UML Softball Team Can Earn an NCAA Tourney Bid by Winning America East
LOWELL -- It’s already been a historic season for the UMass Lowell softball team, and now the River Hawks will have a chance to add to it with the end goal being an appearance in the Division 1 NCAA tournament.
The River Hawks claimed their first-ever America East regular season championship and are the top seed in the America East Championship tournament, which will be hosted by Hartford this week.
It’s quite an accomplishment for a UML (27-18, 15-3 AE) program that is in just its second season of postseason eligibility. The River Hawks received a bye in the conference tourney and will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between No. 4 UMBC and No. 5 Hartford on Thursday at 11 a.m. UMass Lowell swept its regular season meetings against both of those squads.
Things didn’t appear to be headed in this direction for UML early on as it started the season 2-4 and was sitting at 8-12 on March 16. However, the River Hawks promptly turned things around with a 12-game winning streak.
Leading the way all season has been junior shortstop and Danvers native Courtney Cashman, who boasts an ultra-impressive .530 batting average and 1.517 OPS. She also leads UML in home runs (10), runs (46), hits (66) and doubles (15).
Senior California product Sydney Barker is hitting .333 and sophomore first baseman Maria Moccio has provided plenty of pop with nine homers and a team-high 35 RBI.
In the circle, the ace has been sophomore Lovina Capria, a native of Deltona, Fla. The hurler is 15-8 with a 2.56 ERA and 89 strikeouts in 139.2 innings.
The America East Championship is a six-team, double-elimination format. There will be a winner’s bracket and a loser’s bracket with the remaining team from each bracket meeting on Saturday for all the marbles and a spot in the NCAA tourney.
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