UMass center fielder Cyndil Matthew selected 10th in Fastpitch Draft

By Jeffrey Okerman

Cade Belisle/Collegian

Cyndil Matthew, standout center fielder for Massachusetts softball team, was selected 10th overall in the National Pro Fastpitch Draft on Monday.

Matthew, a Westfield, N.J. native, will join the NY/NJ Comets after the conclusion of her senior season with the Minutewomen (6-16, 3-1 Atlantic 10). Operating out of Bridgewater, N.J., the Comets will bring Matthew back close to home to begin her professional career.

Matthew will also be re-united with former Minutewomen teammate and All-American Sara Plourde, whose rights were acquired from the now defunct Carolina Diamonds in the off-season.

Following her selection, Matthew expressed her excitement about taking her softball career to the next level and being able to do so in her own back yard.

“I’m speechless to tell you the truth,” Matthew told “I’m just really happy and this is a dream come true. It doesn’t get any better than getting to play the sport you love at the highest level and to be close to home.”

Matthew leads the team in hitting (.388), on-base percentage (.488), runs (14), hits (26), walks (11) and stolen bases (14). Her .388 batting average ranks her sixth in the A-10. In the 2012 season, she broke the school’s single-season stolen base record, swiping 36 bags, surpassing Tracey Osier’s mark of 33 set in 1998.

She has hit safely in the last five games for UMass, four of which ended in wins for the Minutewomen. Over the course of the streak, Matthew has recorded nine hits from 15 at-bats, including a perfect 4-for-4 in the team’s last defeat, a 9-4 result against Dayton.

Matthew has also been a key performer in a weak UMass defense this season. Despite the team’s conference-most 57 errors, good for a .911 fielding percentage, the center fielder has not made a single miscue.

Minutewomen head coach Elaine Sortino attributed her lead-off hitter’s selection to her work ethic.

“She has worked very, very hard to accomplish this goal,” Sortino said to “She has consistently worked on her offensive game and become a great outfielder and I am so happy for her.”

Jeffrey Okerman can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MDC_Okerman.