Softball Welcomes Binghamton to Kessock Field for a Three-Game Weekend Series
ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine softball team will be looking to snag their first America East league victory of the season as they welcome the Binghamton Bearcats (15-19, 6-3 America East) to Orono for a three-game series beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at 12 p.m.
Maine, currently on a two-game losing skid, dropped a pair of contests against Boston University last weekend before seeeing the series finale rained out. The Bearcats are 6-0 in their last six league contests after sweeping UMBC last weekend. Binghamton is a perfect 8-0 at home but enter the weekend just 1-15 on the road. Kessock Field has not been very friendly to the Bearcats as they have not won here since 2006. Maine is currently riding a six-game winning streak at home against Binghamton and have taken eight out of the last nine contests at home against the Bearcats. Maine had won the last nine meetings between the two teams before dropping a pair at Binghamton last season.
The Black Bears continue to search for their first America East Conference victory after dropping a pair to visiting Boston University last weekend, including a tough 12-inning loss in game one on Saturday. Freshman EmJ Fogel leads the Black Bear offense into the weekend as she is hitting .306 with seven RBI, nine runs scored, four doubles and one triple and is tied for team lead in hits with 26. Fogel ranks in the top-15 amongst conference leaders in average. Sophomore leftfielder Dagmar Ralphs is second on the team with a .289 mark at the plate. Ralphs leads the team in runs scored at 10 and is tied with Fogel for the team lead in hits at 26. Ralphs is also tied for the team lead in RBI with eight. Senior shortstop Jennifer Eberhardt also has eight RBI on the season as she is third in hitting at .244 with five doubles and six runs scored. Eberhardt enters today with a seven game hitting streak as she is batting .400 in conference play, going 6-for-15 in league play. In 17 games this season, Jean Stevens is batting .316 and leads the team with three home runs. Stevens has driven in eight runs with four doubles and five runs scored.
Senior hurler Ashley Kelley leads the Black Bears in the circle as she is 3-10 with a 3.34 ERA and one shutout. Kelley has certainly put in her time so far this year as she ranks third in the league in innings pitched (100.2), games started (14) and tied for third in appearances (19). Kelley leads the Black Bears with 56 strikeouts on the season. Sophomore Kylie Sparks is 2-8 in the circle with a 6.83 ERA. Sparks has fanned 19 in 53.1 innings thus far. Junior Beth Spoehr is 2-6 on the year with a 6.94 ERA. Spoehr's two victories both came in the form of complete game shutout wins. Spoehr has struck out 19 in 40.1 innings.
The Bearcats have won six straight league games coming into the weekend but most recently were swept in a doubleheader against Syracuse on Thursday. Jessica Phillips, last season's America East Co-Player of the Year, leads the Bearcat offense as the junior outfielder is batting .361, fifth best amongst league leaders. Phillips leads Binghamton in hits (30), runs (23), RBI (19), home runs (8) and doubles (8) while her .558 on-base percentage is tops in the league and her .771 slugging mark is second best. Sophomore Chelsey Locatell is batting .286 with 11 RBI while freshman Caitlyn Friis is hitting .265 with 11 runs scored, seven doubles and 16 RBI. Demi Laney paces the Bearcat pitching staff as she is 6-6 on the year with a 4.35 ERA. Laney has fanned 72 in 78.2 innings pitched.