BALTIMORE – UMBC softball's junior left fielder Kayla Martinez (Odenton, Pa./Arundel) went two-for-four from the dish and tallied the Retrievers only RBI on the afternoon, as the black and gold dropped both games of Saturday afternoon’s America East doubleheader against Hartford. The Retrievers fell, 6-0, in game one and were nipped, 2-1, in game two at the UMBC Softball Stadium.
Hartford improves to 18-29 on the season and 8-7 in America East action, while the Retrievers drop to 3-39 in the 2013 campaign and 1-16 in league play.
In game one, UMBC starter Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) took some time finding her groove in the top of the first inning, hitting the first batter of the contest and walking the next two, but the sophomore worked her way out of the jam, striking out the side to escape the top of the first scoreless.
Clark was unable to get out of a jam in the top of the fourth inning, as the Tampa, Fla., native walked the bases loaded and then walked in the first run of the contest. A double into left center field from Kate Wacyk scored two more for the Hawks and cued the exit of Clark.
Sophomore designated player Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) broke up starting pitcher Zuzana Kudernatschova’s no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning with a single through the right side of the infield, but the Retrievers were unable to get on the board.
The Hawks added a trio of unearned runs in the top of the sixth inning, as a pair of UMBC errors proved to be costly. Second baseman Amber Andrews reached on an error to lead off the inning and Wacyk added a one-out walk to put runners on first and second. A two-out double down the left field line from designated player Chelsey Mooney scored two more runs for Hartford. Mooney would score on a passed ball later in the inning to give the Hawks a 6-0 advantage.
The Retrievers put two on in the bottom of the seventh inning, with Margentino walking and Martinez picking up her first hit of the afternoon on a two-out single to left field, but Kudernatschova preserved her shutout, getting sophomore center fielder Mary Hartman (Eldersburg, Md./Century) to strike out to end the contest.
Kudernatschova held the Retrievers to two hits in the shutout victory (11-12), while Clark fell to 2-7 on the season after allowing three runs on three hits and walking eight.
In game two, the black and gold loaded the bases with two outs on a fielder’s choice and back-to-back walks, but Hartford starter Kaitlyn Meade battled Margentino to a full count and got the sophomore to ground out to third to end the bottom of the third.
Hartford struck with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, as Andrews sent a triple into the gap in right center field to score left fielder Margaret Betz from first. Right fielder Jenice Aloyo singled to left field to drive in Andrews and put the Hawks out in front, 2-0.
UMBC got one back in the bottom half of the inning, stringing together a pair of hits from third baseman Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford) and second baseman Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton). A single up the middle from Martinez, cut the Retrievers’ deficit in half, 2-1, but that is as close as the black and gold would get.
Meade earned her fifth (5-11) victory of the season, surrendering one run on five hits and walking six. UMBC senior pitcher Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) surrendered two runs on nine hits.
UMBC closes out the series on Sunday, April 28 when it celebrates Senior Day at the UMBC Softball Stadium. First pitch is set for noon.