ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine softball team returns to America East play as it looks for its third-straight win when it welcomes Albany (16-7, 3-0 America East) to Kessock Field for the 2013 home opener.
Maine and Albany will meet in doubleheader action on Saturday before closing out the season series on Sunday at 11 AM. The Black Bears are 2-3 in their last five home openers with their last home opening victory coming on April 10, 2010; a 4-0 shutout of Binghamton. Maine is coming off a bye week after taking two of three in its America East opening weekend at UMBC. Hilary Kane (Concord, N.H.) led the offense at UMBC as she batted .545 with a home run and six RBI. Albany comes to Orono riding an 11-game win streak as it is 3-0 in league play and most recently defeated Siena in a midweek contest by a score of 3-0.
Scouting the Black Bears...
Sophomore outfielder Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) paces the Black Bear offense as she leads the team with a .278 mark at the plate with 27 hits. Burk, one of two Black Bears to have started all 31 games, has scored 15 runs while driving in 10. Fellow sophomore EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) is hitting .269 and leads the squad with 28 hits. Fogel has scored seven runs with five RBI. Senior captain Hilary Kane (Concord, N.H.) is batting .250 with 18 hits, eight runs scored and 11 RBI to go along with a team-high seven doubles, third most in the league. Kane has also recorded a pair of home runs with a .431 slugging percentage and a .360 on-base percentage. Jean Stevens (Albany, Ore.) is batting .247 and leads the team with eight home runs and 21 RBI. Stevens' eight home runs leads the league while her 21 RBI rank third.
In the circle, Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine) has a pair of wins with a 3.85 ERA in 14 appearances including 10 starts. Hill has racked up six complete games while tossing 60.0 innings pitched and leads the team with 38 strikeouts. Beth Spoehr (Appleton, Wis.) also has a pair of wins with a 4.53 ERA. Spoehr, who has appeared in 12 games with nine starts, has tossed 46.1 innings with 22 strikeouts. Kylie Sparks (Kirkland, Wash.) has a 5.56 ERA with one win in 45.1 innings with 24 strikeouts. Alexis Bogdanovich (South Portland, Maine) has one save in 14 appearances with a 4.50 ERA. Bogdanovich has 16 strikeouts in 42 innings.
As a team, the Black Bears are hitting .216 with 176 hits and 81 runs scored. Maine has belted 12 home runs with 27 doubles to go along with a .296 slugging percentage. Maine has swiped 17 bags with a team ERA of 4.55. The Black Bear starters have struck out a total of 100 opposing batters.
A Look At Albany...
The Great Danes enter the weekend riding an 11-game win streak after defeating Siena 3-0 on Thursday. Albany's strength is in its pitching as it rides the arm of junior hurler Brittany MacFawn. MacFawn tossed a no-hitter against Siena, her second no-hitter in three games. MacFawn is 9-5 on the season with a 2.94 ERA in 15 games. The junior has struck out 113 batters, the most in the league, in 98 innings. Fellow pitcher Emily Ostrom is 7-2 on the season with a 4.18 ERA and has struck out 21. Kelly Costello leads the Great Dane offense with a .367 average (11-for-30) to go along with a pair of home runs and 10 RBI. Vicky McFarland is hitting .342 with team-highs of 26 hits and 20 runs scored while driving in 15. Charlise Castro is chipping in a .322 average with 16 RBI and 15 runs scored. McFarland and Castro each have four home runs on the year.