WASHINGTON – CUA will open play in the ECAC South Tournament on Saturday, when the top-seeded Cardinals take on Neumann in the opening game. The tournament will be hosted by Marywood University in Scranton, Pa and runs until Sunday. Along with CUA and Neumann, Penn State-Altoona and host Marywood make up the four-team tournament.
CUA enters the weekend with a 23-16 record. The Cardinals went 1-2 last week at the Landmark Conference Tournament, defeating Scranton 5-1 in their second game, and dropping two contests to Susquehanna.
All-Conference selections Amy Laugher (.457), Megan Rizzi (.344), Taylor Stockinger (.344), and Rose Shaver (.309) are CUA's top four hitters. Stockinger also owns the single season home run record for the Cardinals, hitting nine so far in 2012.
In addition to home runs, Stockinger also paces CUA in hits (44), doubles (16), RBIs (47) and slugging percentage (.680).
Laughner ranks among the conference leaders in batting average and she leads the Cardinals in on base percentage (.480).
In the circle, All-League selection Erin McMakin has gone 12-4 on the year, totaling 95 strikeouts and a 3.06 earned run average in 116.2 innings of work. McMakin is also hitting .286 at the plate.
Along with McMakin, CUA Head Coach Bruce McConkey can turn to hard-throwing Kerri Apicella, who has won eight games and posted a 3.01 ERA. Apicella has struck out 71 batters and thrown 12 complete games.
After downing Wilson College 4-2 on Wednesday, Neumann arrives in Scranton with a record of 27-16. The Knights were defeated by Centenary College 6-2 on May 5 in the championship game of the CSAC.
Becca Reinhart is the team's top hitter, having totaled 74 hits in 143 at bats (.517 average), to go along with 36 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .678. The Knights have 10 regulars batting above. 300 and four hitting at least .400. Neumann has outscored its opponents a combined 331-208 in 2012.
With 24 appearances, Rachel Purpuro leads Neumann in the circle, with a 13-9 record. She has struck out 97 batters in 111.1 innings of work and thrown 14 complete games. Sarah McGann has won seven games, while Carley Gustin, Allyson Parris and Kirstin Beaty have all made at least 10 appearances.
Penn State-Altoona enters the weekend with an overall mark of 32-10, which includes a 15-3 record in the AMCC. The Nittany Lions suffered a 5-4 loss to Penn State Behrend in their conference championship, marking the second loss for PSU-Altoona against Behrend in the tourney.
Kelly Chambers is the team's top hitter with a .488 average, with Brittany Smith (.453) and Alamaria Miller (.400) next in line.
Jackie Smith is the Nittany Lions top pitcher, compiling a 15-4 record, to go along with a 2.30 ERA and 83 strikeouts.
Host Marywood enters the tournament with a record of 23-17, including an 18-4 ledger within the CSAC. The Pacers fell to Neumann 13-5 on May 5 in their conference tournament.
Marywood is led by Meghin Palmer (.473), Kaitlyn Jones (.455) and Kim Lope (.431) on offense, while Alexandra Stine is the team's top pitcher, posting a 9-5 record in 17 appearances.
CUA was last in the ECAC Tournament in 2010, when the Cardinals defeated Alvernia in the first round, before dropping games to Bethany (W.V.) and Misericorida.
2012 ECAC South Softball Tournament
Saturday, May 12
Game 1: No. 1 Catholic vs. No. 4 Neumann, 10 a.m.
Game 2: No. 2 PSU-Altoona vs. No. 3 Marywood, 12 p.m.
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 2 p.m. (elimination game)
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 4 p.m.
Sunday, May 13
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, 10 a.m. (elimination game)
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 12 p.m.
Game 7: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 2 p.m. (if necessary)