Softball Opens America East Play with Pair of Losses to Maine
BALTIMORE—The UMBC softball team (14-11, 0-2 AE) saw its nine-game win streak come to an end Saturday afternoon when it dropped both ends of a doubleheader to Maine (10-19, 2-0 AE) at UMBC Softball Stadium in the America East opener for both teams. The Black Bears took the first game, 4-1, then won a thriller in the nightcap, 6-5.
Game 1: Maine 4, UMBC 1
The Black Bears led from the start of the first game thanks to third baseman Terren Hall's two-run homer with one out in the first inning.Maine then added two more in the top of the fourth on three hits, including a pair of two-out RBI singles by shortstop Jennifer Eberhradt and left fielder Kali Burnham to make it 4-0.
Maine starter Beth Spoehr retired the first 11 batters she faced until senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) blasted her fifth home run of the season with two outs in the fourth inning to get the Retrievers on the board, but UMBC managed just one more hit – a triple by junior catcher Angela Yannone (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) in the fifth.
Spoehr (4-6) earned the complete game victory for the Black Bears, while senior Stephanie Weigman(Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) took the loss to fall to 8-6 on the season. She allowed four runs on eight hits and four walks but struck out 11 batters in five innings of work, and her sixth strikeout of the game was the 700th of her career. Sophomore Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) tossed two scoreless innings in relief.
Game 2: Maine 6, UMBC 5
The score seesawed back and forth six times in the nightcap, but Maine came out on top in the end thanks to a pair of costly UMBC errors.
The Retrievers took a 1-0 lead when sophomore right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./NorthStafford) led off the second inning with a home run down the left field line. Maine scored twice in the top of the third to go up, 2-1, but UMBC regained the lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning on RBI singles by Scroggin and junior designated player Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC).
UMBC's 4-2 advantage held up until the fifth, when Maine took a 5-4 lead with three runs on four hits but also capitalized on a Retriever error, as two of the runs were unearned. But UMBC tied it up in the sixth, when Scroggin smashed her second homer of the game and team-best seventh of the season over the left field fence with one down.
The Black Bears got three hits in the top of the seventh but were down to their final out before Burnham reached on an error, which plated the winning run.
Ferguson (4-3) took the loss for the Retrievers after allowing four runs (one earned) on seven hits in three innings in relief of Brown. Kylie Sparks (3-4) earned the win for Maine after giving up one run on three hits in 4.1 innings in relief of starter Ashley Kelley.
Scroggin paced the Retrievers at the plate, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Burnham led Maine with a 3-for-4 effort, while four other Black Bears had two hits apiece.
The teams conclude the three-game series Sunday at 11 a.m. at UMBC Softball Stadium.