• UMass opens a crucial final week of regular-season play, beginning Tuesday with a doubleheader at Rhode Island. The Minutewomen have six Atlantic 10 games remaining and are currently in sixth place in the league standings.
• SJU leads the A-10 with a .778 winning pct, followed closely by George Washington at .750, Fordham at .722, Temple at .722, Saint Louis at .611 and UMass at .562. Dayton is seventh at .526, with Charlotte and Butler tied for eighth at .438. St. Bonaventure, La Salle and Rhode Island have been eliminated from tournament contention. The top six teams based on conference winning percentage will qualify for the A-10 Championship, set for May 8-11 at Sortino Field in Amherst.
• Both games on Tuesday can be heard via the internet via a free audio broadcast. Live stats will be available both games at UMassAthletics.com.
• UMass brings a 15-22 record into the contests and is 9-7 through 16 league games. The Minutewomen are coming off a 1-3 weekend in which they claimed a one-run win over Saint Joseph's before dropping a close one to the Hawks and a doubleheader at Temple on Sunday.
• UMass has six players hitting .300 or better overall, with all seven at .370 or higher in A10 play. The Minutewomen lead the league in hitting over conference games with a .369 avg.
About Rhode Island
• Rhode Island enters the doubleheader at 9-32 overall, 2-13 in A-10 play and 2-6 at home. The Rams have lost their last 13 games with five of those by run-rule. Last weekend they took Temple to nine innings on Friday before falling 9-7 and dropped a pair of one-run games (1-0 in 10 innings and 2-1) at Saint Joseph's on Sunday.
• URI is hitting .245 as a team which ranks 10th in the A-10, and average 3.0 runs per game, last in the 12-team league. The Rams' pitching staff has compiled a 5.61 ERA, two behind UMass at 5.0 which ranks ninth.
Series With Rhode Island
• UMass leads the series 82-13. The series is the most played in school history dating back to the first game in program annals, a 4-1 UMass win in Amherst on April 8, 1976.
• The Minutewomen have won the last 22 in the series. The Rams' last win came in Kingston in the opening game of the 2002 Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament. UMass has thrown six no-hitters against URI.
• A year ago, UMass swept URI in a midweek doubleheader in Amherst with a 5-4 win and a 9-1 five inning win.Sara Plourde got the win in both games as she struck out a combined 26 batters in the twinbill.
• In the last trip to Kingston in 2011, the teams went to extra innings in game one before UMass scored six in the ninth to secure a 6-1 win/ The Minutewomen followed by scoring in every inning of an 11-1 victory in five frames.
Directions To URI Campus & Softball Complex
• The following directions are taken from GoRhody.com at this link.
• From Newport:
Take Route -138 West towards Jamestown and New York
Merge onto Route 1 South
Then Take a right onto Route -138 W
Follow route 138 West for approximately 5 miles
Right onto Plains Rd. and follow signs to Parking
• From the North:
Take I-95 South
Take Exit #9 a Left exit to route 4 South towards Newport/South County
Merge onto RI-4 South Take Exit #5B Route 102 towards Exeter
Take a Left at the second traffic light onto South County Trail - Route 2 Follow route 2 for approximately 7 miles
Take a left at the traffic light onto route-138W/Kingstown Rd.
At your second traffic light take a left onto Plains Rd. and follow signs to Parking
• From the South:
Take 95 North
Get off at exit #3A Route 138 East towards Kingston and Newport
Follow Route RI-138West/Kingstown Rd. for approximately 8 miles
Take a Left onto Plains Rd. and follow signs to Parking
Bats Coming Alive Over Past Four Weeks
• It's pretty safe to say that the UMass offense hit a low point of the season on March 17 when it failed to get a hit in a 5-0 loss to UNLV. But since that day, UMass has hit .363 over the past 20 games and seen its team batting average climb in 14 of the 16 games, going from .201 to .288. The Minutewomen have also collected double-digit hits in 10 of their last 15 ball games.
Mound Work Developing As Well
• In addition to the offense doing its part, the pitching staff has become more efficient and seen its ERA decrease to its lowest figure all season, at 4.77. While still not as low as many would prefer, the number has remained the same or gone lower then the previous game in the last eight games. They are still walking a lot of batters, averaging 5.8 per game over the past nine and 5.2 for the season.
Fielding Still A Work In Progress
• The defense has been the one part of this UMass team that hasn't followed the lead of its previous teams. The Minutewomen are last in the Atlantic 10 in both fielding pct. (.925) and errors (80). They also turned a school-record four double plays against Fordham earlier this month and have 11 on the season.
Hitting Streaks Entering The Week
• Cyndil Matthew was the only player to hit safely in all four games last weekend and brings a 4-game hitting streak into the URI series. Quianna Diaz-Patterson, Tiffany Meeks and Teea Rogers all have 3-game streaks.