with a .402 batting average, just one point off her pace from 2019. She finished the season in the top five overall in the conference in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, doubles and stolen bases.
The Red Storm first baseman is the only player in program history to bat over .400 in multiple seasons in their career, as just eight other Johnnies have done it even once in the 40-year history of the program.
Mattera got stronger as the season went on in 2021. The Red Storm catcher hit .375 in conference play this season, finishing just three points outside the top ten, while collecting 24 hits, good enough for fourth in the conference.
Each of Mattera’s three home runs this season came against Big East opponents as well.
Overall, Mattera finished the season with a .354 batting average, which was the third-highest mark on the team and in her career. Like Bowie and Rizzi, she down as one of the top players in program history, as she caps off her career a .324 lifetime hitter.
Mattera racked up 157 hits, 31 doubles and 85 RBIs as a member of the Red Storm, while also holding the program record for hit by pitches in a career with 23.