Northampton’s Zoe Driscoll-Sbar commits to Merrimack softball

  • Northampton shortstop Zoe Driscoll-Sbar, shown last season against Taconic, signed to play softball at Merrimack on Tuesday. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Zoe Driscoll-Sbar, left, of Northampton steals home on an error, ahead of Jada Glasgow, of Amherst Regional, Monday in Amherst. Abby Pelis is in the background. JERREY ROBERTS

  • Northampton senior Zoe Driscoll-Sbar at her signing ceremony Tuesday in Northampton with parents Linda Driscoll-Sbar, right, and Freda Driscoll-Sbar. GAZETTE STAFF / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Northampton senior Zoe Driscoll-Sbar at her signing ceremony Tuesday in Northampton with parents Freda and Linda Driscoll-Sbar, sitting, and coaches Andy Pelis, back right, and Glenn Connly. GAZETTE STAFF / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Northampton senior Zoe Driscoll-Sbar signs a letter of commitment to play softball at Merrimack College next year. She was joined by her parents Linda, left, and Freda Driscoll-Sbar. GAZETTE STAFF / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Northampton senior Zoe Driscoll-Sbar, center smiles at her college signing ceremony Tuesday in Northampton as her coaches And Pelis and Gelnn Conly join her parents Linda and Freda Driscoll-Sbar at the table. GAZETTE STAFF / KYLE GRABOWSKI

Published: 3/28/2017 4:55:28 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Merrimack College offers just about everything Northampton senior Zoe Driscoll-Sbar was looking for.

It has a Division II softball program, a strong teaching department and is both close enough and far away from home.

She just had to be sure they were interested in her.

“As the recruiting process is, you contact (schools) and you don’t always get a response right away,” Driscoll-Sbar said. “I kind of started losing hope until I went to a clinic of theirs in the summer. That’s when they really got to see me play, and they had interest in me, so there was mutual interest.”

Driscoll-Sbar committed to Merrimack on Tuesday at a signing ceremony in Northampton’s gym. She also considered schools like Lesley, Southern Connecticut, Southern New Hampshire and UMass-Lowell.

Merrimack still stood out. She wanted to be at a small school and enjoyed the number of athletes on campus and how they bonded.

“When I compared my choices together, side by side, I was like ‘that’s the school I want to be at,’” she said.

Merrimack coach Elaine Schwager also made an impression on Driscoll-Sbar.

“She really seemed like she genuinely cared about her players. On the different visits that I went to, there’s a lot of stuff you get told that just seems rehearsed,” Driscoll-Sbar said. “She was just honest and seemed like she wanted the best from her players athletically and on the field.”

Driscoll-Sbar is Northampton’s only returning senior this season. She has started all four years for the Blue Devils and needs 26 hits this season for 100 in her career.

“This is great not only for Zoe but great for the program. She’s worked really hard to get where she is,” Northampton coach Andy Pelis said. “For her to earn this, that’s awesome because she deserves it.”

With her college decision made, Driscoll-Sbar can focus on her senior season at Northampton.

“I knew (which school) before a lot of my friends, and I feel their stress, but it was really nice to not have that stress anymore,” she said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at

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