UMASS RETURNS TO FLORIDA FOR NFCA LEADOFF CLASSIC
After going 0-3 to open the season at the FAU Kickoff Classic last week, the Massachusetts softball team returns to the Sunshine State for the NFCA Leadoff Classic, held at the Eddie C. Moore Softball Complex in Clearwater, Fla. The Minutewomen's five-game slate begins on Friday with games against Pacific at 3:30 p.m. and Indiana at 6 p.m. On Saturday, UMass will face Illinois State at 10:30 a.m. and Southern Illinois at 3:30 p.m. Play concludes on Sunday with a 12:30 p.m. tilt against UCF.
• The Moore Complex features nine field over three complexes, so fans will want to double check which field the Minutewomen are scheduled to play each game. A detailed map can be downloaded at www.usfseries.com.
Friday, 3:30 p.m. vs Pacific, Field 3
Friday, 6 p.m. vs Indiana Field 3
Saturday, 10:30 a.m. vs Illinois State, Field 8
Saturday, 3:30 p.m. vs Southern Illinois, Field 2
Sunday, 12:30 p.m. vs UCF, Field 3
• Live stats will be available at UMassAthletics.com by clicking on the GameTracker links. Postgame interviews with head coach Elaine Sortino and selected student-athletes will also be available following each day's action. A live blog will also be conducted when time permits.
• Head Coach Elaine Sortino is in her 34th season at UMass with a 1,167-483-6 (.707) overall record. The 2004 NFCA Hall of Fame inductee ranks fifth among active Division I head coaches in wins and has guided the Minutewomen to 23 Atlantic 10 championships, 21 NCAA Tournaments and three Women's College World Series appearances.
• UMass is coming off a 2012 campaign in which the Minutewomen finished with a 38-13 overall record and tore through the Atlantic 10 with a perfect 19-0 mark, followed by three postseason wins and the A-10 Tournament Championship. Sara Plourde and Cyndil Matthew were each named Second Team All-America.
UMass Making 15th Leadoff Classic Appearance
• UMass is participating in the NFCA Leadoff Classic for the 15th time since 1996. Their first 13 showings came in Columbus, Ga. before last season's event in Clearwater, Fla. The Minutewomen are 31-37 all-time in the event.
UMass Making Florida Trips A Habit
• Not only will UMass open the season in Florida, it will play its first 15 games in the nation's 27th state. For the year, the 15 Florida games are second only to the 18 scheduled contests in Massachusetts - 16 at the UMass Softball Complex and one each at Boston College and Boston University.
• UMass has traveled to Florida for a total of nine events since the 2008 season, compiling an overall record of 30-17 (.638).
UMass Team Analysis
• UMass returns 13 letterwinners and six position starters from last season's squad.
• The 2013 squad consists of four seniors, five juniors, five sophomores and five freshman. The 19-member team hails from eight different states, with the majority coming from Massachusetts (8), California (2) and New Hampshire (2). UMass also has one player each from Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Series History Against The Field
• Pacific: UMass and Pacific have only met once before, with the Minutewomen claiming a 6-3 win 2003 Leadoff Classic.
• Indiana: Indiana holds a 4-2 series edge. The Hoosiers won a pair of games in 1985 to start the series. UMass' two victories came in 1995 and 2007. IU won the last game, 2-1, in the 2008 USF/Under Armour Classic.
• Illinois State: The Redbirds hold a 4-1 advantage which includes the season-ending 1-0 loss in last year's NCAA Columbia (Mo.) Regional.
• Southern Illinois: The Salukis are 5-1 against UMass. The most recent games came during the 2003 NCAA Regional in Tuscaloosa, Ala. UMass went 3-2 in the event but both losses were to SIU.
• UCF: UMass and UCF will face one another on the softball diamond for the first time.
UMass Picked First In A-10 Preseason Poll
• UMass has been predicted to finish first in the 2013 Atlantic 10 Championship in polling of the conference coaches. Head Coach Elaine Sortino's Minutewomen have won the seven of the last eight A-10 titles, 16 of the last 18, and 23 overall. Fordham, the 2011 champion, was predicted to repeat with Saint Joseph's in third.
• Charlotte was predicted fourth, followed by Temple, Dayton, Saint Louis, George Washington, St. Bonaventure, Rhode Island and La Salle.
• The six-team, double-elimination A-10 Championship will be held May 8-11 at the Sortino Field in Amherst.
Follow UMass Softball
• UMass Athletics offers several ways you can follow the Minutewomen. Your No. 1 source for information and news on the softball team is always UMassAthletics.com. Check in often for previews, recaps, news, box scores, and blog entries.
• You can now follow UMass softball on Facebook! Simply search UMass Softball and click the "Like" button to follow the Minutewomen and receive up-to-the-minute news.
• Follow UMass Athletics on Twitter at twitter.com/umassathletics. Receive the latest news on all UMass teams straight to your Twitter feed.
• All of the latest UMass videos: hightlights, interviews, features, etc., can be seen on UMass' YouTube channel. Just go to youtube.com/umassathletics.
2013 Season Tickets Now On Sale
• 2013 UMass Softball Season Tickets are on sale now! The 23-time Atlantic 10 Champions are primed for another successful season in 2013 and the Minutewomen look forward to you joining them at the UMass Softball Complex for their 18 home games on 15 dates. Tickets can be ordered by calling 866-UMASS-TIX or by visiting the ticket page at UMassAthletics.com.
• UMass softball season tickets are once again the best deal around, with plans ranging from $26 to $75 - that works out to between $1.52 and $4.17 per game! Purchasing softball season tickets also earns you Priority Points towards other UMass season tickets, including basketball, football, and hockey.