MAINE vs. HARTFORD
Time, site: Saturday (2) 1 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m., Mahaney Diamond, Orono
Records: UMaine 7-15 (1-2 America East), Hartford 7-14 (1-2)
Series, last meeting: UMaine leads 88-37, Hartford 11-4 on 4/24/16
Key players: Maine — C Chris Bec (.352-1 home run-10 runs batted in, 9 doubles), 3B Danny Casals (.267-1-5), RF Tyler Schwanz (.259-2-9); Hartford — C Erik Ostberg (.506-6-21, 10 doubles), CF Ashton Bardzell (.375-4-18), 1B David MacKinnon (.300-0-8), RF Nick Campana (.282-1-10)
Pitching matchups — UMaine: RH Justin Courtney (2-3, 4.93 earned run average), RH Jonah Normandeau (0-3, 4.65), RH Jon Arel (0-0, 13.50); Hartford: RH Brian Stepniak (0-2, 5.50), RH Connor Lewis (2-1, 5.71), LH Thomas Feehan (0-0, 9.16)
Game notes: Ostberg is the nation’s leading hitter. The Hawks have won three of their last four including a 6-4 victory at Connecticut on Wednesday. Hartford hasn’t had any trouble putting runs on the board, averaging six runs per game, but its pitching staff has been ineffective as the team ERA is a whopping 9.12 and the Hawks are allowing 10.2 runs per game. But the stats are somewhat misleading because they gave up 63 runs in three losses to No. 6 Arizona. The Black Bears snapped a nine-game losing streak with an 8-5 victory over UMass Lowell last Sunday. They will be trying to get their bats going as they enter the series with a .234 average and a 3.6 runs per game output. Arel will make his first start after missing most of the season with bone spurs in his arm. His only appearance was in relief.
MAINE vs. HARTFORD
Time, site: Saturday (2) noon, Sunday noon, West Hartford, Connecticut
Records: UMaine 5-17 (0-0 America East), Hartford 3-26 (0-2)
Series, last meeting: UMaine leads 50-22; UMaine 11-3 on 5/1/16
Key players: Maine — CF Rachel Carlson (.328-0 home runs-6 runs batted in), C Rachel Harvey (.281-1-6), LF Erika Leonard (.277-2-14), 2B Meghan Royle (.254-2-11); Hartford — C Brittany Wallace (.313-1-2), RF Kristen DeCiantis (.265-0-1), 1B Lexi Wilkerson (.256-3-12), 3B Danielle DeMarco (.231-1-7)
Pitching matchups — UMaine: RH Annie Kennedy (1-3, 5.21 earned run average), LH Erin Bogdanovich (2-7, 6.39), RH Molly Flowers (2-7, 7.24); Hartford: RH Bianca Ross (1-8, 6.19), RH Melissa Pereira (1-6, 6.25), RH Isabella Gernone (0-9, 7.88)
Game notes: Hartford has lost nine in a row and 24 of its last 25. UMaine has won the last eight meetings between the two including five straight on the road. Leonard is hitting .417 with runners in scoring position. Hartford has committed 60 errors in 29 games, has a team ERA of 6.81 and is hitting just .195. UMaine has also struggled at the plate, hitting .228. Harvey hit .615 with two homers and seven RBIs vs. Hartford in last year’s three-game sweep. Third baseman Alyssa Derrick hit .545 with a homer and four RBIs in the series. Derrick leads the Black Bears with eight two-out RBIs and Leonard has six. UMaine had lost 12 of its previous 13 games before sweeping Sacred Heart (Connecticut) on March 25. That was the last time the Black Bears played because last weekend’s series at Boston University was cancelled due to inclement weather.