Three years ago Genevieve Benoit from St. Mary’s and Classical’s France
sca Galeazzi were battling it out in the finals of the John Holland Memorial Day Softball Tournament at Grace Rogato Field. These days, they’re teammates on the Salve Regina University softball team where they’re both having exceptional seasons.
Benoit, who lives in Swampscott, was named the Commonwealth Coast Conference Player of the Year and Galeazzi, after taking home back-to-back Rookie of the Week honors, was named CCC Rookie of the Year. Benoit, a catcher, was also named to the first team All-Conference team and Galeazzi was a second team selection as a second baseman.
“It was an honor to receive both,” Benoit said. “I wasn’t expecting that.”
The junior catcher has played a huge role in the Seahawks’ success. She leads the CCC in batting average (.549) and hits (28). She is second in RBI (18) and as of the time she received the award, she was tied in home runs in the conference with six. In all games played, she’s second in the conference in hits with 49, RBI (34) and slugging percentage (.700).
Benoit was a utility player her first three years at St. Mary’s, but when coach Colleen Newbury was looking for a catcher Benoit’s senior year, Benoit stepped up to the plate. Newbury said Benoit was a true leader as a senior.
“She worked harder than anyone else has in a Spartan uniform,” Newbury said. “Catching didn’t come natural to her. (It was) the only option we really had and she worked hard to excel at that after (Erin) McAndrews and (Katie ) Collins left. She had tough shoes to fill.”
Benoit, who left St. Mary’s with two state titles in hockey player and two for softball, solidified her reputation with that bat by going 7-for-8 in a sweep of Endicott College. She’s the first Salve Regina softball player since 1999 to take home the conference’s top award.
Benoit said as a freshman in college she was sort of a utility player. She didn’t start, but saw time in certain situations. She took over the starting role as a catcher as a sophomore. Since then, Benoit said she has become a more consistent player, something she attributes to maturity.
“As you mature in age, you mature in the game,” Benoit said. “Just having more experience makes a difference.”
Benoit is majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. She’s interested in pursuing a career in a health field, possibly as a physical therapist or a physician’s assistant. She’s not sure yet. Although academics and playing a sport require a lot of juggling, Benoit seems to thrive under the pressure.
“I love it. I wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “Softball is my favorite season. I feel like being a scholar-athlete helps with my time management … It’s a great balance of academics and athletics. I’m really happy with my choice of a school, a major and a sport.”
Galeazzi is just getting her feet wet at the college level, but she wasted no time cracking the lineup. She’s fifth in CCC games in average(.468) with an overall batting average of .449. She led the Seahawks soccer team in scoring with six goals.
“It’s such an honor,” Galeazzi said about the Rookie of the Year Award. “There are a lot of talented freshmen in the CCC and to be picked out of the crowd for my accomplishments and success gives me such pride, not only my abilities, but in our program as a whole.”
Galeazzi said the standards and ex
pectations she sets for herself could not have been reached without the work ethic of her coach (Jessica DePolito).
“I really owe a lot to her, how much potential she sees in me and how she pushes me to be better every day,” Galeazzi said.