BALTIMORE—The UMBC softball team (22-21, 5-10 AE) hosts America East rival Hartford (7-30, 2-10 AE) for a three-game series this weekend to close out its 2011 home slate. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. and a single game on Sunday at 12 p.m. The Retrievers will celebrate Senior Day with a pregame ceremony prior to the series finale.
Fond Farewell: Before Sunday's series finale against the Hawks, the Retrievers will bid farewell to five seniors – second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover), outfielders Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) and Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough), designated player Lauren O'Malley (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and pitcher Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding).
Last Time Out: The Retrievers hit six home runs in a doubleheader sweep of La Salle on Tuesday, winning 13-1 and 4-1. Brummell went 4-for-6, drove in three runs and scored twice, while Culotta went 3-for-6 with two homers, four RBIs and three runs scored. Junior first baseman Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) also belted two home runs, while junior catcher Angela Yannone (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) went 3-for-6 with a double, a homer and three RBIs and Pronobis walked four times and stole five bases. Both starting pitchers – Weigman and sophomore Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) – turned in strong performances, with each tossing a complete game and combining to allow just seven hits over 13 innings.
On the Hawks: Hartford is 7-30 on the season and 2-10 in America East play and has lost four in a row. Nicole Springer is batting a team-best .300 with eight doubles and 20 RBIs, while Kate Wacyk has blasted four home runs. Kaitlyn Meade is 4-12 with a team-best 5.17 ERA in 89.1 innings, while Siera Sheehan has struck out 66 batters. The Hawks have been outscored, 222-99, on the season, and are batting just .205, while opponents are hitting .342.
Inside the Series: UMBC leads the all-time series, 13-9, and has won nine of the last 10 meetings dating to 2007. The Retrievers took two of three last season in Hartford, with Brown earning the victory in both contests, allowing just one earned run and six hits in nine innings of work. O'Malley is batting .412 (7-for-17) with two doubles and four RBIs in five career games against the Hawks, while Brummell is hitting .290 (9-for-31) with three doubles and seven runs scored in eight contests. In addition, Weigman is 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 37 strikeouts all-time against Hartford.
Century Mark: Brummell became the ninth Retriever ever to collect 200 career hits with her leadoff home run in the second game against La Salle on Tuesday. She entered the day needing three hits to reach the milestone and went 4-for-6 in the doubleheader. She has a league-best 53 hits this season.
Double Your Pleasure: Brummell leads the Retrievers and is tied for tops in the America East with 11 doubles this season, and she is tied for second all-time at UMBC with 46 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 sixth with 71 extra-base hits.
It's Outta Here: Culotta became the eighth Retriever ever with 20 career home runs with her second blast against La Salle on Tuesday.
Power Surge: Sophomore right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) leads UMBC and ranks second in the America East with 10 home runs in 2011. 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.
Running Away With It: After going 5-for-5 on the base paths against La Salle on Tuesday, Pronobis ranks seventh all-time at UMBC with 45 career steals, making her one of just 11 Retrievers ever to steal 40 bases in her career. She is 26-for-28 on the season, the ninth-highest single-season total in school history, and her 26 steals are the most since Kali Shirkswiped 41 bases in 2006. The Retrievers are 58-for-70 in stolen base attempts this season, their most steals since 2006, when a Shirk-led team swiped 82 bases. YNBC stole just 47 bases in the last two years combined (25 in 2010, 22 in 2009).
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. Weigman now has 62 career victories.
Weigman's Whiffs: Weigman, who entered the season as UMBC's career strikeout leader, picked up her 700th career punchout on March 26 against Maine, and she now has 757 – over 300 more than any other Retriever, as her closest competitor, Crystal Ray, had 422 from 1998-2000. In addition, Weigman fanned her 100th batter of the season against Mount St. Mary's on April 14, making her the only Retriever ever to strike out at least 100 batters in four straight seasons. She set the school's single-season mark with 293 in 2009.
She's No. 1: Weigman is also UMBC's all-time leader in career innings pitched (732.2), games started (109) and appearances (141), and she is tied for the lead in complete games (68) while ranking second in saves 95) and sixth in shutouts (9).
Beasts in America East: The Retrievers lead the America East in batting average (.288), on-base percentage (.377), hits (323), total bases (504) and walks (148) and rank second in slugging percentage (.449), runs scored (210), doubles (61) and home runs (38). Culotta and Brummell rank third and fifth in the league, respectively, in hitting, and UMBC is the only team in the conference with five players batting better than .300.