BALTIMORE – UMBC softball looks to defend its unbeaten America East record (6-0) over the weekend when it travels to Albany for a three-game series on Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12. Saturday's doubleheader is set to begin at 1 p.m. at Albany Field, followed by a single game set for noon on Sunday.
SCOUTING THE RETRIEVERS (16-12, 6-0 AE): UMBC has won eight of its last night games to improve to 16-12 on the season and a perfect 6-0 mark in America East action. The Retrievers are coming off a three-game sweep at UMass Lowell last weekend. Freshman Tori Alexander had a big weekend, batting .438 in four games with a .812 slugging percentage and nine runs batted in. Alexander launched the first two home runs of her career in the series against the River Hawks and earned her second straight America East Rookie of the Week honors.
Senior Taylor Hall is in pursuit of her 200th-career hit, standing five hits shy of becoming the 10th player in program history to reach the accomplishment. Hall is batting .433 for the season, with a team-best .543 on-base percentage and 22 runs batted in. The veteran is in the midst of an 11-game hit streak and has reached base safely in 22 consecutive games. Alexander leads the team and league in batting average (.450) and hits (36).
In the circle, sophomore Jessica Holte has posted a 1.99 ERA on the season to rank second in the America East. The second-year pitcher ranks fourth in the country in walks allowed per seven innings (0.69) and has struck out a team-best 61 batters. Freshman pitcher Kim Puccio ranks fifth in the league in ERA (2.98) and seventh in batters struck out (37).
SCOUTING THE GREAT DANES (16-8, 2-1 AE): After playing all of February and March on the road, Albany is in the midst of a 12-game home stand. The Great Danes have won four of five on their home field, including two of three in its America East opening series against Maine last weekend. UAlbany is coming off a 6-0 victory against Bryant on Tuesday behind the combined shutout from sophomore pitcher Mackenzie Thompson and freshman hurler Nicole Parks.
Junior Maggie Cocks leads the Great Danes' offense with a team-best .397 batting average and 16 runs batted in. Senior Vicky McFarland is hitting .351 from the dish and has stolen a league-best 18 bases.
In the circle, freshman Devin Durando is holding batters to a .199 batting average en route to an 8-2 overall record. Freshman pitcher Erynn Sobieski has chipped in five victories in nine starts with a 2.89 ERA.
UP NEXT FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC continues road action with a trip to La Salle for a midweek doubleheader on Wednesday, April 15.