CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – UMBC softball sophomore Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) was named the America East Player of the Week for the second straight week, the conference office announced on Monday.
Warner had another stellar weekend at the plate, leading the Retrievers with a .333 average (5-for-15) in the UMBC Spring Classic. The third baseman also belted another three homeruns, bringing her season total to seven. Her two homeruns against Sacred Heart gives her two games this season where she has hit multiple homeruns in a single game. She also recorded a .933 slugging percentage in UMBC's five games to go along with a .412 on-base percentage.
Warner leads UMBC with a .368 average (24-65) this season with 13 extra base hits and 16 RBIs. She has nine multi-hit games so far this season.
This is Warner's second straight Player of the Week award and her third total conference award in her career after being named the Rookie of the Week once last year.
After playing five games in four days over the past weekend, the UMBC softball team heads to Virginia to play George Mason on Tuesday afternoon. First pitch between the Retrievers and Patriots is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. at the George Mason Softball Complex.
UMBC leads the all-time series with George Mason, 24-17, after winning the only meeting between the two teams a year ago, 3-1, on Mar. 16 in Baltimore. With the score tied in the sixth inning, Ashley Carver (Swoyersville, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) laid down a squeeze bunt which scored Lynn Pronobis with the game-winning run.
Prior to last year's game, the Retrievers and Patriots had not met since 2007, when George Mason won both meetings at home.
The Retrievers enter Tuesday's contest with a 10-12 overall record after winning three out of five games at the UMBC Spring Classic over the weekend. UMBC picked up wins against Siena, Sacred Heart and Brown, but lost to St. Francis (Pa.) and Rhode Island.
Warner hit three homeruns over the weekend, and now has a team-best seven for the year. She also leads the squad with a .369 average (24-for-65) and 16 RBIs.
Senior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) has been the go-to pitcher for the Retrievers so far this season. She picked up all three wins for UMBC at the Spring Classic, tossing a complete game in each start. She is 7-5 this season with a 2.34 ERA.
A talented group of freshman, led by infielder Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby), have bolstered the Retriever lineup during the out-of-conference season. Hall is hitting .323 (21-for-65) with six doubles and six runs knocked in. Classmate Courtney Paone (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) has also been a factor in the lineup, recording eight hits in just 24 at-bats (.333) so far.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON
The Patriots are 6-20 this season after dropping all six games at the Cherry Blossom Classic this past weekend in Fairfax, Va. George Mason dropped two games each to Albany, Bowling Green and Cornell at the three-day event.
Brooke Blankenship leads the Patriots at the plate with a team-best .386 average (22-for-57), two homeruns and 11 RBIs. Samantha Barney is not far behind in the average column, picking up 22 hits in 58 at-bats for a .379 average.
Despite a 1-6 record, Stephanie Maher leads the Patriots with a 2.84 ERA. Casey Herring has four of Patriots' six wins with a team-best 32 strikeouts and .285 opponent-batting average.