Softball Travels to New England; Will Play Rematch of 2012 Conference Title Game
ALBANY, N.Y. -- The University at Albany softball team (28-10, 11-1 AE) will travel to New England for a doubleheader against America East foe Boston U. on Wednesday, April 24 and single-game against Big East opponent UConn, Thursday, April 25. First pitch is slated for 2:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., respectively.
UAlbany currently holds the No. 1 seed in the America East Conference. They are coming off a three-game series sweep of UMBC last weekend. With the wins, the Great Danes have officially clinched a spot in 2013 America East Tournament. They’ve won 23 of their last 26.
• The Terriers are led at the plate by junior Jayme Mask. She’s started all 38 games for Boston U. this year -- batting .380 with 13 RBIs and 29 stolen bases. As a unit, the Terriers have three starters batting over .300. Senior Whitney Tuthill is Boston’s top pitcher. She is 13-11 with a 2.33 ERA and 121 strikeouts.
• The Huskies are led by two seniors batting over .350 -- Kim Silva and Marissa Guches. Silva has a team-high .371 batting average, with two triples and 74 total bases. Guches has a team-leading 13 doubles and four homers. Senior Kiki Saveriano is the top pitcher for a unit who has a 2.98 team ERA. She is 14-10 with a 2.45 ERA.
LAST SERIES v. UALBANY
UAlbany fought its way through the elimination bracket but fell short to Boston U. in the America East Conference Championship game, 5-0, on Sunday, May 13, 2012 at BU Softball Field. The two played a three-game series in April of last season prior to the final meeting. UAlbany was defeated in two of three. This will be the first match-up between the Great Danes and UConn in the Division I era.
A TRUE RIVALRY
The Great Danes and Boston U have met five times for the America East title, with the Terriers owning a 3-2 advantage. UAlbany currently owns the second best cumulative record in regular season conference play, 137-61, only behind Boston U., 254-90. The Terriers are not eligible for the America East Tournament after declaring their move to the Patriot League next season.
AMERICA EAST DOMINATION
UAlbany currently owns the top spot in the America East standings. As a unit, the Great Danes rank first in team pitching and team fielding. They own a league-best 2.30 ERA, allowing a conference low 64 walks and high 235 strikeouts. Their fielding percentage, .977, also ranks first. UAlbany’s .276 batting average trails only the Bearcats. They clinched a berth in the America East Conference Tournament after sweeping UMBC last weekend.
THE EIGHT-RUN MERCY
Against UMBC on Saturday, April 20, UAlbany won twice on the eight-run mercy rule, 8-0, 8-0. The rule, putting together an eight-run lead or more after five innings, has been reached by the Great Danes five times this year. The last time UAlbany had five or more mercy-rule wins was 2009.
Freshman Maggie Cocks recorded her conference-leading 12th double of the season against UMBC on Saturday, April 20. The starting shortstop already ranks fourth in program history in terms of single-season doubles. She is six away from the program record set by Andee Lindgreen in 2004. Cocks has started every game this season, with a .301 batting average and 55 total bases.
UAlbany has stolen a conference-high 72 bases in 2013. Leading the charge on the basepath is freshman Annie Johnson. In 37 games this season, she’s stolen 33 bases. Sophomore Vicky McFarland, who stole 23 bases last season, is second with 14 steals. Johnson has hit the national radar in terms of stolen bases. Her .89 steal-per-game average ranks second in all of Division I softball.
DANES’ WIN STREAK SETS NEW PROGRAM RECORD
UAlbany won 14 consecutive games from March 15- April 7. Over the span, the Great Danes outscored opponents 107-41. They twice won on the eight-run mercy rule and strung together five shut-out victories. The team scored a season-high 14 runs twice, tying the second most for single-game runs in Division I program history (15 in 2004). Their 14-game win-streak set a Division I program record.
MACFAWN REACHES MILESTONE
Junior Brittany MacFawn became the third player in program history to surpass the 500 career strikeout milesone. The right-handed hurler is putting together a sensational season. Her conference-leading 207 strikeouts gives her a K:BB ratio of 7:1. MacFawn ranks in the top 20 of all Division I softball in terms of walks per seven innings (1.15). Her nine complete game shutouts tie for seventh. She tossed her third career no-hitter against Hartford to open up conference play on March 29. Less than a week later she threw a one-hitter against Siena -- one out away from a perfect game.
GREAT DANES ARE TOP DOGS IN PRESEASON POLL
UAlbany and Boston University, who played in the 2012 America East Softball Championship, were announced on Monday, Feb. 4, as co-favorites in the conference preseason coaches' poll. UAlbany is coming off a 36-14 overall record and second place finish, 13-5, in the America East. After defeating both Maine and Stony Brook in elimination games, the Great Danes fell just short of crowning themselves conference champions for the fifth time. UAlbany and Boston U. each received three first-place votes and 32 points in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
UAlbany will head back to the Albany area to play crosstown rival Siena in a doubleheader in Loudonville, N.Y. on Tuesday, April 30. The Great Danes defeated Siena, 3-0, on April 4, 2013.