Baltimore, Md. -- The UMBC Softball team will close out the home schedule by hosting defending America East champion Albany beginning on Saturday at 1 pm. The series will mark the final home appearances for six seniors: Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va.), Haley DeLany (Lederach, Pa.), Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J.), Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J.), Toni Santonastasso (Canonsburg, Pa.) and Erin Trnka (Goffstown, N.H.).
The two teams last met in an instant classic first round matchup in the 2017 America East tournament where the fourth-seeded Great Danes would start their title run, by rallying in the seventh en route to a 5-4, 10 inning, victory over the fifth-seeded Retrievers.
UMBC (8-26, 3-7) is paced on offense by Valerie Hammett's (Mechanicsville, Md.) .346 average and six doubles, while Alexander and sophomore Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) have each scored 21 runs. Alexander leads the team with 15 stolen base, while Lesko has driven in a team-best 15 runs. Puccio leads the Retrievers in every single pitching category and has picked up seven wins on the season to go with a team best 3.97 ERA.
Scouting the Great Danes
Albany (19-12, 7-3) dropped a pair of one run contests at Army Wst Point on Wednesday afternoon. Junior Sarah Petzold leads the team in average (.345), RBI (26) and runs (22), while classmate Celeste Verdolivo has been dominant in the circle. The Texas native is second in the conference with a 1.72 ERA and leads the conference with 10 victories. She has also pitched a team-best 77.1 innings to pair with staff-leading 57 strikeouts.