BALTIMORE – UMBC softball’s sophomore Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) went 5-for-6 (.833) from the dish and tallied seven RBI in a 1-1 day for the Retrievers at UMBC Spring Classic. The black and gold dropped a tough extra inning matchup with La Salle, falling 5-4 in eight, but the Retrievers’ offense exploded for 10 hits and nine runs in a 9-1 victory in five innings against Morgan State.
MSU’s Nicole Holguin walked the first two batters, each of which would come around to score in the bottom of the first, as Hall poked a sacrifice fly to center field and sophomore Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) followed with a ground out to second to score sophomore Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) and freshman Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough), for the quick 2-0 UMBC lead.
Morgan State (1-16) got one back in the second, as designated player Zina Costancia launched a home run into center field. From there it was all Retrievers, as UMBC (6-16) scored four runs on five hits in the bottom half of the inning. Hall picked up three more RBI in the frame, with a single to right field. The sophomore added a two-run double in the fourth inning, to give the black and gold an 8-1 advantage. Back-to-back doubles from freshmen Danielle O'Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) and Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) gave UMBC the eight-run lead to end the game in five.
Freshman pitcher Rachel Ionata (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) earned her first victory of her collegiate career, allowing three hits in the contest. Holguin was credited with the loss, surrendering four runs on two hits in one inning of work.
In game one, La Salle took advantage of an errant UMBC throw to first to put its lead runner on and strung together a pair of hits to right field by Megan Hodgson and Alicia Aughton to drive in Casey Lester and take the 1-0 lead.
Genevieve Gaynor doubled into left center in the top of the second and Lester again reached on a UMBC error, moving Gaynor to third. Kendra Heyer singled just out of reach of the Retrievers’ starting pitcher Heather Brown’s (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) glove to put La Salle out in front 2-0.
A long single into right center field from Tristan Musho drove in pinch runner Allison Waddington, the only earned run surrendered by Brown in the contest, and gave La Salle the 3-0 advantage in the top of the sixth inning.
The Retrievers put a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the sixth inning, cuing the departure of La Salle starter Mary Cate Scott, but that did not stop sophomore first baseman Courtney Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas) from blasting her first double of the season to get the Retrievers on the scoreboard, 3-1. Sganga followed by picking up an RBI with a ground out to second, to cut the deficit to one.
Freshman Jane Pardo (Odenton, Md./Arundel) led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk and moved into scoring position on a grounder to second. Back-to-back singles from UMBC’s captains, Chance and Hall, scored the tying run, 3-3. O’Neill drew a two-out walk to load the bases and give the Retrievers a chance for the walk-off victory, but Reinfeld was unable to complete the come-from behind victory.
An error from the Retrievers’ youthful infield hurt the black and gold again in extra innings, allowing the lead-off batter to get on base, which proved to be the winning run in the contest, following a two-run single from Musho.
Brown (3-4) surrendered just one earned run in eight innings of work, Aughton (4-2) tossed 2.2 innings of relief and picked up the victory.
The UMBC Spring Classic continues action on Saturday, March 16. The Retrievers have a rematch with Princeton at 4:20 p.m., after facing the Tigers Sunday at the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational.
Saturday, March 16
10:15 a.m. Georgetown vs. Siena
12:20 p.m. Hampton vs. Georgetown
2:25 p.m. Princeton vs. Hampton
4:20 p.m. UMBC vs. Princeton
10:45 a.m. La Salle vs. Sacred Heart
3:15 p.m. Siena vs. Morgan State
5:30 p.m. La Salle vs. Morgan State
Sunday, March 17
10:15 a.m. Sacred Heart vs. Morgan State
12:30 p.m. UMBC vs. Hampton
2:45 p.m. Morgan State vs. Georgetown
10:15 a.m. Siena vs. Georgetown
12:30 p.m. Coppin State vs. La Salle
2:45 p.m. Coppin State vs. Princeton