HAMMOND, La. – UMBC softball freshman Danielle O'Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) went 3-for-4 and added three walks on day two of the Jimmy John's Lion Classic II, while sophomore Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) combined for five RBI in a pair of Retriever losses at the North Oak Park. LSU-Alexandria slipped past UMBC in a 7-6 extra inning victory in game two, while Texas Southern picked up a 14-5 victory in five innings in game one.
After a tough game one, UMBC fought hard against the Generals, taking advantage of LSU-Alexandria's early miscues. Back-to-back singles from O'Neill and junior shortstop Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) set up a sacrifice situation for Hall- one of three on the day for the sophomore catcher – and a mishandle by centerfielder Mallory Hall also scored O'Neill on the play to put the Retrievers out in front 2-0.
Sophomore pitcher Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) started off a little shaky, allowing the Generals to score a run without a hit in the first inning. LSU-Alexandria would add two more in the bottom half of the first inning – coming off of one hit and two errors.
A homer from Mallory Waggoner put the Generals out in front, 4-2, after two, but Megan Sauble (Glen Burnie, Md./CCBC-Catonsville) notched her first of two RBI on the night, slicing a single to right field to score Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College).
The Retrievers took back the lead on a two-run shot over the right field fence from Hall, but the Generals responded with strung together three hits to tie up the contest at six in the bottom of the sixth.
A sac fly from junior pitcher Kayla Martinez (Odenton,Md./Arundel) gave UMBC the advantage in the top of the eighth, however, LSU-Alexandria a two-run homer from Raquel Granados gave the Generals the extra inning victory.
Clark tossed four complete innings, allowing four earned runs on two hits, while Martinez (0-1) threw the final three-plus innings, surrendering one earned run on seven hits. LSU-Alexandria used three pitchers in the contest, with Logan Hebert getting credited with the victory.
In game one, the Retrievers (0-3) dug themselves a 3-0 hole, after surrendering a bunt single, an error and back-to-back doubles in the top of the first. However, a leadoff double from junior shortstop Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) and a pair of walks from O'Neill and Bertoglio loaded the bases for Hall, who was able to drive one run on a sacrifice fly to right field, with O'Neill also crossing the plate on the play.
The Tigers added three more runs in the top of the second and extended its lead to 14-2 with an eight-run top of the third.
O'Neill started off the bottom half of the third with a double and Bertoglio followed with a single. Hall used a sac fly to score O'Neill from third – one of her four runs scored on Friday evening. The Retrievers added another run in the inning, as a double from senior right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./Stafford North) advanced Bertoglio to third and a grounder to second gave Sauble the RBI.
UMBC would get one more back in the bottom of the fifth, with O'Neill coming around to score on a double from Scroggin after leading off the inning with a walk. Texas Southern pitcher Jeniece Tillman went the distance for the Tigers to earn the victory.
Freshman pitcher Rachel Ionata (0-1) (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) saw her first collegiate start in the circle for the Retrievers, tossing four innings and allowing four earned runs on seven hits. Senior Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) threw one inning of relief, surrendering no earned runs on five hits.
The Retrievers conclude their season-opening tournament on Saturday, Feb. 16 with a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. EST against South Dakota, followed by a matchup with South Dakota State 1:30 p.m. EST.