Softball Looks To Play Spoiler In Final Doubleheader Against LIU Brooklyn on Saturday
Games 48 and 49: LIU Brooklyn (21-32, 12-6 NEC) at Mount St. Mary's (16-31, 7-11 NEC)
When: Sat, May 5, 2012, 2 p.m.
Where: Our Lady of the Meadows Field, Emmitsburg, Md.
Series Information: LIU Brooklyn leads 38-7
Last Meeting: LIU Brooklyn (5-3) 4-8-11
First Meeting: LIU Brooklyn (11-9) 5-5-84
Last Mount Win: (1-0) 4-5-09
Opening Pitch: Saturday's doubleheader between Mount St. Mary's and LIU Brooklyn marks the 46 and 47 meetings in the all-time series dating back to the 1984 season. The Blackbirds leads the series 38-7, including five-straight wins in the matchup. The Mount's last win in the series was a 1-0 decision in 2009.
About the Blackbirds: LIU Brooklyn comes into the doubleheader 21-32 overall and 12-6 in Northeast Conference play after being swept by Monmouth on Sunday. Nichole Tovens leads the team with a .326 batting average, 43 hits, 22 runs scored, eight doubles, six homers and 23 RBIs. Karina Cervantes ranks second on the team with a .298 batting average, 50 hits, 25 runs scored, six doubles and seven RBIs while Emily Kakuska has 39 hits, 10 runs scored, 10 doubles, three homers and 14 RBIs. Sarah Reynolds fuels the hurlers with a 7-18 record, a 3.67 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 162.0 innings pitched.
Last Time We Met: Long Island swept a softball doubleheader on Apr. 8, 2011. The Blackbirds won the opener 7-4 and then took the nightcap, 5-3. Taylor Beebe paced the Mount with a 6-for-8 performance and three runs scored while Beth Everist added her fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the opener, and three RBIs in the two games. Emily Kakuska paced the Brooklyn program with three hits, four RBIs and two runs scored. Sterling Hoham added three hits, four runs scored and two RBIs while Karina Cervantes posted four hits and two RBIs in the winning effort.
Last Time Out: Erin Leddy hit a walk-off home run to lift Mount St. Mary's to a 4-3 win in the opening game of a doubleheader on Sunday. The Seahawks clipped the Mount, 4-3, with a run in the seventh inning in game two. At the plate, Liz Christiansen went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI with Leddy finishing 2-for-4 with her walk-off home run in the opener. Lindsey Ruhle went 2-for-3 with two RBI to pace the Mount offense in game two while Alexa Tuck, Leddy, Christiansen and Kelly Hickman all had a hit in the nightcap
Next On Tap: Saturday's twinbill will be the final game of the 2012 campaign.
Spoiler Alert… Mount St. Mary's may have been eliminated from playoff contention, but that does not mean the squad will not have an impact on the NEC Tournament. LIU Brooklyn and Quinnipiac enter Saturday's play at 12-6. The Bobcats will host Saint Francis (Pa.) at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Quinnipiac currently hosts the tiebreaker with the Blackbirds so a pair of Quinnipiac wins or a split by both LIU Brooklyn and the Bobcats would mean Quinnipiac would be the No. 2 seed and LIU Brooklyn the No. 3 seed. The Blackbirds would need to sweep Mount St. Mary's and the Bobcats would have to lose one or both of its games against the Red Flash for the seeds to be reverse. Now, if the Mount can sweep LIU Brooklyn that would push the Blackbirds down to the fourth seed and move Monmouth up to the No. 3 spot. This year, the Hawks will be rooting for the Mountaineers after Mount St. Mary's eliminated the Hawks from the postseason last year.
Leaders On Top Of The Mountain: Redshirt junior Liz Christiansen leads the team in batting average (.314), hits (44), home runs (8), doubles (8) and RBIs (33) while ranking second in runs (14). Sophomore Cat Clifford leads the team in doubles (8) and runs scored (18) while ranking second in home runs (7) RBIs (29) and hits (37). Redshirt sophomore Nicole Pagano is the squad's top hurler with a 10-11 record, a 1.81 ERA and 141 strikeouts in 147.0 innings pitched.
The New Home Run Queen: Redshirt junior Liz Christiansen smacked four home runs at the Dawg Pound Invitational to establish a new program record at the Mount for career home runs with 19 and now stands at 23 bombs.
Perfect No-No Pagano: Redshirt sophomore Nicole Pagano became the first Mount player in Division I history to toss a perfect game against Rhode Island on Mar. 16 in an 8-0 five inning win. She faced 15 batters in five innings and had eight strikeouts. Pagano is the first Mount player to toss two no-hitters in her career in Mount Division I history after tossing a five-inning no-hitter in an 11-0 win against UMBC on Mar. 10. It was the squad's first no-hitter since Amanda Hanson had a five inning no-hitter in a 30-0 win against Coppin State on Mar. 27, 2008. Mount St. Mary's has recorded five no-no's in its Division I era.
Pagano Honored: Nicole Pagano was named the Northeast Conference (NEC) Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 20-26. It marked the second time the redshirt sophomore has received the league's weekly award. Pagano opened the season 1-1 with 11 strikeouts and a 1.00 ERA in a pair of complete-game efforts against Stetson. The redshirt sophomore handed the Hatters its first loss of the season and controlled a Stetson offense that averaged 7.6 runs per game in its first six games. Pagano tossed a one-hit shutout with five strikeouts in a 1-0 win against the Hatters on Friday for the Mount's first win of the season. She then faced the Hatters again on Sunday, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts in her second complete-game of the season in a 2-0 loss. Pagano started the campaign with 12 scoreless innings.
Pagano Honored Again: Nicole Pagano was named the Northeast Conference (NEC) Co-Pitcher of the Week for the week of Mar. 19-25. It is the second time this season the redshirt sophomore has earned the honor and the third time in her career.Pagano went 1-2 in the week with a 0.36 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 19 innings pitched. She tossed one-hitter in an eight-inning 1-0 win against Quinnipiac on Mar. 23 with six strikeouts. The redshirt sophomore stayed on the mound in the nightcap and held the Bobcats to one unearned run over four innings with one strikeout in a 2-0 loss. She held Quinnipiac off the scoreboard for 11 innings before it scored an unearned run in the fourth and threw 171 pitches on the day. Pagano allowed one run on five hits with four strikeouts in a 1-0 loss against Sacred Heart on Mar. 25.
Preseason Poll: The Mount St. Mary's softball team has been picked 10th in the Northeast Conference (NEC) Preseason Coaches Poll. Robert Morris, the defending NEC regular season champion, nabbed six first-place votes to be tabbed as the preseason favorite. Quinnipiac garnered three first-place nods to finish second in the poll while the defending NEC Tournament champions Sacred Heart received one first-place vote to place third. Bryant, LIU Brooklyn, Central Connecticut State, Monmouth, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner, the Mount and Saint Francis (Pa.) rounded out the 11-team poll. Monmouth received the final first-place vote.
All-Conference Returners: While the Mount did not receive any All-Northeast Conference selections last season, redshirt junior Liz Christiansen returns in 2012 after missing the 2011 campaign due to an injury. Christiansen was named to the 2010 All-NEC first team and the inaugural Defensive Player of the Year, but will miss the season due to an injury.
The Roster: The 2011 softball roster is composed of three seniors, five juniors, seven sophomores and eight freshmen.
New To The Mountain: Head coach Anna Nagro has added eight newcomers to her team in 2012. Casey Beck, Holly Buckel, Danni Cummings, Kendra Hayward, Maria Santiago, Kayla Spataro, Hayley Stankan and Rachel Teti have joined the team in 2012.
Christiansen Powering Up On The All-Time Charts: Redshirt junior Liz Christiansen returns for the 2012 season after missing the 2011 campaign due to injury. Christiansen became the program's all-time career leader in home runs after hitting a solo shot against Niagara on Mar. 11 and now stands at 23 career homers. The redshirt junior also ranks second in RBIs with 95, seven behind the all-time leader. Christiansen has moved into fifth place for total bases with 208 and can move up a spot with 29 total bases. She also cracked the Top-10 in walks with 41 and can move into ninth place with one base on balls. The redshirt junior moved into eight place in program history with 24 doubles and can move up a spot with one two bagger.
Taylor Made For Top-10: Senior Taylor Beebe ranks second in career doubles with 34 while former teammate Amanda Burk (39, 2006-09) is the program's all-time leader. The senior also ranks third in runs scored with 92, 12 away from second place. Beebe moved into seventh place in games played with 170. She is also moving closer to the Top-10 in hits, sitting at 121 hits and four away from the Top-10.
Sadowl Pitching Her Way Into The Top-10: Senior Amanda Sadowl ranks sixth in career wins (24), three away from fourth place. The senior also sits in third place for games pitched with 97, 19 away from the all-time leader. Sadowl is ninth in strikeouts with 179, trailing former teammate Amanda Hanson (192, 2008-11). She is also sixth in innings pitched with 433.1.
Here Comes Pagano Too: Redshirt sophomore Nicole Pagano has moved into fourth place in career strikeouts with 274 and can move into the third spot with seven strikeouts. She also moved into eighth place for career wins with 23. Pagano became the eighth 20-game winner in program history with her 3-1 win against Central Connecticut State on Apr. 1. She also became the seventh pitcher in program history to win 10 games in a season in 2012.
Local Products: Freshman Holly Buckel, a 2011 graduate of North Carroll, and freshman Rachel Teti, a 2011 graduate of Linganore, have joined the team this season and hail from Carroll County and Frederick County, respectively.
Family Tradition Continued: Freshman Holly Buckel is the second Buckel to play at Mount St. Mary's. Holy's sister, Amanda, was a four-year letterwinner on the Mount softball team and a 2010 graduate of the Mount. Amanda Buckel was named to the All-NEC first team in her senior season.
Zingle Returns: Courtney Zingle, a 2011 graduate of the Mount, returns to her alma mater to serve as an assistant coach in 2012. Zingle ranks in the Top-10 in program history in games played (190), at bats (571), runs scored (88), hits (165), runs batted in (88), doubles (27), home runs (10) and total bases (222).
About The Coach: Anna Nagro enters her second season as the head coach of the Mount softball team. The Mount is 30-61 overall and 12-24 in Northeast Conference play under the coach.