MOUNT ST. MARY'S (13-29, 4-12 NEC) at SACRED HEART (22-23, 4-10 NEC)
Saturday, April 27, 2013, 1:00 p.m. (DH)
Pioneer Park, Fairfield, Conn.
MOUNT ST. MARY'S (13-29, 4-12 NEC) at LIU Brooklyn (15-32, 11-5 NEC)
Sunday, April 28, 2013, 12:00 p.m. (DH)
LIU Field, Brooklyn, N.Y.
MOUNT UPDATE: The Mount is coming off a sweep at the hands of Monmouth on April 20 in the home finale. The Mountaineers fell by a 16-3 margin in game one, then 7-3 in the nightcap. Playing their final home games, Liz Christiansen and Kelly Hickman homered in back-to-back innings in game two. Monmouth outhit the Mount, 26-12, for the series. Cat Clifford went 3-for-7 (.429) at the plate and scored one run during the two games.
ABOUT SACRED HEART: Sacred Heart had lost three in a row before sweeping Hartford in a two-game set on April 23. Despite 22 overall wins, the Pioneers enter the weekend one spot ahead of the Mount in the conference standings in ninth place. In the circle, Nicole Sidor is second in the NEC with a 1.94 ERA and tied for second in appearances with 25.
ABOUT LIU BROOKLYN: The reigning NEC champion Blackbirds have won seven of their last eight games. Most recently, LIU swept Saint Francis U by scores of 10-0 and 6-5 on April 21. The Blackbirds are clinging to the fourth and final NEC playoff spot entering the final weekend of conference action. At the plate, Lauren Morizi, who is on a 16-game hitting streak, ranks second among NEC hitters with a .399 batting average. She is also tied for the NEC lead with nine home runs.
LAST TIME WE MET: The Mount dropped a pair of one-run games to Sacred Heart at Our Lady of the Meadows Field last season. The Pioneers won game one, 1-0, and took game two, 2-1. In the last doubleheader of the 2012 season, the Mount earned a split with LIU Brooklyn. After falling by a 5-4 score in game one, the Mount came away with a 4-3 win in game two highlighted by Kelly Hickman's grand slam.
ALL-TIME SERIES: Sacred Heart has won the last seven meetings with the Mount and leads the all-time series, 21-8. In games in Fairfield, the Mount holds a 2-8 record. In 2009, the Mount swept a home doubleheader against the Pioneers for the last Mount win in the series. In the all-time series against LIU, the Mount is 8-39 with three of the eight wins coming on the road.
RECORD BOOKS: Nicole Pagano broke the Mount's career strikeout record on April 9 in game two of a home doubleheader against George Washington. She also checks in at fourth in school history with 35 wins. Liz Christiansen, who already holds the Mount's career home run and RBI records, ranks in the top 10 in other career offensive categories including second in walks (70), second in total bases (244), fifth in doubles (28) and fifth in hits (139). Other Mount players in the top 10 are Erin Leddy, who is fourth for walks (59) and sixth for runs (82) and Cat Clifford is fourth in home runs (15).
RBI LEADER: Liz Christiansen recorded her 103rd career run batted in during game two against Canisius on March 30 to pass Amanda Burk for the most in school history. Since breaking the record, she has picked up eight more to bring her total to 111.
PAGANO MAKING HISTORY: Nicole Pagano's complete game four-hitter in game one against FDU on March 24 was her 30th career win. She joins elite company as Zena Edwards, Jamie Fowler and Maria Lutz are the only other players to accomplish the feat in their Mount careers. She is currently fourth in school history with 34 wins. Her 11 wins this season are the fifth most in single-season history. On April 9, Pagano broke the Mount's career strikeout record in game two of a home doubleheader against George Washington.
DEFENSIVELY SOUND: The Mount has primarily used four outfielders this season in senior Erin Leddy, sophomore Kendra Hayward, freshman Megan Baker and junior Bre Lohman. The four have combined to make just three fielding errors this season.
FIVE-GAME WINNING STREAK: The Mount's five-game winning streak, which was snapped against Bryant on March 23, was the second-longest winning streak in the program's Division I history. The longest in team history was 21 games in 1987 and the six-game run in 2006 was the team's longest since joining Division I in 1989.
HEAD COACH ANNA NAGRO: Anna Nagro is the eighth head coach in Mount St. Mary's softball history. She has compiled a 45-94 overall record, including 17-39 in the NEC. Last season's eight wins in NEC play tied for the third most in the Mount's single-season history.
OUR LADY OF THE MEADOWS FIELD: During Anna Nagro's tenure, the Mount holds a 17-31 record at home at Our Lady of the Meadows Field. The Mountaineers completed a 7-11 home record this season after a 3-9 record last season and a 7-11 mark in 2011.