BALTIMORE – UMBC sophomore first baseman Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) batted .571 on the afternoon (4-for-7) and hit a walk-off single to score freshman Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Kenough) from third and lead the Retrievers to a 3-2 victory against Howard in the final game on Sunday at the UMBC Softball Stadium for the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational. The black and gold fell, 12-2, to Princeton earlier in the afternoon. O'Malley had three hits and scored two runs on the day for the Retrievers.
In game two, Howard (0-5) got on the board first, leading off the fourth with a single to right field from catcher Jasmine Gammons and followed with a one-out walk from third baseman Al'asia Davis. Left fielder Ashley Canty reached on an infield single to load the bases for shortstop Jenny Ly. Ly hit a single of her own into left, scoring Gammons from third, and a fielding miscue by the Retrievers allowed Davis to cross the plate, but starting pitcher Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) struck out first baseman Emily Krantz to end the inning.
UMBC (5-12) threatened in the fifth, as O'Malley launched a two-out triple – her first of the season – down the left field line, but the Retrievers were unable to bring her home, with sophomore catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) grounding out to third to end the inning.
The black and gold were able to knot up the contest at two the next inning, leading off the frame with back-to-back singles from Margentino and senior right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford). A fielding error on Scroggin's hit allowed sophomore Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant), who pinch ran for Margentino, to advance to third on the play. After back-to-back outs, freshman Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) drew a walk and designated player Mary Hartman (Eldersburg, Md./Century) picked up a pair of RBI on a single up the middle to even up the contest at two apiece.
Brown had to face just four batters before getting out of the top of the seventh and getting UMBC back to the dish with the scored tied at two. O'Malley again got into scoring position with a leadoff double, one of her three hits on the afternoon, and moved to third on the play due to an obstruction call on the Howard first baseman. Hall walked, before Margentino's hit up the right field line ended the contest in favor of the Retrievers.
Brown picked up her third-straight victory to move to 3-1 on the season, allowing one earned run on eight hits and fanning a season-high eight batters in the contest. Howard's Ashley Turner was credited with the loss after surrendering three runs.
The Retrievers started off on the wrong foot in game one, allowing the leadoff batter Rachel Rendina to reach on an error. Starting pitcher Rachel Ionata (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) was able to get left fielder Tory Roberts to ground out, but the Alyssa Schmidt sent a double into right center field, scoring Rendina from second to give Princeton (6-3) the 1-0 lead. The Tigers continued to threaten in the inning, following with a single from pitcher Alex Peyton, but Ionata escaped the inning with just one run scored, retiring the next two batters.
The Tigers led off the top of the third with a pair of singles and advanced both runners on a sacrifice bunt from catcher Maddie Cousens. Ionata was able to get Candy Button to ground out to short for the second out and O'Malley made a diving catch for the third out to save two runs in the top of the third and keep the contest a one-run ball game.
Retrievers tied it up in the bottom of the third, drawing a pair of two-out walks from O'Malley and Hall. Margentino picked up an RBI with a single to left field to score O'Malley from second and even up the game at one apiece.
UMBC took advantage of a pair of Tiger errors in the bottom of the fourth, as sophomore third baseman Courtney Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas) reached on a fielding miscue, advanced to second on a grounder to second and scored on another error on a ball hit up the left field line, putting the Retrievers out in front, 2-0.
The black and gold held on to its 2-0 lead until the top of the sixth inning, when Princeton scored five runs on five hits and was helped by three UMBC errors, helping the Tigers take the lead for good.
Clark, who came in to end the sixth inning for UMBC, did not have better luck than Ionata, getting herself into trouble in the top of the seventh by walking six batters in the frame. The Tigers scored six runs on two hits in their final at bats.
The Retrievers' pitching staff combined to allow eight earned runs and walked 11 batters, while Peyton surrendered one earned run on five hits in six innings of work for Princeton.
UMBC returns to action on Monday, March 11 for the final day of the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational, taking on Marist at 1:30 p.m. and following with a matchup against Rhode Island.