Massachusetts Welcomes Fordham, La Salle To Town This Weekend
April 4, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. -- In what has become the premier softball rivalry in the Atlantic 10 Conference, Massachusetts and Fordham will take center stage this weekend as the Minutewomen welcome the Rams and La Salle to Sortino Field Friday through Sunday.
The Fordham series will feature a single-game Friday at 3 p.m. and Saturday at Noon, while the La Salle games will consist of a Sunday doubleheader beginning at Noon.
UMass (6-16, 3-1) is riding a four-game winning streak and is in the midst of a stretch where it will play seven-consecutive and 12 of 15 at Sortino Field.
Cyndil Matthew has paced the UMass offense all season. The senior outfielder from Westfield, N.J. ranks sixth in the league with a .388 batting avg. She ranks second in steals (14) and is third in walks (11).
Classmate and team co-captain Katie Bettencourt has also picked things up at the plate. The Salem, N.H. native hit .556 in three victories last week with three runs, a home run and a team-best six RBI. She posted a 1.000 slugging pct and a .545 on-base pct. as she extended her hitting streak to five games.
Taylor Carbone has started all 22 games at second base and ranks second on the team with a .344 avg. and leads the Minutewomen with six doubles. In four A10 games, she has posted a .429 avg. with three doubles and a home. The Hudson, N.H. native was named the A10 Rookie of the Week after she hit a team-best .636, with a .909 slugging pct. and a .636 on-base pct. She hit .571 in the St. Bonaventure series alone with three doubles.
Fordham (20-10, 4-2) comes to the Pioneer Valley having won its last five games, which includes four league games after being swept in a doubleheader at Charlotte. The Rams have won 15 of their last 17 outings with a win over Texas when the Longhorns were ranked fifth in the country.
Jamie LaBovick leads the A-10 with a .443 batting average, while posting three home runs, 16 RBI and a league-high 30 runs scored. The pitcher/first baseman has a school-record 18-game hitting streak and was named the A-10 Hitter of the Week on Monday. In the circle she is 10-7 with a 2.68 earned run average. Fellow hurler Michelle Daubman is 10-4 with a 3.10 ERA and has matched LaBovick with seven complete games.
The games could put some stress on the scoreboard as both schools possess high-powered offenses. Fordham is hitting .302 this season with a league-best 39 home runs (1.3 per game). In A10 games, UMass leads the league with a .367 avg and has eight homers (2.0 per game).
UMass-Fordham Series History
UMass leads the all-time series 44-7. The Minutewomen have won the last three meetings, which included a sweep in the Bronx (2-1 in 17 innings and 6-1) and a 2-0 at the 2012 Atlantic 10 Tournament. The Rams had claimed the three previous games, which included a sweep in Amherst in 2011. UMass has won 19-straight home games since that Ram sweep. Fordham was the last team to beat the Minutewomen in Amherst. The Minutewomen have won five of the last nine and eight of the last 13.
UMass and Fordham have won or shared the last 22 Atlantic 10 Regular-Season titles.
About La Salle
The Explorers (12-13, 1-5) will play a pair of games at Rhode island on Friday and Saturday before arriving in Amherst. La Salle split a pair of doubleheaders earlier this week with Villanova and Bucknell. They have lost their last five conference games after upending Temple in the season opener.
UMass-La Salle Series History
UMass has won all 37 meetings with La Salle and holds a 16-0 record in games played in Amherst. The Minutewomen have held the Explorers scoreless 23 times and hitless four times. Sara Plourde recorded the most recent no-hitter as she threw a perfect game in an 8-0 six-inning victory on May 1, 2011.