ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine softball team (10-9, 2-1 America East) continues conference play as it travels to take on new league member institution UMass Lowell (4-13, 0-0 AE) in a three-game set. Maine will meet the River Hawks in doubleheader action on Saturday, March 29 at 11 AM before closing the series with a single game on Sunday, March 30 at noon. For UMass-Lowell, this will be its first America East league series.
Fans can follow live stats of all three games here.
Maine, who meets UMass Lowell at the Division-I level for the first time, enters the weekend winners of its last two as the Black Bears took the final two games of a series at Hartford last weekend. Maine, who has totaled 22 runs in its last two contests, came back from a 6-2 deficit in the finale at Hartford to win 12-9. Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) and Rachel Harvey (Southington, Conn.) each had stellar weekend's for the Black Bears as they would earn America East Player of the Week and America East Rookie of the week honors, respectively.
Coming off her impressive weekend, Burk now leads the Black Bears and is tied for the conference lead in batting at .400. Burk, who has seven hits in her last three games, leads Maine's offensive attack in hits (22), runs (11), total bases (28) and slugging percentage (.509). Burk has also added three doubles and a home run in her 55 plate appearances. EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) is hitting .333 with 18 hits, eight runs and eight RBI while leading the team with five doubles. The Black Bears have received great production from their freshman, beginning with Shelby Obert (Skowhegan, Maine) who is hitting .333 with 13 hits, six runs scored and a team-high 10 RBI. Fellow freshman Samantha Ralphs (Lebanon, Ill.) is batting .298 with 14 hits in 47 appearances to go along with nine runs and a team-leading five stolen bases.
Senior Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine) enters the weekend at 4-1 in the circle with a 2.84 ERA in eight appearances with six starts. Hill, who has tossed four complete games, has struck out a team-high 32 hitters in 37.0 innings. Alexis Bogdanovich (South Portland, Maine) is 2-3 on the year but has the team's lowest ERA at 2.33. Bogdanovich has appeared in seven games with four starts while fanning 22 strikeouts in 36.0 innings.
As a team, Maine carries a .259 batting average, second highest in the league, into the weekend. Maine's defense has been solid as the Black Bears have committed just 25 errors in 358 chances, tallying up a league second-best fielding percentage of .954. The Black Bears come into the weekend with a team ERA of 3.41 while striking out 282 opposing hitters in 19 games.
The River Hawks, beginning their first season of play in the America East conference, come into the weekend winners of two of their last three and three of their last five after most recently splitting a series with Rhode Island. UMass-Lowell, hosting its home opener, enters with a team batting average of .257 in 17 games. Brianna Martin leads the River Hawk offense at .333 with a team-high 17 hits to go along with six RBI and four runs. Emily O'Brien is hitting .323 in 31 plate appearances with a team-high six doubles while Tori Alcorn is chipping in a .313 average. In the circle, Marielle Handley enters at 2-7 in 12 appearances with a 4.42 ERA. Handley has fanned 31 batters in 50.2 innings. Lauren Ramirez, who leads the team with 32 strike outs, is 1-3 with a 4.56 ERA in eight appearances.