BALTIMORE—The UMBC softball team (14-9) opens America East Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against Maine(8-19) at UMBC Softball Stadium. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., and a single game on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Last Time Out: UMBC defeated Rhode Island, 4-3, on Wednesday. The top three batters in the Retrievers' lineup – senior second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover), senior center fielder Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough) and senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) – accounted for all four UMBC hits on the day, with Brummell driving in two of the four runs. Sophomore Heather Brown (Pasadena,Md./Northeast) struck out six in 6.2 innings of work to earn her second win of the season, while junior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) picked up her first career save.
On the Black Bears: Maine is 8-19 on the season and has dropped eight of its last nine games. Third baseman Terren Hall is batting a team-best .351 on the season, and she leads the America East in both home runs (6) and RBIs (21). The Black Bears have been outscored, 142-72, on the season. Kylie Sparks has posted a team-best 4.92 ERA in 60.1 innings of work, while Ashley Kelley has struck out a team-high 40 batters.
Inside the Series: Maine leads the all-time series, 13-10. Last season, the Black Bears won two of three games in Orono. Brummell has enjoyed facing Maine in the past, as she is batting .406 (13-for-32) with three extra-base hits and six RBIs in nine career games.
Streaking: UMBC has won nine straight games dating to March 13 against Drexel. During that time, the Retrievers are batting .340 as a team and have outscored their opponents, 68-48.
Streaking, Part II: Brummell is batting .414 (12-for-28) with three doubles, two homers and nine RBIs during her current eight-game hitting streak. In addition, Culotta is batting .480 (12-for-25) with two doubles, three homers, 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored during her current seven-game streak.
Winning it All: Senior Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) is one win shy of tying Lauren Nicholson for the school record with 57 career victories.
UMBC Career Wins
- Lauren Nicholson, 57, 2003-06
- Stephanie Weigman, 56, 2008-Present
- Amy Sadowl, 43, 2003-06
Weigman's Whiffs: Weigman entered the season as UMBC's career strikeout leader, and she now has 694 – 272 more than any other Retriever, as her closest competitor, Crystal Ray, had 422.
UMBC Career Strikeouts
- Stephanie Weigman, 694, 2008-Present
- Crystal Ray, 422, 1998-2000
- Lauren Nicholson, 387, 2003-06
Beasts in America East: The Retrievers lead the America East in batting average (.309), slugging percentage (.454), on-base percentage (.411), runs scored (131), hits (186), doubles (32), home runs (17) and stolen bases (38). Culotta (.412) and Brummell (.400) rank third and fourth in the conference in batting average, and UMBC is the only team with more than one player batting better than .400 on the season.