TOWSON, Md. – UMBC softball senior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) threw a complete game shutout as the Retrievers (6-7) blanked local rival Towson, 6-0, Thursday afternoon at the Towson Center Field. The Retrievers have now won five of their last six games dating back to their win over Hampton in the Charleston Southern Tournament Consolation Game on Feb.25.
Ferguson has now won her past three decisions, going the distance in each, to bring her record up to 3-4 for the 2012 season. Against the Tigers (6-8), the senior gave up only three hits while picking up one strikeout and lowering her ERA to a team-best 3.05.
"We really played a solid and smooth game," said head coach Joe French. "we received some great pitching again from Katie [Ferguson] which really ignited us."
Sophomore Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) continued her torrid month of March, hitting two homeruns against Towson, totaling four RBI and two runs scored. The second-year third baseman has picked up at least one hit in four of the Retrievers' five games during March.
Classmate Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) picked up the only other extra base hit on the day, a double, as she knocked in and scored two runs against the Tigers.
After a scoreless two innings, UMBC finally made the breakthrough in the top of the third. Freshman Courtney Paone (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) led off the inning with a single to right and after advancing to third on a groundout, came around to score the first run of the game on Chance's double.
Warner stepped to the plate next and tripled the Retrievers' lead with a two-run blast, making the score 3-0.
In the top of the fifth, UMBC played small ball to increase the lead. Senior Amanda Damiano (Tamaqua, Pa./Marian Catholic) singled to lead off, but advanced to third on a two base error by the Towson right fielder. Chance then laid down a suicide squeeze which the Retrievers executed to perfection with Damiano scoring to increase the UMBC lead to four runs, 4-0.
Warner then put the game away with one swing, another two-run round tripper, once again bringing in Chance to score.
Ferguson took care of the rest, limiting Towson to five total base runners in the game.
UMBC now returns home to host the six-team Dawg Pound Invitational this weekend at the UMBC Softball Stadium. The Retrievers begin play on Saturday with an afternoon game against in-state rival Mount St. Mary's at 1:05 p.m.