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Softball Closes Out Regular Season This Weekend Against Hartford
Reilly Ward is one of six seniors who will be honored before Sunday's season finale.
Baltimore-The UMBC softball team (29-14, 12-6 America East) wraps up the regular season this weekend when America East rival
A Look Ahead
Last Time vs. the Hawks
Last season the Retrievers took two of three from the Hawks in the conference-opening weekend. Melanie Denischuk went 6-for-10 with two homers and eight RBI, while Dana Shepherd also went 6-for-10 with a grand slam. UMBC outscored
The Retrievers will say goodbye to six seniors in a pre-game Senior Day ceremony on Sunday. Utility player Heather Bennett, first baseman Melanie Denischuk, catcher Krissy Licursi, pitcher Jessica Taylor, outfielder Kristi Troster and shortstop Reilly Ward will all play in their final games at UMBC Softball Stadium.
The Retrievers will also bid farewell to assistant coach Dave Witten, who will retire from softball after 15 years as a collegiate, high school and ASA travel ball coach, including three at UMBC. The Retrievers compiled a record of 101-65 during his tenure.
Playoff Picture Taking Shape
The bracket for the four-team America East Championships will be decided this weekend. Currently,
Shepherd, Denischuk, center fielder Kali Shirk and shortstop Reilly Ward are climbing UMBC’s career charts in a number of offensive categories. Ward and Shepherd are nearing their 200th career hits, as Ward ranks seventh with 186 and Shepherd is eighth with 185.
Ward ranks second all-time with 46 career doubles and 73 extra-base hits and third with 133 RBI and 29 home runs. Denischuk took sole possession of second place on the all-time home runs list when she hit the 30th round-tripper of her career against Stony Brook last weekend.
Ward also ranks among UMBC’s all-time top 10 in walks (2nd, 88), games played (4th, 224), games started (4th, 223), at-bats (5th, 658) and runs (6th, 124).
Shepherd also ranks among UMBC’s all-time leaders in runs (5th, 128), doubles (5th, 38), extra-base hits (T-5th, 61), home runs (T-6th, 19), RBIs (10th, 100) and stolen bases (10th, 38).
Denischuk ranks among UMBC’s top 10 in RBIs (5th, 122) and walks (9th, 53). Shirk is among UMBC’s leaders in stolen bases (3rd, 68), triples (T-8th, 6), runs (T-8th, 118), walks (10th, 52) and hits (11th, 162).
Denischuk is riding a nine-game hitting streak dating back to the
Double Your Pleasure
Shepherd has hit 17 doubles this season, tied for the third-highest single season total in UMBC history. She leads the America East in the category and ranks fourth in the nation with 0.4 doubles per game. As a team, the Retrievers rank eighth in the nation with 1.6 doubles per game.
Though not on pace to match last season’s monster power numbers, the Retrievers still rank second in the America East with 48 home runs and rank 22nd in the country with 1.12 homers per game. Freshman Amanda Fefel’s 11 round-trippers – tied for the seventh-most in a season ever by a Retriever – are tied for the conference lead and set a new UMBC rookie record.
The Retrievers posted shutouts in a school-record five straight games from April 11-14 and did not allow a run for 30 consecutive innings. Gray ran her personal scoreless streak to 24 innings before allowing a run in the fourth in the first game of the
500 Wins for UMBC
UMBC’s second win against
200 Wins for French
In his sixth season at UMBC, head coach Joe French earned his 200th victory at the Retriever helm on March 31 against
A number of Retrievers have earned America East performer of the week honors. Most recently, junior Ashley Gray was tabbed co-Pitcher of the Week on April 30 after going 2-0 with a 1.58 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 17.2 innings.
Sophomore outfielder Krista Kearns was named co-Player of the Week on April 17 after hitting .571 and slugging 1.429 in six games. That same day, Gray was tabbed Pitcher of the Week after going 4-0 with a microscopic 0.25 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28.0 innings of work. A week earlier, Shirk earned Player of the Week honors after hitting .643, slugging 1.286 and scoring six runs.
On March 26, Gray was tabbed Player of the Week and Fefel garnered Pitcher and Rookie of the Week honors. Gray hit .429 with three homers, eight RBI and eight runs scored and also posted a 1-1 record with a 1.11 ERA. Fefel went 3-0 with a 1.24 ERA and also hit .333 with three home runs and 10 RBI. Fefel also earned Rookie of the Week on March 12 after hitting .333 and posting a 1.81 ERA.
Retrievers in NCAA
In addition to ranking eighth in doubles and 22nd in home runs, UMBC ranks in the top 30 in the nation in scoring (25th, 5.6 runs per game) and slugging percentage (27th, .481).
Shepherd ranks 23rd in the NCAA in runs per game (1.02), Gray is 30th in ERA (1.37) and Denischuk is 37th in RBI per game (0.97).
UMBC’s 12 America East victories are a new school record, surpassing last season’s 11. In addition, Gray tied Lauren Nicholson’s school mark for most America East wins by a pitcher with seven when she shut out the Seawolves on Sunday.