PHILADELPHIA—The UMBC softball team (22-21) slugged six home runs, and senior second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover) became the ninth Retriever ever to collect 200 career hits in a doubleheader sweep of La Salle (2-33) Tuesday afternoon at West Campus Field. The Retrievers won the first game, 9-1, in six innings, then took the nightcap, 4-1. The wins snapped UMBC's five-game losing streak.
Brummell went 4-for-6, drove in three runs and scored twice in the two games. She entered the day needing three hits to reach the milestone and achieved it with a leadoff home run in game two.
Senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) went 3-for-6 with two homers, four RBIs, two walks and three runs scored, while junior first baseman Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) also belted two long balls, going 3-for-7 on the day. Junior catcher Angela Yannone (Pasadena,Md./Chesapeake) was 3-for-6 with a double, a homer and three RBIs, and senior center fielder Lynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough) walked four times and stole five bases in five attempts, moving her into seventh place all-time at UMBC with 45 career steals. She also doubled in her only official at-bat.
Both starting pitchers – senior Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) and sophomore Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast – turned in strong performances, with each tossing a complete game and combining to allow just seven hits over 13 innings.
Game 1: UMBC 9, La Salle 1 (6 innings)
Yannone put the Retrievers on the board first with a two-run homer in the second inning, her fourth of the season. The Explorers then scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the inning when Weigman hit a batter with the bases loaded.
Ferguson led off the fourth with her sixth home run of the season, and Pronobis followed with an RBI double three batters later to make it a 4-1 game. Brummell drove in the third run of the inning with a sacrifice fly.
For the second inning in a row, the Retrievers got a leadoff home run in the fifth, as Culotta smashed her seventh round-tripper of the year. Then in the sixth, after back-to-back singles by Brummell and freshman shortstop Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) to start the inning, Culotta crushed a three-run bomb over the left field fence to make it 9-1. It was the 20th home run of her career, moving her into eighth place all-time at UMBC.
Weigman (14-12) allowed just four hits and struck out eight in the six-inning complete-game victory. Kristen Paoletti surrendered six runs on nine hits in four innings and suffered the loss.
Culotta went 3-for-4 with four RBIs to pace UMBC at the plate. Eight different players had at least one hit, as the Retrievers collected 13 base knocks in the game.
Game 2: UMBC 4, La Salle 1
Brummell led off the game with her fifth home run of the season and her milestone 200th career hit, and Yannone gave UMBC a 2-0 lead with a two-out RBI single five batters later.
The Retrievers added single runs in the second and third on an RBI single by Brummell and Ferguson's second homer of the day to take a 4-0 lead. The Explorers got their lone run in the fourth on back-to-back two-out hits, but Brown retired the final 10 batters of the game in order to preserve the victory.
Brown (4-4) gave up one run on just three hits and a walk while striking out three in her first complete game of the season. Laura Beth McCreesh took the loss for La Salle after allowing four runs on five hits in 2.2 innings. DJ Guinn relieved her and shut down the Retrievers, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings while allowing just two hits and striking out eight.
Brummell went 2-for-3 with two RBIs to lead the Retriever offense, which also walked six times on top of its seven hits in the game.
The Retrievers return to action this weekend when they host America East rival Hartford in a three-game series. The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday at 1 p.m. and a single game on Sunday at 12 p.m. Prior to Sunday's home finale, the Retrievers will honor five seniors – Brummell, Culotta, Pronobis, Weigman and designated player Lauren O'Malley (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding) – in a Senior Day ceremony.