Softball Plays Host to Hofstra in Midweek Action
April 7, 2009
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Playing some of its best softball of the season of late, the University of Maryland squad takes on Hofstra in a doubleheader Wednesday starting at 5 p.m. in Robert E. Taylor Stadium.
The Terrapins enter the midweek action riding a five-game win streak, tied for their longest of the season, after sweeping a road series from Virginia last weekend. Those victories enabled the Terps to secure their first Atlantic Coast Conference series sweep since March of 2007. They also catapulted Maryland (19-16, 5-4 ACC) into a tie with Florida State for third place in the conference standings behind North Carolina and Georgia Tech.
Maryland pitchers Sarah Dooley, Kerry Hickey and Kendra Knight combined to limit the Cavaliers to six runs on 10 hits during the three-game series last weekend. Hickey earned a pair of victories on the mound and lowered her team-leading ERA to 2.18, good for eighth in the ACC. Dooley pitched her first shutout of the season last Saturday versus Virginia and now has eight in her career. All three hurlers now rank among the top 10 in the conference in opponents' batting average.
During the current win streak, Maryland has a team batting average of .320 (48-for-150) and has nearly doubled its opponents in runs scored (29 to 15). Senior Breanna Shaw batted .455 (5-for-11) with a home run, a double and four RBIs against Virginia to boost her team-best average to .343, which ranks 10th in the conference. Junior Alex Schultz, sophomore Niki Lau and freshman Vangie Galindo added four hits apiece during the sweep.
Hofstra (16-12, 7-1 Colonial Athletic Association), which advanced to the 2008 NCAA Regionals, has won 11 of its last 12 games. The Pride boasts a team batting average (.274) nearly identical to that of the Terps (.275), and senior pitcher Kayleigh Lotti stands 11-4 with an ERA of 1.52.
Wednesday's contests are free to the public and parking will be available in Lots 4B and 9B starting at 4 p.m.
Last Time Out
The Terps enjoyed one of their most complete performances of the season Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader with the Cavaliers, 5-2 and 5-0. Pitchers Sarah Dooley, Kerry Hickey and Kendra Knight combined on a five-hitter during the twin bill, with Hickey earning the victory in the first game and Dooley collecting her team-best ninth win in the second by pitching her first shutout of the season. Knight, a freshman, struck out the side in the seventh inning of game one for the first save of her collegiate career.
Senior Breanna Shaw and junior Nadine Blackie homered and tallied three RBIs apiece to pace an offensive outburst that featured 19 hits during Saturday's pair of games, including at least one by each Terrapin starter. Sophomore Niki Lau and freshman Vangie Galindo both contributed three hits, and Lau and freshman Kathy McLaughlin drove in a pair of runs.
Fueled by a seven-run sixth inning, Maryland overcame a two-run deficit to defeat Virginia, 8-4, Sunday. Trailing 3-1 after five innings, the Terrapins sent 13 batters to the plate during their half of the sixth, collecting seven hits, two walks and a hit-batsman to produce their most runs in a single inning since scoring eight in the third frame against George Washington on April 23, 2008. Junior Lydia Fowler provided the biggest hit of the inning, when her bases-loaded double to left center cleared the bases and gave the Terps a 4-3 lead.
Shaw, Hickey and senior Devon Williams also contributed RBI singles during the seven-run outburst, and Lau's opportunistic base-running after a bunt single resulted in another run. Both Hickey (two singles) and Williams (walk and single) reached base twice during the big inning.
Hickey relived Knight on the mound Sunday and pitched the final 4.2 innings for her second victory in as many days. The right-hander from Huntingtown, Md., allowed just one earned run on three hits with six strikeouts. Junior Alex Schultz knotted the score at 1-1 when she led off the second inning by belting a home run to left field - her first of the season and the sixth of her career.
Scouting the Competition
Junior Nadine Blackie:
Did You Know