Softball Hosts Binghamton in Crucial America East Series; Weekend Schedule Changed Due to Rain
SCHEDULE ALERT: Sunday's doubleheader will now begin at 3 p.m. due to Saturday's heavy rain.
BALTIMORE—The UMBC softball team (19-16, 4-5 AE) hosts America East rival Binghamton (15-11, 4-2 AE) in a crucial three-game series this weekend at UMBC Softball Stadium. Due to impending rain on Saturday, the teams will now play a doubleheader on Sunday beginning at 3 p.m. and a single game on Monday at 1:30 p.m.
Last Time Out: The Retrievers dropped a pair of one-run games in Thursday's doubleheader at Mount St. Mary's, falling 5-4 and 6-5 in eight innings. Sophomore right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) blasted her team-best 10th home run in the first game.
On the Bearcats: Binghamton is 15-11 on the season, including 4-2 in America East play and has won three in a row after sweeping a doubleheader from Colgate on Thursday. Outfielder Jessica Phillips, the reigning America East Rookie of the Year, is batting a league-best .500 with a 1.041 slugging percentage and a .611 on-base percentage, and she also leads the conference with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs. Kate Priceboasts the top ERA in the America East at 1.42. The Bearcats, who were picked to finish fourth in the America East preseason poll, are batting .274 as a team and have outscored their opponents, 119-87.
Inside the Series: UMBC leads the all-time series, 20-8, and had won seven in a row against Binghamton before the Bearcats took two of three in last season's series in Vestal. Senior second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover) is batting .324 with five extra-base hits in 10 career games against the Bearcats, while senior designated player Lauren O'Malley (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) is hitting .522 in nine career contests. In addition, senior Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) is 6-1 with a 2.42 ERA and 67 strikeouts in 46.1 innings of work spanning nine appearances.
What a Week: Freshman shortstop Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) was named America East Rookie of the Week on Monday after batting .615 (8-for-13) and slugging 1.077 in four games last week. Four of her hits went for extra bases, as she belted three doubles and a home run while knocking in four runs and scoring three, and she posted three multi-hit efforts.
Home Sweet Home: UMBC is 13-7 inside the friendly confines of UMBC Softball Stadium this season. The Retrievers are batting .310 with 22 home runs and have outscored their opponents, 123-102, in 20 home games.
Power Surge: Scroggin leads UMBC and ranks second in the America East with 10 home runs this season. She is one of just 14 Retrievers ever to hit 10 homers in a season. Just a sophomore, she has already moved into UMBC's top 20 for career home runs with 11. Last season, Scroggin collected just one hit in limited action, but that one hit was a round-tripper.
On-Base Machine: Senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee), who ranks third in the America East with a .540 on-base percentage, has reached base safely in 30 straight games dating to March 1. During that time, she has batted .440 (37-for-84) with 25 walks for a .577 on-base percentage.
Streaking: Warner saw her eight-game hitting streak come to an end on Thursday when she went 0-for-3 in the first game of the Mount St. Mary's doubleheader. She batted .500 (13-for-26) with six extra-base hits and seven RBIs during the streak, raising her average from .242 to .315.
Running Away With It: The Retrievers are 49-for-60 in stolen bases attempts this season, their most steals since 2006, when a Kali Shirk-led team swiped 82 bases. UMBC stole just 47 bases in the last two years combined (25 in 2010, 22 in 2009). The Retrievers are led on the base paths by senior center fielder Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough), who is 20-for-22 this season, ranking third in the America East. The last time a Retriever stole at least 20 bases was Shirk with 21 in 2008.
Winning It All: Weigman became UMBC's all-time wins leader when she defeated Stony Brook, 6-1, on April 3. She did not allow an earned run and surrendered just five hits in the complete-game effort.
UMBC Career Wins
- Stephanie Weigman, 60, 2008-Present
- Lauren Nicholson, 57, 2003-06
- Amy Sadowl, 43, 2003-06
Weigman's Whiffs: Weigman, who entered the season as UMBC's career strikeout leader, picked up her 700th career whiff on March 26 against Maine, and she now has 737 – over 300 more than any other Retriever, as her closest competitor, Crystal Ray, had 422. In addition, Weigman fanned her 100th batter of the season on Thursday against Mount St. Mary's, making her the only Retriever ever to strike out at least 100 batters in four straight seasons.
UMBC Career Strikeouts
- Stephanie Weigman, 737, 2008-Present
- Crystal Ray, 422, 1998-2000
- Lauren Nicholson, 387, 2003-06
She's No. 1: Weigman is also UMBC's all-time leader in career innings pitched (697.0), games started (103) and appearances (135), and she ranks second in complete games (65) and saves (5) and sixth in shutouts (9).
Double Your Pleasure: Brummell leads the Retrievers and ranks second in the America East with nine doubles this season, and she is tied for third all-time at UMBC with 44 career two-baggers. Brummell, who set the school single-season doubles record with 20 in 2009, also ranks fourth all-time with nine triples and seventh with 68 extra-base hits.
UMBC Career Doubles
1. Lisa Boone, 56, 2000-03
2. Reilly Ward, 46, 2004-07
3. Christy Sheppard, 44, 2000-03
Dana Shepherd, 44, 2004-08
Lauren Brummell, 44, 2008-Present
It's Outta Here: Culotta is tied with former teammate Ashley Gray for ninth all-time at UMBC with 18 career home runs, while Brummell is just three behind her, ranking 13th with 15 career round-trippers.
UMBC Career Home Runs
6. Taryn McDonald, 24, 1996-99
7. Amy Wolff, 21, 1994-97
8. Stevie Shore, 19, 2005-06
9. Ashley Gray, 18, 2007-08
Julia Culotta, 18, 2008-Present
11. Emily Thompson, 17, 2007-10
12. Crystal Ray, 16, 1998-2000
13. Lauren Hebb, 15, 2003
Lauren Brummell, 15, 2008-Present
15. Carrie Lycett, 13, 1994-97
Beasts in America East: The Retrievers entered the week leading the America East in batting average (.293), on-base percentage (.384), runs scored (187), hits (275), doubles (53), home runs (31), total bases (427) and walks (129). The Retrievers boast five of the top 13 hitters in the conference in Culotta (.408, 2nd), junior first baseman Katie Ferguson (.358, 5th), junior catcher Angela Yannone (10th, .326), Brummell (11th, .325) and Scroggin (.318, 13th).
In the Clutch: The Retrievers are batting .335 with runners in scoring position, including .580 with a runner on third and less than two outs. Ferguson is batting .444 (20-for-45) with runners in scoring position, while Culotta is hitting .409 (18-for-44), Brummell .367 (11-for-30) and Warner .379 (11-for-29). In addition, Culotta and Ferguson each have a team-best 10 two-out RBIs.