Softball hosts Maine as AE playoff picture heats up

Sophomore Nicole Schieferstein
 
Sophomore Nicole Schieferstein
 
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April 20, 2012

Stony Brook, N.Y. - The Stony Brook softball team will look to improve its chances of locking up a top seed in the America East playoffs this weekend when it hosts Maine for a three-game series starting Saturday at 1 p.m. The Seawolves currently sit in first place with an 8-1 conference record.

Playoff Picture
As of this weekend, the Seawolves control their own destiny in terms of locking up the No. 1 overall seed in the conference. Albany sits in second place at 9-3 and will travel to Stony Brook during the final weekend of the regular season (May 5-6). The Seawolves already took two of three from third-place Boston University (8-3), however the Terriers remain very much in the mix for the No. 1 spot. Binghamton holds the final playoff spot as of this weekend at 6-6 and will host Stony Brook next weekend.

Maine
The Black Bears enter the weekend fighting for the fourth and final America East playoff spot. Maine currently sits fifth with a 3-5 conference record (11-24 overall) and will need to make up further ground on fourth-place BInghamton (6-6) to nab a postseason spot. Maine helped its chances last weekend by sweeping Binghamton to pick up its first three conference wins. Junior Hilary Kane leads the Black Bears with three home runs and 12 RBI, while freshman EmJ Fogel boasts a team-best .333 batting average. Senior Ashley Kelley is the go-to pitcher for Maine as she has thrown 114.2 of 221.1 innings this season, while posting a 3.17 ERA and 61 strikeouts.

Last Time Out
The Seawolves (29-11) swept Bryant on Thursday with a pair of one-run victories. In the opener, senior Alyssa Hawley (Spokane, Wash.) went 4-for-4 with two stolen bases to help Stony Brook earn a 3-2 win. Freshman Allison Cukrov (Irvine, Calif.) went the distance, striking out seven to pick up her 18th victory of the season. In the second game, Stony Brook tipped Bryant, 6-5, as sophomore Christine Lucido (Melville, N.Y.) earned her fifth win, while Cukrov picked up her fourth save.