April 14, 2012
Minutewomen Travel to D.C. For Doublheader With George Washington
• The UMass softball team (19-11, 6-0 A-10) will head to our nation's capital for a doubleheader against George Washington (15-24, 5-5 A-10) in their lone A-10 series of the week beginning at Noon on Sunday.
• Live video and stats of every UMass home game are available online at UMassAthletics.com. Additionally, live stats and a live audio broadcast are available for every road game, including the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship. Both live video and audio are available on Sunday against GW
• UMass has won eight of its last nine games and 13 of its last 17. The Minutewomen are 5-3 in true road games and 4-0 in A-10 road games after sweeping Saint Louis (5-0, 8-0 in 5 inn) on the opening weekend and St. Bonaventure (10-0 in 5 inn, 8-2) last Sunday. UMass has won seven-straight A-10 road games and has not been swept by a league foe on the road in seven years.
• The Minutewomen are the hitting .270 as a team, good for second in the A-10 this year, and boast seven players raking at .270 or better. Elsewhere in the league UMass is first in on-base pct. (.363), second in batters hit-by-pitch (32), third in slugging pct. (.406) and fourth in RBI (123) and runs (130).
• Leading the charge are the top two in the batting order, junior OF Cyndil Matthew (.421-0-11) and freshman SS Quianna Diaz-Patterson (.333-4-24). The duo also have the two longest active hitting streaks on the squad with QDP at nine games and Matthew at six.
• Senior All-America Sara Plourde is 18-9 with a 2.29 earned run average and leads the nation in strikeouts for the third-consecutive year with 304. She also has 24 complete games, six shutouts and four of her 13 career no-hitters this season. She tossed her second-career solo perfect game last week at SBU and the 13th in school history. She is also hitting .344 with five HR and 14 RBI since being inserted into the batting order 11 games ago. She recently had a seven-game hitting streak snapped last Wednesday against Boston College.
Scouting George Washington
• George Washington enters Sunday at 15-24 overall, 5-5 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Colonials have won three-consecutive and six of their last seven. The Colonials are 15-12 this season when scoring three or more runs.
Series With George Washington
• The Minutewomen are 16-0 all-time against the Colonials and has posted 10 shutouts.
• Last season in Amherst, UMass collected a 6-0 win in game one before a come-from-behind 5-4 win in eight innings to complete the sweep.
• In their last trip to Washington, D.C., UMass rode the arm of Sara Plourde to a 17-0 perfect game victory and an 11-0 no-hitter win in the second contest.
And Then There Was One
• Entering the week, UMass is the only unbeaten in Atlantic 10 play. UMass is the only school to have completed the regular-season undefeated, having done so eight times in the 29-year history of A-10 softball. The last occurance came two seasons ago with a 17-0-1 mark.
UMass Bat/Ball & Stick/Ball Sports Dominating Conference Play
• While the UMass softball team has a 6-0 mark in Atlantic 10 play thus far, some other spring sports are dominating their league competition as well. Entering Sunday's play at GW, UMass softball, men's lacrosse (4-0 in CAA), women's lacrosse (5-0 in A-10) and baseball (5-3 in A-10) are a combined 21-3 in conference play.
Matthew Near The Top Of Atlantic 10 Rankings
• UMass junior OF Cyndil Matthew has been on a tear this season. She entered the week leading the A-10 in batting avg. (.427) and hits (38), ranked second in runs (26) and steals (16), and third in on-base pct. (.488).
She also leads the team with 12 multi-hit games and has collected a career-high four hits against Maryland (3/2) and Chattanooga (3/17) this season.
`Q' Delivers In The Clutch
• There's no denying the impact Quianna Diaz-Patterson has made on the UMass team this season. The freshman from Amherst Regional HS has stepped right in and produced form the get-go. She has started all 30 games at shortstop and currently is tied for or leads the team in RBI (22), doubles (9), triples (1), home runs (4) and slugging pct (.568). Of her 22 RBI, 15 have come with 2 outs.
Plourde Named Top 25 Finalist For USA Softball Player of the Year Award
• Massachusetts senior Sara Plourde was named one of the Top 25 Finalists for the 2012 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) of America announced Tuesday. The winner will be announced at the opening of the 2012 NCAA Women's College World Series (WCWS) in Oklahoma City.
• Plourde, a two-time All-America selection from Bristol, Conn., currently leads the nation in strikeouts (304), strikeouts per seven innings (12.7) and fewest hits allowed per seven innings (2.88). She has also held opponents to a nation's best .121 batting average in 168.0 innings this season.
Plourde Selected Ninth In National Pro Fastpitch Draft
• UMass senior Sara Plourde was selected ninth overall by the Carolina Diamonds in the 2012 National Pro Fastpitch Draft on March 8.
• National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Hermitage, Tenn. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names Women's Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women's Pro Softball League (WPSL).
• Due to NCAA regulations, an active college senior-athlete is not eligible to sign with their respective franchise until her 2012 season is completed.
A-10 Game Officials Honor Nick Cinquanto
• The Atlantic 10 Conference softball umpires and women's basketball officials will honor former coordinator and observer Nick Cinquanto by wearing a commemorative black patch during A-10 games this season. Cinquanto passed away Sunday, January 22.
• Cinquanto, who served as the Conference's Coordinator of Soccer and Softball Officials and as a women's basketball officials observer, spent 20 years in various capacities with the Atlantic 10. He began his career with the league evaluating officials in 1988.