BALTIMORE, MD. – The UMBC softball team (5-7) split its final two games of the 2012 UMBC Retriever Classic, shutting out Niagara, 1-0, and falling in extra innings, 10-4, to Iona. In four games over the weekend, the Retrievers picked up three wins, while only falling once.
In the Retrievers first game against Niagara, senior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/ Chesapeake CC) shutout the Purple Eagles throwing a complete game one-hitter. Ferguson (2-4) recorded eight strikeouts and did not allow a base runner beyond first.
Niagara's Kim Bryson was charged with the loss despite only giving up one earned run on two hits. The sophomore registered ten strikeouts, but walked five batters.
"Katie [Ferguson] pitched a gem," said head coach Joe French. "The only bad inning all weekend was the last one [against Iona]."
The game was the definition of a pitchers' dual, with the two teams combining for only three hits.
After Ferguson sent Niagara down without yielding a run in the first four innings, the senior was rewarded in the bottom half of the frame.
Patient hitting led to three walks in the inning for UMBC, with the last one coming with the bases loaded, forcing senior Ashley Carver (Swoyersville, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) across the plate. Carver had singled earlier in the inning to pick up one of two UMBC hits. Junior Kaela Mason (Bel Air, Md./Harford Tech) was the only other Retriever in the hit column against Niagara.
Ferguson allowed only one baserunner over the next two innings to pick up her second win of the year.
Game two with Iona was an offensive barrage, compared to the first contest, with the Retrievers and Gaels pounding out 21 combined hits and 14 runs.
Iona however, got the better of the play to improve to 7-4 on the season with a 10-4 win.
After the visitors posted two runs in the top of the second inning, the Retrievers responded with a run of the own in the bottom half on an RBI single by Courtney Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas).
UMBC took the lead the next inning as sophomore Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) hit a three-run homerun, her first of the year and sixth of her career to push the lead to two, 4-2.
The Retrievers had a chance to build on the lead in the fifth, but could not convert with runners on first and second with only one down.
The Gaels eventually came back, scoring once in the sixth and again in the seventh, to force extra innings.
Iona then crossed the plate six times in the top of the eighth to build an insurmountable lead.
Junior Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs, three of the earned, over seven plus innings of work.
The Retrievers return to the field on Thursday when they travel to local rival Towson. UMBC then hosts its second straight weekend tournament, the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational, beginning on Sat., Mar. 10.