FORT MYERS, Fla.—The UMBC softball team (1-3) pounded out 14 hits in an 11-4 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) (1-6), its first of the season, Saturday afternoon, the second day of the Moe's Blue & Green Invite hosted by Florida Gulf Coast University. Earlier in the day, the Retrievers fell to Iowa (6-4) by a score of 5-1.
Iowa 5, UMBC 1
The Retrievers managed just one run for the third straight game to start the season. Catcher Liz Watkins smashed a two-run homer in the top of the first to give the Hawkeyes a 2-0 lead, but UMBC junior first baseman Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) got one back when she led off the bottom of the second with her first home run of her Retriever career.
Iowa scored three times in the fifth on back-to-back doubles by first baseman Nikki Gentile and designated player Stephanie Ochoa to go on top, 5-1, and the Hawkeyes made the lead stand by limiting the Retrievers to just one hit over the final three innings.
UMBC senior Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) suffered the loss after allowing five runs on six hits and four walks in five innings of work. Freshman Kayla Martinez(Odenton, Md./Arundel) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to close out the game. Chelsea Lyon earned the complete game victory for Iowa after allowing one run on five hits and one walk while striking out four.
UMBC 11, St. Francis (Pa.) 4
UMBC's bats finally came to live in the second game of the day. The Retrievers took a 3-0 lead in the top of the third, getting a big two-out, two-run double from senior shortstop Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee).
After the Red Flash got one back in the bottom of the second, UMBC exploded for six runs in the third to take a 9-1 lead. The Retrievers scored five runs before recording an out, as senior designated player Lauren O'Malley (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and Culotta both walked with the bases loaded, setting the stage for freshman third baseman Jessica Warner's (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) bases-clearing double, the first extra-base hit of her young career. Senior second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover) added the Retrievers' sixth run of the inning on a single to right field three batters later.
St. Francis responded with three in the bottom of the frame with the help of three Retriever errors to pull to make it a 9-4 game. UMBC then scored single runs in the fourth and seventh on an RBI double by junior first baseman Angela Yannone (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) and a two-out run-scoring single by Ferguson to account for the final runs of the game.
Weigman (1-2) picked up her first win of the season after tossing four scoreless innings in relief.Ferguson started the game and allowed four runs (one earned) on seven hits in three innings. Brooke Koch (0-1) suffered the loss for St. Francis after giving up eight runs on three hits and five walks in two innings of work.
Ferguson went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, while Culotta and Warner each had two hits and three RBI to pace the Retrievers at the plate. Warner, O'Malley and sophomore right fielderAshley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) scored two runs apiece. Shortstop Katelyn McMellen led the Red Flash offensively with a 5-for-5, 2-RBI afternoon.
The Retrievers conclude the Moe's Blue & Green Invite on Sunday with a rematch against Eastern Michigan at 9 a.m.