BALTIMORE – UMBC softball stranded eight batters and committed six errors as the Retrievers dropped a 5-3 decision to George Mason in Wednesday afternoon’s non-conference matchup at the UMBC Softball Stadium. Sophomore designated player Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) went two-for-three from the dish and had one of the team’s three RBI in the loss.
UMBC (6-19) has dropped three-straight heading into conference action this weekend, as the Retrievers host Maine in their America East opener on Saturday, March 23. The first pitch of the double-header is set for 1 p.m. George Mason improves to 7-16 on the season.
The Retrievers put their first three batters of the game on base, with back-to-back singles from freshmen Danielle O'Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) and Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) and a walk from sophomore Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby), but the UMBC was unable to take advantage, stranding the bases loaded in the bottom of the first.
The black and gold left a runner on third in the second inning, but were finally able to take cash in some runs off Patriots’ reliever Sarah Kleinfelter in the third. O’Malley started off the inning with her second hit of the afternoon, with Hall and Margentino each following with a hit to score O’Malley. A groundout to first from junior second baseman Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) drove home Hall for the 2-0 Retriever advantage. UMBC was not done yet though, as a groundout to short moved Margentino over to third and a single through the right side of the infield from freshman Joradn Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) made it a three-run ballgame.
Despite UMBC starting pitcher Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) not allowing a hit through four innings of work, a trio of Retriever errors in the top of the fourth, along with a hit batter got George Mason on the board with two runs in the frame.
UMBC’s center fielder Mary Hartman (Eldersburg, Md./Century) tried to make a diving catch on a hit up the middle from patriot catcher Kaitlyn Griffith to lead off the top of the fifth, but Hartman was unable to come up with the catch, breaking up Brown’s no-hitter. A fielder’s choice on a bunt from first baseman Casey Price allowed the Retrievers to get the lead runner out, but back-to-back walks, followed by a two-run single from Brooke Blankenship to put George Mason out in front 4-3.
Brown exited the contest after allowing the lead-off batter to reach in the top of the sixth inning, bringing freshman Rachel Ionata (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) into the circle for the Retrievers, but the errors continued to hurt the black and gold, as a walk and fielder’s choice turned into a run scored for the Patriots.
George Mason used six pitchers in the contest, with Kleinfelter being responsible for all three Retriever runs. Tiffany Harvell was credited with the win, her first of the season. Brown (3-6) and Ionata combined to allow three hits in the game and just one earned run.