BALTIMORE—The UMBC softball team (24-21, 7-10 AE) continued its hot-hitting ways in a doubleheader sweep of America East rival Hartford (7-32, 2-12 AE) Saturday afternoon at UMBC Softball Stadium. The Retrievers won the first game, 8-1, then took the nightcap, 8-3.
Sophomore right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and four RBIs to pace the Retrievers at the plate, while freshman shortstop Jessica Warner(Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) had four hits in seven at-bats.
Game 1: UMBC 8, Hartford 1
The Hawks struck first on a two-out bloop single by right fielder Genevieve Morneau-Vallaincourt in the second, but the Retrievers responded with eight unanswered over the next two innings.
Junior catcher Angela Yannone (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) ignited a five-run third inning with a two-run homer, her fifth of the season. Two more hits, a walk and an error led to another two runs crossing the plate, and the Retrievers scored their fifth run of the inning on a double steal, as junior pinch runner Ashley Carver (Swoyersville, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) stole home to make it a 5-1 game.
After senior left fielder Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) scored on a throwing error with two outs in the fourth, Scroggin tripled to right field to drive in a run, and she eventually scored on a wild pitch, accounting for UMBC's final run of the game.
Senior right-hander Stephanie Weigman (Elkridge, Md./Archbishop Spalding) improved to 15-12 with the complete-game victory. She allowed one run on three hits and five walks while striking out seven.Hartford starter Kaitlyn Meade (4-13) suffered the loss after giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits and five walks in 2.1 innings of work.
Culotta reached base in all four plate appearances, picking up two singles and two walks and scoring twice. Warner and Scroggin also had two hits apiece. Hartford center fielder Shannon Simpkins accounted for two of her team's three hits.
Game 2: UMBC 8, Hartford 3
The Retrievers scored at least once in each of the first four innings of the nightcap.
Senior second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover) walked to lead off the bottom of the first, and Warner followed with her fifth home run of the season to put UMBC up, 2-0.
Hartford catcher Jordan Haines led off the second with her fourth round-tripper of the year to slice the Retrievers' lead in half, but UMBC scored twice in the bottom of the inning Brummell's two-out two-run double.
The Retrievers loaded the bases with one out in the third, and Scroggin laced a double down the left field line to drive in all three runners and give UMBC a 7-1 advantage. In the fourth, senior center fielderLynn Pronobis (Waldorf, Md./McDonough) walked, stole second and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make it an 8-1 game.
After getting the first two batters of the fifth inning, UMBC sophomore starter Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) ran into some trouble, allowing three straight extra-base hits, including a two-run homer by left fielder Lauren Kamena. But following a double by designated player Nicole Springer, Brown induced third baseman Kate Wacyk into an inning-ending groundout, and she allowed just one hit over the last two innings, including a five-pitch 1-2-3 seventh to preserve the victory.
Brown gave up three runs on seven hits and improved to 5-4 with the complete-game win. Hartford's Siera Sheehan (3-16) went the distance in the loss, allowing eight runs (six earned) on seven hits in six innings of work.
Warner went 2-for-3 with two runs and two RBIs to lead the Retriever offense. Hartford second baseman Amber Andrews was the only Hawk with multiple hits, as she went 2-for-4.
The teams meet again Sunday in the series finale at 12 p.m. at UMBC Softball Stadium. Before the game, 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.
UMBC has secured the series victory, its first since sweeping Stony Brook April 2-3, and stays alive in the race for a spot in the four-team America East Championship.