The UMBC Softball Team (19-22, 3-5 America East) will take on the America East leading Maine Black Bears (13-18, 7-1 AE) for a three-game set this weekend.
The Retrievers are coming off a 3-2 week, including a double-header sweep of Maryland Eastern Shore and a 1-2 weekend at Albany.
Over the week, the Retrievers were led at the plate by juniors Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior) and Toni Santonastasso (Canonsburg, Pa./Pope John XXIII Regional). Alexander led the team with a .389 average over the week with a team high seven hits and two RBI while Santonastasso hit .333 with six hits and two RBI. Classmate Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J./New Milford) hit two homeruns and had four RBI in the squad's 7-3 victory at Albany.
In the circle, senior Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) led the team over the weekend with a 1.21 ERA over 17.1 innings pitched while striking out 13 batters. The senior had a .206 batting average against and recorded two complete games with one shutout.
For the season, freshman Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz./Boulder Creek) leads the team with a .406 average with a team high 52 hits, and senior Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) leads the team with six homeruns and 22 RBI.
Junior Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) leads the team with a 9-7 record, 2.43 ERA, and 61 strikeouts over 92 innings pitched.
The UMBC pitching staff currently leads the America East with a 3.53 team ERA.
Scouting the Black Bears:
Maine took a 5-4 decision at Holy Cross on Wednesday and is coming off a 4-1 week in which they split a double-header at UMass Lowell, and then swept a three-game home series against Stony Brook over the weekend, including two walk-off wins on Saturday.
Both America East Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week were given to Black Bears players, in Alyssa Derrick and Erin Bogdanovich respectively. Derrick went 10-for-18 on the week, driving in seven runs with two homeruns, while Bogdanovich went 2-1 with a 0.84 ERA and 13 strikeouts.
The Black Bears are led on the season in hitting by Rachel Carlson and Derrick. Carlson leads the team in hitting with a .367 average and 36 hits, while Derrick has a team high 10 homeruns, 26 RBI, and a .626 slugging percentage.
Annie Kennedy and Bogdanovich lead the Black Bears in the circle, with Kennedy having a team best 3.94 ERA and a team high two saves, while Bogdanovich leads the team in innings pitched and is tied for the team lead in strikeouts.
UMBC currently trails Maine in the overall series 25-15, with a 5-10 record at UMBC.
The two teams play the series opener on Friday at 3:00 PM, and then a double-header on Saturday, with the first game starting at 11:00 AM.