ORONO, Maine -- The University of Maine softball team (15-16, 6-8 America East) hosts Binghamton (18-18, 8-3 AE) in the final weekend homestand for the Black Bears beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday at noon. Maine is looking to push its way into the America East postseason as it currently sits in fifth place, one spot out of playoff position behind UMBC, in the final weekend of America East action for the Black Bears.
A Look at the Maine & Binghamton Series...
Dating back to a series in 2007, the home team has won the last 17-straight contests. Maine was the last team in the series to win a road game when it took one of three at Binghamton in 2007. Since the win, the home team as swept the past six series. The Bearcats have not won in Orono since April 29, 2006. In the last 10 meetings, the series is split 5-5. In the most recent series, the Black Bears lost all three at Binghamton. Maine dropped the contests by scores of 5-0 and 8-0 before losing the most recent match up 4-2. In that game, Jean Stevens blasted a two-run home run. Junior Jessica Burk currently has a six-game hit streak against Binghamton as she enters the series 6-for-16 with a home run, five RBI and two runs scored.
Scouting the Black Bears...
Maine looks to return to its winning ways as it currently rides a three-game losing skid into the weekend series after dropping a trio of games at Stony Brook last weekend. Junior outfielder Jessica Burk leads the Black Bears' offense as her .415 mark at the plate ranks second in the league. Burk, riding a nine game hit streak, ranks third in the league in hits (39) and currently leads the Black Bears in RBI (17) while only striking out six times in 94 plate appearances. Freshman Samantha Ralphs ranks 13th in the league with a .319 average (23-72) while scoring 11 runs and seven RBI with six stolen bases. Junior EmJ Fogel is batting .309 (29-94) with 15 runs, 13 RBI and team-high seven doubles. Dagmar Ralphs is chipping in a .278 average (22-79) with nine RBI while Kristen Koslosky is batting .257 with 12 runs and 10 walks. Freshman shortstop Felicia Lennon is batting .234 and leads the team in runs scored (18) and stolen bases (9) while knocking in nine.
In the circle, Hannah Hill leads the Black Bears with six wins as she enters the weekend 6-4. Hill's 2.73 ERA ranks sixth in the league while her 73 strikeouts are fifth best. Hill has appeared in 14 games with 11 starts while tossing three shutouts in 69.0 innings. Junior Alexis Bogdanovich ranks fourth in the league with a 2.40 ERA. Bogdanovich is 4-7 on the year in 15 appearances with 10 starts to go along with eight complete games and two shutouts. Bogdanovich has fanned 60 opposing batters in 73.0 innings. Senior Kylie Sparks is 5-2 with a 3.55 ERA in 12 appearances with seven starts. Sparks has struck out 26 hitters in 47.1 innings.
As a team, Maine ranks fifth in the league in hitting (.267), fourth in ERA (3.21) and third in fielding (.958).
Scouting the Bearcats...
Binghamton enters the weekend winners of five of its last six after most recently splitting a non-conference doubleheader with Colgate. In America East action, Binghamton has won five straight after sweeping a three-game set from Hartford after taking two of three at UMass Lowell. The Bearcats enter the weekend leading the league in hitting at .294 thanks in part to sophomore Sydney Harbaugh who leads the squad in hitting at .350. Harbaugh, who ranks fifth in the league in hitting, has scored 26 runs and ranks third in the league with 20 stolen bases. Harbaugh has 26 RBI and is tied for the league lead with three triples. Sophomore Lisa Cadogan ranks sixth in the league in hitting at .340 has scored 18 runs and ranks third in the league with 28 RBI. Taylor Chaffee is hitting .333 and ranks second in the league with 32 RBI and second with nine home runs. Jessica Bump is hitting .300 and leads the league with 28 stolen bases, having only been thrown out once, while placing third on the runs scored list at 33.
Senior Demi Laney is 12-8 in the circle with a 3.50 ERA in 27 appearances with 20 starts. Laney has tossed 10 complete games with three shutouts and two saves while striking out 90 in 128.0 innings. Annika Wiesinger is 6-9 on the year with a 6.20 ERA in 24 appearances, including 13 starts. Wiesinger has fanned 30 hitters in 79.0 innings.
The Bearcats lead the league by a large margin with 99 stolen bases while ranking second in runs scored (175). Binghamton's pitching ranks fifth with a 5.10 ERA while it sits sixth in defense with a .950 fielding percentage.