Softball Puts Four-Game Win Streak on the Line Against Defending Champ Boston U. This Weekend

Softball Puts Four-Game Win Streak on the Line Against Defending Champ Boston U. This Weekend


BALTIMORE—Winners of four in a row, the UMBC softball team (18-12, 3-3 AE) will face a tough test this weekend when it visits two-time defending America East champion Boston University (18-11, 4-2 AE) for a three-game series. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., and a single game on Sunday at 12 p.m.

Last Time Out: The Retrievers defeated cross-town rival Towson, 6-3, on Thursday, behind a 3-for-3, 3-RBI effort from junior catcher Angela Yannone (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake). She and sophomore right fielderAshley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) each homered in the fourth inning to put UMBC on top for good. Senior Stephanie Weigman, (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) the reigning America East Pitcher of the Week, earned the win, while sophomore Heather Brown (Pasadena,Md./Northeast) picked up the save.


On the Terriers: Boston University is 18-11 on the season and 4-2 in America East play, but has dropped three in a row. The Terriers are led offensively by center fielder April Setterlund, the reigning America East Player of the Year and an All-American. She is batting .386 with six home runs and 26 RBIs, and she has also walked 26 times for a .564 on-base percentage. The BU pitching staff has posted a league-best 2.04 ERA this season, led by Erin Schuppert, who is 6-2 with a 1.45 ERA, andHolli Floetker, who is 7-3 with a team-best 62 strikeouts. In addition, infielder Brittany Clendenny was named America East Rookie of the Week on Monday. The Terriers, who were the unanimous preseason favorite to repeat as America East champions, have outscored their opponents, 140-92, and rank second in the league in both hits and runs.


Inside the Series: Boston U. leads the all-time series, 17-5, and has won 13 of the last 15 games dating to 2006. The Terriers took two of three contests last season. Senior second baseman Lauren Brummell(Hanover, Va./Hanover) is batting .286 (8-for-28) with three doubles and two RBIs in 10 career games against BU.


What a Week: Senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) and Weigman were named America East Player and Pitcher of the Week, respectively, on Monday. Culotta batted .857 (6-for-7) with five walks, reaching base safely in 11 of 12 trips to the plate, while Weigman went 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA and also earned a save in three appearances. She allowed just two earned runs and nine hits in 14.2 innings of work.


Power Surge: Scroggin leads the Retrievers and ranks second in the America East with nine home runs this season. Just a sophomore, she has already moved into UMBC's top 20 for career home runs with 10. Last season, Scroggin collected just one hit in limited action, but that one hit was a round-tripper.


Streaking: Scroggin is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, during which time she is batting .474 (9-for-19) and slugging 1.158 with a double, four homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored. In addition, senior center fielder Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough) is batting .300 with six steals during her six-game streak, while freshman shortstop Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) is hitting .438 (7-for-16) with a double, a homer and four RBIs during her five-gamer.


On-Base Machine: Culotta, who ranks third in the America East with a .537 on-base percentage, saw her streak of reaching base safely in 12 straight plate appearances come to an end on Thursday against Towson when she struck out in her final at-bat. The streak spanned four games, dating to Saturday's series opener at Stony Brook. Culotta, the reigning America East Player of the Week did walk in her first two trips to the plate, however, and has now reached base safely in 25 straight games dating to March 1. During that time, she has batted .458 (33-for-72) with 20 walks for a .581 on-base percentage.


Running Away With It: The Retrievers, who rank second in the America East in steals, are 47-for-56 in stolen base attempts this season, their most steals since 2006, when a Kali Shirk-led team swiped 82 bases. UMBC stole just 47 bases in the last two years combined (25 in 2010, 22 in 2009). UMBC is led on the base paths by Pronobis, who is 18-for-19 this season, ranking second in the America East. The last time a Retriever stole that many bases was Shirk with 21 in 2008.


Winning It All: Wegiman became UMBC's all-time wins leader when she defeated Stony Brook, 6-1, last Sunday. She did not allow an earned run and surrendered just five hits in the complete-game effort.


UMBC Career Wins

  1. Stephanie Weigman, 59, 2008-Present
  2. Lauren Nicholson, 57, 2003-06
  3. Amy Sadowl, 43, 2003-06

Weigman's Whiffs: Weigman, who entered the season as UMBC's career strikeout leader, picked up her 700th career strikeout on March 26 against Maine, and she now has 723 – over 300 more than any other Retriever, as her closest competitor, Crystal Ray, had 422.


UMBC Career Strikeouts

  1. Stephanie Weigman, 723, 2008-Present
  2. Crystal Ray, 422, 1998-2000
  3. Lauren Nicholson, 387, 2003-06

She's No. 1: Weigman is also UMBC's all-time leader in career innings pitched (677.2), games started (100) and appearances (132), and she ranks second in complete games (63) and saves (5) and sixth in shutouts (9).


It's Outta Here: Culotta is tied with former teammate Ashley Gray for ninth all-time at UMBC with 18 career home runs, while Brummell is just three behind her, ranking 13th with 15 career round-trippers.


UMBC Career Home Runs

      6.   Taryn McDonald, 24, 1996-99

      7.   Amy Wolff, 21, 1994-97

      8.   Stevie Shore, 19, 2005-06

      9.   Ashley Gray, 18, 2007-08

            Julia Culotta, 18, 2008-Present

      11. Emily Thompson, 17, 2007-10

      12. Crystal Ray, 16, 1998-2000

      13. Lauren Hebb, 15, 2003

            Lauren Brummell, 15, 2008-Present

15.  Carrie Lycett, 13, 1994-97


Double Your Pleasure: Brummell leads the Retrievers and ranks second in the America East with eight doubles this season, and she ranks fifth all-time at UMBC with 43 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 seventh with 67 career extra-base hits.


UMBC Career Doubles

      1.   Lisa Boone, 56, 2000-03

      2.   Reilly Ward, 46, 2004-07

      3.   Christy Sheppard, 44, 2000-03

            Dana Shepherd, 44, 2004-08

      4.   Lauren Brummell, 43, 2008-Present


Home Sweet Home: UMBC is 13-7 inside the friendly confines of UMBC Softball Stadium this season. The Retrievers are batting .310 with 22 home runs and have outscored their opponents, 123-102, in 20 home games.


Beasts in America East: The Retrievers lead the America East in batting average (.308), on-base percentage (.400), runs scored (168), hits (246), doubles (41), home runs (27), total bases (374) and walks (116). The Retrievers boast five of the top 10 hitters in the conference in Culotta (.419, 2nd), junior first baseman Katie Ferguson (.376, 5th), Brummell (.358, 6th), Scroggin (.357, 7th) and Yannone (.338, 10th). Similarly, Brummell leads the league with 38 hits, while Culotta (36) and Ferguson (35) rank second and third, respectively. Culotta also paces the conference with 29 runs scored, while Pronobis (24) is tied for third. In addition, Scroggin ranks second in slugging percentage (.786), while Culotta is fourth (.686). Culotta (23) and Ferguson (22) also ranks fourth and fifth in the league in RBIs, while Culotta (6) joins Scroggin in the top five in home runs, as she is tied for fourth. Finally, the Retrievers place three players in the top five for total bases in Brummell (60, 2nd), Culotta (59, T-3rd) and Scroggin (55, 5th).


In the Clutch: The Retrievers are batting .359 with runners in scoring position, including .590 with a runner on third and less than two outs. Ferguson is batting .513 (20-for-39) with runners in scoring position, while Culotta is hitting .415 (17-for-41), Brummell .393 (11-for-28) and Warner .385 (10-for-26). In addition,Ferguson leads the Retrievers with 10 two-out RBIs, while Culotta has nine.


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