The UMBC Softball team begins a stretch of 20 of their next 21 games at home as they host the five game UMBC First Pitch Kickoff Classic, starting this Friday, March 3rd.
UMBC (4-10) will start the tournament off with a noon first pitch against local rival Morgan State. They will then play a doubleheader against Marist on Saturday, as well as another two games on Sunday. The first game is against Lafayette and the second game against Morgan State once again.
The Retrievers look to heat up in a recognizable environment, as they dropped four of five games during their most recent trip down to North Carolina. UMBC was 16-12 at home last season, and look to keep up the winning trend here in Baltimore. Freshman Maddie Daigneau (New River Ariz./Boulder Creek), who just earned America East Rookie of the Week honors for a second consecutive week, leads the Retrievers offensively. She is hitting .455 and leads the team in doubles and triples. Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta), who picked up the win down in North Carolina, leads the team in ERA with a 2.85 clip and Nicole Casagrand (Melbourne, Fla/Hatboro-Horsham) leads in wins (two) and and innings thrown (24.2).
Scouting the Lady Bears
Morgan State (4-7) is returning from Florida where they played in the Citrus Classic, going 0-5. The Bears are lead offensively by Haylee Bobos, who is hitting .353 with one home run, and Korynna Lara, who has driven in three runs. The Bear's pitching staff is anchored by Junior Amy Begg, as she is #1 in all major pitching categories.
Scouting the Red Foxes
Marist (5-4) is coming off a 3-2 showing at the Black & Orange Challenge down in Georgia. The Red Foxes offense was clicking down in the south, as they scored seven or more runs in all three of their wins. The offense is led by sophomore Casey Page and senior Rebecca Freeman, who are batting .478 and .455 respectively. Freeman also leads the team in home runs (three) and RBIs (14). The pitching staff is lead by Kallen Leeseberg, with a 0.93 ERA and 24 strikeouts, and Meg Beiermeister, who is 3-0.
Scouting the Leopards
Lafayette is entering the tournament, ready to play their first game of the season. They are coming off a 13-32 campaign last season, while going 3-15 in the Patriot League. Sophomore Brooke Wensel was selected to the Preseason All-Patriot League Team, and will be look to back up her freshman campaign where she earned All-Patriot League Second-Team honors. She led the team with a .324 batting average to go along with her 17 RBIs, as she had 11 multi-hit games.
UMBC First Pitch Kickoff Classic Schedule
Friday, March 3rd, 2017
12:00 pm – vs Morgan State
Saturday, March 4th, 2017
12:00 pm – vs Marist
2:30 pm – vs Marist
Sunday, March 5th, 2017
12:15 pm – vs Lafayette
2:30 pm – vs Morgan State