PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - As the season dwindles down, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team travels to Hampton, Va. to face the Lady Pirates of Hampton University in a vital Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) clash to get the upper hand in the standings.
Both squads will compete in a three-game series at Lady Pirates Softball Stadium. Saturday's doubleheader will be televised on ESPNU as Holly Rowe (Play-By-Play) and Leah O'Brien-Amico (Analyst) will provide the coverage. First-pitch is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. (EST).
Sunday's single seven-inning contest also begins at 1:00 p.m. (EST).
Nearly two weeks ago (04/05-04/06), Maryland Eastern Shore took one-out-of-three from the Spartans of Norfolk State University (NSU) at Lady Hawks Field.
UMES won the first contest, 6-3, and gave the Spartans their first MEAC loss of the season; however, fell short in the second and third games, 5-2 and 7-4, respectively.
In Game One, the Lady Hawks tallied six runs on eight hits, led by senior Chelsea Alston (Matawan, N.J.) going 2-for-4 with two triples. Sophomores Abria Tinsley (Sewell, N.J.) and Kaitlyn Hitch (Delmar, Del.) held NSU to three runs (two earned) on six hits.
In Game Two, UMES recorded two runs on seven hits, led by freshman Alexis Hudson (Laurel, Del.) going 3-for-4 with a triple and run scored. Maryland Eastern Shore also walked seven times in the game, including a hit-by-pitch. Sophomore Trenece Nash (Decatur, Ga.) and freshman Ciara Schnyder (Arcadia, Calif.) each logged two walks in the Game Two loss.
In the rubber match, Nash led the Hawk attack as she went 3-of-4 with two RBIs whereas Hitch and sophomore Emily Diseroad (Manchester Valley, Md.) each registered multi-hit performances in a losing effort.
Entering tomorrow's showdown, Hampton comes in 15-17 overall (6-3 MEAC) and currently holds the third spot in the MEAC Northern Division. Prior to the season, the Lady Pirates were predicted to finish second in the division, behind NSU, despite receiving 11 first-place votes. The balance squad is led by Taylor McCoy, Margaret Wilkins, and Jailynn Jackson. Wilkins, a MEAC Preseason All-Conference First Team selection, leads the team in multiple categories, including batting average (.388), hits (40), and on-base percentage (.430). McCoy, a MEAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team honoree, has started all 32 contests while batting .304 on the season. Jackson, MEAC Preseason Pitcher of the Year, has accumulated a 2.90 ERA with 11 wins, 17 complete games, and 84 strikeouts.
For the Lady Hawks, they enter 7-30 (4-4 MEAC) on the season and looking to improve in the standings. As of today, Maryland Eastern Shore controls the fourth and final playoff spot in the MEAC Northern Division. Before the season, UMES was projected to finish seventh in the division after scoring 111 points. Junior Morgan King (Danville, Ill.), a MEAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team selection, leads the squad in batting average (.337) while Alston has amassed 15 stolen bases this season. Diseroad bats primarily in the clean-up spot and UMES' most improved hitter as she is batting .304 on the year, compared to last season (.200). Other notable Hawk includes sophomore Vanessa Gomez (Belleville, N.J.), a MEAC Preseason All-Conference Second Team honoree. Click Here to view UMES' game notes versus Hampton.
UMES heads to Fairfax, Va. to participate in their final non-conference doubleheader of the season as they take on the Patriots of George Mason University at George Mason Softball Complex. Game-times are slated for 2:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (EST).
For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, visit www.umeshawks.com.