• The Massachusetts softball team will play host to Butler and Saint Louis on its final regular-season weekend of the year. The 3-day set will be spotlighted by Senior Day on Saturday and the Sixth Annual Fan Fest 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.
• UMass (17-22, 11-7) comes into the contest following an impressive doubleheader sweep at Rhode Island on Tuesday in which they hit seven home runs and posted shutouts of 7-0 and 10-0 in five innings. The Minutewomen are 8-3 at home this season and have won 25 of their last 28 in Amherst.
• The Minutewomen are hitting .295 on the year. They have increased their team batting average in 17 of the past 22 games, with its current mark at its highest since opening day.
• UMass has hit .355 in A-10 play, 21 points better than second-place Fordham. It ranks third with 24 HR and 24 stolen bases. UMass has also turned 10 doubles plays in its 18 conference contests - the most among the 12 teams.
• Six starters have over a .315 avg. at the plate, led by Cyndil Matthew's .392 (4th in the A-10), Christine Della Vecchia's .388 (5th) and Quianna Diaz-Patterson's .375 (7th). UM has posted double-digit hit totals 15 times this season, in 14 of the last 21 games, and 11 of 18 A-10 contests. Matthew leads the league and ranks ninth nationally with 28 steals, eight shy of her school-record 36 set last season.
• Caroline Raymond has emerged as the ace of the pitching staff, compiling a 4.05 ERA, which ranks in the top 20 of the A-10. Her 18 complete games are second in the league.
• Butler heads to the Pioneer Valley with an 18-24 overall record and 7-9 in A-10 action. The Bulldogs have not played since April 24 - nine days - when they dropped a pair to Saint Louis. Their two games at Charlotte last Sunday were rained out. They have split with George Washington, Fordham and Saint Joseph's in recent weeks before dropping their last four A-10 outings against Temple and SLU.
• Krosley Ogden is hitting .302 on the season to lead the Butler offense. Audrey East is posting a .378 mark in conference games. In their first season as a member of the league, the Bulldogs are hitting .257 overall and .279 in A-10 games - ranking fifth in both charts.
Series With Butler
• UMass and Butler have never faced each other on the softball field.
Scouting Saint Louis
• SLU is 23-19 and 11-7 in A-10 play, tied for fifth with UMass. The Billikens have won 10 of their last 12, with series sweeps or splits against league leaders Saint Joseph's (split), Fordham (split) and Temple (sweep). They will play at Rhode Island Friday and Saturday before finishing their nine-game road trip with a doubleheader in Amherst Sunday.
• Jessica Van Nostrand leads the SLU attack with a .305 avg. She also leads the squad in hits (40), doubles (10) and runs (23), while ranking third in RBIs (19). Katie Kroeger is second with a .291 avg, followed by Laura Bohning at .274. Bohning is second in slugging (.443), tied for second in home runs (4), third in walks (16) and tied for third in sacrifice bunts (4). Lindsay Friedman paces the Bills in home runs (6), RBIs (24), on-base percentage (.413), slugging percentage (.485) and sacrifice bunts (6).
Series With Saint Louis
• UMass has posted a 13-1-1 record against Saint Louis, dating back to the first meeting seven years ago in St. Louis. SLU claimed the initial contest 1-0 before UMass responded with a 13-3 win in five innings in 2006. UMass has never lost in Amherst to the Billikens in six games and are 6-1-1 at the Billiken Sports Center. The lone tie in the series occurred three years ago at SLU when the teams went into the ninth inning knotted in a 3-3 score when rains forced a delay. Due to UMass' travel arrangements, the game ended in a tie. That is only the seventh tie in school history and the only one in 424 all-time Atlantic 10 regular-season games for UMass.
• Massachusetts was picked to win the 2013 Atlantic 10 Conference title in a vote of the league's 12 head coaches during the preseason polls. Fordham was chosen second, George Washington - last year's tourney runner-up - took the third spot, followed by Saint Joseph's (fourth), Temple (fifth), Charlotte (sixth), Butler (seventh), Saint Louis (eighth), Dayton (ninth), St. Bonaventure (10th), Rhode Island (11th) and La Salle (12th).
• For the ninth time in school history, UMass will play host to the Atlantic 10 Championship Tournament, May 8-11 at Sortino Field. The format features six teams in a double-elimination bracket, with the first and second-place teams based on regular-season winning pct. receiving day one byes.
• Tickets will cost between $3-$8 per day or you can grab a 4-day tournament pass for $12 (youth) or $24 (adult). Students of Atlantic 10 Conference schools are free to all games with a valid ID.