- FORT MYERS, Fla.—The UMBC softball team (0-2) opened its season with a pair of losses on the first day of the Moe’s Blue & Green Invite on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University. The Retrievers fell to Eastern Michigan, 6-1, and to Southern Illinois, 5-1.
Game 1: Eastern Michigan 6, UMBC 1
The Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the first inning on a two-out homer to left field by shortstop Stacie Skodinski, but the Retrievers tied it in the third on a one-out single by senior second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover) that plated senior center fielder Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough).
UMBC got three hits in the top of the fifth but could not score, and Eastern Michigan struck for three in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-1 lead, with the big hit coming on a two-run single by left fielder McKenna Russ. The Eagles added two more in the sixth and held the Retrievers to just one hit in the final two innings.
Pronobis went 3-for-3 to pace the Retrievers at the plate, while Skodinski and Russ each had two hits and two RBI for the Eagles.
UMBC senior Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) suffered the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks in five innings. Freshman Kayla Martinez (Odenton, Md./Arundel) pitched the final inning and gave up one run on two hits in her collegiate debut. Jenna Ignowski earned the win for Eastern Michigan after tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief. Jaclyn Caro pitched the first 4.2 frames and allowed one run on four hits and four walks.
Game 2: Southern Illinois 5, UMBC 1
Southern Illinois took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Jayna Spivey and added another in the fourth when catcher Sydney Sheldon tripled with two outs. But the Salukis broke the game open with three runs in the fifth on two hits, two walks and two wild pitches.
The Retrievers, who were held without a hit until junior catcher Becca Bernheimer (Lewes,Del./Cape Henlopen) singled with two outs in the fifth, finally cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh inning. Right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) clubbed a one-out double to left and scored when Bernheimer reached on an error.
UMBC junior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) suffered the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in five innings of work.Martinez again closed out the game, pitching two scoreless innings and strikeout out two. Alex Peters earned the victory for Southern Illinois after allowing one run on three hits and striking out 12 in the complete game.
The Retrievers return to action on Saturday, when they face Iowa at 9 a.m. and St. Francis (Pa.) at 1:30 p.m. on the second day of the Moe’s Blue & Green Invite.