PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – UMBC softball’s junior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) drilled her first grand slam in a Retrievers’ uniform in Tuesday afternoon’s non-conference action at West Campus Field. Freshman designated player Danielle O'Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) recorded four hits and three RBI on the afternoon, as UMBC defeated La Salle 13-10 in game one, but fell, 3-2, in game two.
Both team’s bats went crazy in game one, combining for 23 runs and 23 hits in the contest. The Retrievers (9-37) opened up the scoring in the top of the first inning, taking advantage of a pair of miscues from the home team. Freshman shortstop Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) reached on a fielder’s choice and stole second, her team-leading 11th stolen base of the season. Sophomore catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) flied out to center field, to move O’Malley to third and La Salle’s first error of the inning allowed the rookie to score and Bertoglio to reach first base.
The inning continued with two outs, as junior second baseman Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) singled to center field and freshman left fielder Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) followed with an RBI-single through the right side of the infield, to put the black and gold out in front, 2-0. Chance would score on the next at bat, as a fielding error on the third baseman allowed sophomore third baseman Courtney Reinfeld (Parkland, Fla./Stoneman Douglas) to reach first.
The Explorers (14-26) got one back in the bottom half of the inning, as a single from freshman center fielder Casey Lester, followed by a one-out double into right center from junior shortstop Megan Hodgson, cut the deficit to 3-1 after one inning of play.
The Retrievers loaded the bases in the top of the second frame, O’Neill and O’Malley both singled up the middle and Hall followed with a one-out walk. Bertoglio launched her third home run of the season into left field, to clear the bases and give UMBC a 7-1 lead.
A solo home run in the bottom of the second from senior third baseman Liz Reed, trimmed the deficit to five, 7-2, however, UMBC’s offense continued to produce. Sophomore center fielder Mary Hartman (Eldersburg, Md./Century) drew a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch from starting pitcher Alicia Aughton. An RBI-single to center field from O’Malley gave the Retrievers an 8-2 advantage.
A one-out double from freshman first baseman Kendra Heyer, followed by a single to center field from Hodgson, put runners on second and third for catcher Tristan Musho. The senior drove two runs in on a double, but was caught in a run down for the second out of the inning. Aughton followed with a solo home run into left center field to pull within three at 8-5.
Bertoglio reached base for the third time in the contest on a leadoff walk in the top of the fourth and Chance followed with a single to left field. After a pitching change for the Explorers that brought in sophomore Alyssa Bitsimis, Sganga picked up her second RBI-single of the day. Reinfeld added another single for the Retrievers to load the bases and a sacrifice fly from junior right fielder Kayla Martinez (Odenton, Md./Arundel) put UMBC on top 10-5. The black and gold would add one more run in the inning, coming on a single through the left side of the infield from O’Neill.
La Salle would not quit, as a two-run blast into center field in the bottom of the fourth inning from freshman left fielder Alli Waddington brought the Explorers within four, 11-7. Although Brown was able to get Bitimis to ground out for the first out of the inning, the senior pitcher ran into further trouble in the frame, surrendering a bunt single and a walk, followed by a three-run home run to left field that would end her day in the circle and bring the Explorers within one, 11-10.
The Retrievers tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the top of the sixth inning. Hartman started things off with a two-out single to center field and after Aughton made her return back to the circle, O’Neill picked up her third hit and second RBI of the contest on a triple down the right field line. O’Neill would also score on the play due to an error on the play.
Clark picked up her second win of the season (2-6), throwing 3.2 innings of work and striking out five batters, while Aughton allowed seven earned runs on eight hits in the loss (8-14).
The bats slowed down in game two, but UMBC was still able to get on the board first. Sophomore Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) led off the third with a double to left field and a ground out from Martinez moved her to third. Hartman notched her first RBI of the afternoon on a single down the right field line to break the scoreless affair.
La Salle took its first lead of the afternoon in the bottom of the fourth inning, starting with an Aughton walk. Kristin Travers added a bunt single to put runners on first and second and a sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position. The Retrievers brought in freshman reliever Rachel Ionata (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) to pitch, but a single through the left side of the infield put the Explorers out in front, 2-1. A fielding error on UMBC on the subsequent batter gave La Salle all it needed for the victory.
An RBI-double from O’Neill in the top of the fifth, brought UMBC within one, at 3-2, but it was not enough.
Clark was credited with her second decision of the afternoon, picking up the loss after throwing 3.1 innings and striking out four. Mary Cate Scott earned the win (6-8), throwing all six innings and surrendering two earned runs on five hits.
The Retrievers return home to the UMBC Softball Stadium after concluding their nine-game road swing and close out America East action with a three-game series against Hartford, starting with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 27. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.