JERSEY CITY, N.J. – UMBC softball’s junior second baseman Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) batted .500 (4-for-8) and drove in five of the Retrievers’ 10 runs in a pair of contests against Saint Peter’s on Wednesday afternoon at Jaroschak Field. The black and gold won game one of the doubleheader, 7-5, before falling to the Peacocks, 6-5, on a walk-off home run.
Freshman right fielder Danielle O’Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) also had an outstanding day offensively for the Retrievers, hitting .667 (4-for-6), with two RBI and two runs scored.
In game one, UMBC (8-22, 1-2 AEC) put two runs on the board with two outs in the top of the first inning, stringing together four singles, including a two-run single through the left side of the infield from Chance. The Peacocks answered back with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, as a walk, single and double were followed by a pair of sacrifice flies.
Saint Peter’s (4-23) opened its lead up to 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth inning. After hitting a single up the middle, Michelle Tinajero stole second and moved over to third on a single down the left field line from Alexis Gallagher. Tinajero scored on a double steal that resulted in Gallagher being thrown out at third.
The Retrievers would take over in the top of the fifth with five runs on four hits. Sophomore Alex Zelaski (Columbia, Md./Oakland Mills) led off the inning with a walk, freshman Bridget O’Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) followed with a single to left and junior Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) drove home Zelaski with a double into right center field. After an intentional walk for sophomore Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby), picked up an RBI on a single to third base and sophomore Courtney Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas) followed with a sacrifice fly to right field. Chance added two more runs for the Retrievers on a double up the middle, giving the Retrievers a 7-4 advantage and cuing the exit of SPU’s starting pitcher Shelby Beaver (1-6).
The Peacocks got one back in the bottom of the sixth, taking advantage of a UMBC fielding error, but that is as close as they would come in the contest. Senior Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) earned the victory (5-8), tossing the complete game and giving up four earned runs.
In game two, the Retrievers gave Saint Peter’s a four-run cushion, before evening up the contest in the top of the fifth inning. UMBC opened the frame with three consecutive hits, scoring two runs, and after having two batters retired, the Retrievers added in four more hits, scoring two more runs to tie the contest at four.
Saint Peter’s was able to once again take advantage of an UMBC miscue, one of five in the game for the Retrievers, and take back the lead, 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Relief pitcher Tori Feorenzo tied up the score again in the top of the sixth, walking in the tying run with the bases loaded.
Lee Harrison broke the tie in the bottom of the seventh, the first batter Bertoglio faced in the inning, with a home run to center field, giving the Peacocks the walk-off victory. Bertoglio moved to 1-4 with the loss.
UMBC returns to America East action with a three-game series at Stony Brook. The series opens with a doubleheader on Saturday, March 30 and is followed with a single game on Sunday, March 31. First pitch is set for noon on both days.