ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine softball team (12-9, 4-1 America East) looks to build on its four-game win streak as it travels to take on Albany (11-7, 1-2 AE) in a three-game weekend set beginning with doubleheader action on Saturday, April 5 at 1 PM.
Maine will be looking for its first win against Albany since sweeping a doubleheader on the road on April 18, 2010 by scores of 5-1 and 7-4. The Great Danes enter with an 11-game win streak against the Black Bears, including taking a 2-0 victory from Maine in the 2012 America East playoffs. In the last meeting, Albany squeezed out a 1-0 victory in 11-innings. In that game, Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine) tossed 10 shutout innings before surrendering a run in the 11th inning. Hill struck out 11 in the tough loss while scattering six hits while EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) led the offense with three hits.
Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) leads a Black Bears' offense which ranks second in the league with a .276 team average at the plate. Burk is tops in the league, among hitters who have 50+ at-bats, with a .424 average. Burk has a team-high 25 hits while also leading the squad with 14 runs, two home runs and 10 RBI. Fogel is chipping in a .344 mark with 21 hits while leading the Black Bears in both runs (11) and RBI (11). Freshman centerfielder Samantha Ralphs (Lebanon, Ill.) is hitting .314 with 16 hits and 10 runs. Dagmar Ralphs (O'Fallon, Ill.) is flirting with the .300 mark at .290 with 18 hits and five RBI. Along with Samantha Ralphs, Maine has received great production from its freshmen class. Freshman Felicia Lennon (Brookfield, Conn.) is hitting .234 with 13 runs scored and eight RBI while fellow freshman Shelby Obert (Skowhegan, Maine) enters with a .283 average and seven runs and 10 RBI.
In the circle, Maine has received its majority of innings from Alexis Bogdanovich (South Portland, Maine) and Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine). Hill enters the weekend at 5-1 with a 3.02 ERA and leads the team with 44 strikeouts in 44.0 innings. Bogdanovich, the reigning America East Pitcher of the Week, is 3-3 with a team-low 2.17 ERA. Bogdanovich has fanned 32 opposing hitters in 42.0 innings.
Albany, winners of its last two with a sweep of Siena earlier in the week, enter at 11-7 and 1-2 in the league. Maggie Cocks paces the Great Dane offense with a .393 mark while also leading the team in hits (22), runs (17) and RBI (13). Vicky McFarland is chipping in a .321 average with 18 hits, 16 runs and seven RBI. Charlise Castro and Kayla Berry are each batting .300 with 11 runs scored by Castro. In the circle, veteran Brittany MacFawn is 5-4 with a 2.73 ERA in nine starts. MacFawn has fanned 62, second most in the league, in 62.2 innings.