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Softball Visits Hartford For Three-Game Set

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Softball Visits Hartford For Three-Game Set

ALBANY, N.Y. – After playing in three doubleheaders already this week, the University at Albany softball team will take to the road for three games against conference rival Hartford.  The Danes have had two days off since their last series, a doubleheader on Wednesday at Bryant University, which came just one day after a makeup doubleheader at home with Binghamton.

UAlbany has compiled an overall record of 16-9, and are 5-3 in America East play.  Of the three series they’ve played, the Danes have taken two, against Maine and Binghamton, and lost one, to Stony Brook.  The team now sits halfway through their regular season America East schedule, with series against Hartford, UMass-Lowell, and UMBC remaining.

Hartford’s record currently stands at 7-18 overall and 1-5 in conference.  But their record doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the team, and the Danes expect a hard fought series this weekend.

“Hartford has good pitching,” said head coach Chris Cannata.  “They have one of the best pitchers in the conference.  I think I heard she’s been hurt, so I don’t think their record is indicative of their ability.”

Despite early season difficulties due to sporadic live competition opportunities, UAlbany seems to finally be coming around and figuring things out.  There are still things to work on, of course, but consistent play has seemingly alleviated some of the issues that plagued the squad early in the season when so many games were postponed or cancelled due to inclement weather.

“We’re starting to hit better,” said Cannata, “but there are still lulls where we struggle to figure out a pitcher.  We’re playing more games now, so we actually have a chance to work through some things.  We’re coming along in conference too, but we need to play better defense.  We’re not getting good reads on the ball coming off the bat, and we’re better defensively than we’ve shown.”

The Hartford series is just the latest in a grueling part of UAlbany’s schedule, which began with last weekend’s three game series at home against Maine.  The stretch was made even more brutal with the rescheduling of the Binghamton series to this past Tuesday, as well as changing the Wednesday doubleheader with Bryant to an away matchup.  The Danes will play three with Hartford this weekend, before heading for back-to-back road doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday next week against Colgate and Cornell.

“Once we return from the Tuesday/Wednesday games we’ll have a bit of a layoff that should help us recover.  We’re a little banged up right now, as is expected, and it’s important to get healthy.”

Halfway through conference play, Maggie Cocks is third in the America East in batting average, hitting .400 in 25 games played.  She is also fourth in on base percentage, with .444, third in runs scored, with 25, and tied for fourth in hits, with 32.  Vicky McFarland leads the America East in stolen bases, with 22 steals in 23 attempts.  Six UAlbany players have double-digit RBIs (Cocks, McFarland, Charlise Castro, Elizabeth Snow, Kelly Costello, and Marlin Solano).

On the mound, Brittany MacFawn leads the America East in earned run average with 1.93 in conference play (2.48 overall).  Mackenzie Thompson is third in the conference with a 2.33 ERA.  MacFawn additionally leads the conference in opposing batting average (.225), strikeouts (97), saves (2), and is fourth in wins (8).  Thompson has allowed the fewest hits in the conference (30), as well as the fewest runs (14), earned runs (11), walks (9), and home runs (0).

UAlbany will play two games against Hartford tomorrow, and one on Sunday.  The first Saturday game starts at 1:00 p.m., and is followed by the second game at 3:00 p.m.  The game on Sunday starts at 12:00 p.m.

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