BALTIMORE – UMBC freshman shortstop Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) launched her second home run of the season to break a scoreless game one and give the Retrievers a 2-0 lead, but UMBC would go on to fall 3-2 in nine innings to Binghamton in America East softball action at the UMBC Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Retrievers dropped game two of the doubleheader, 14-1.
Sophomore Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) batted a team-best .429 (3-for-7) on the afternoon, while sophomore Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) registered a .500 on-base percentage.
Binghamton (14-11, 4-1 AEC) threatened in the top of the first inning of game one, putting runners on first and second with back-to-back singles from right fielder Sydney Harbaugh and designated player Tiffany McIntosh, but UMBC starting pitcher Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) was able to get the next two batters to fly out to end the frame.
Hall sent a one-out single into left field in the bottom of the fourth inning and advanced to second on a passed ball, but the Retrievers stranded Hall on second on a fly ball to left field and its fifth strikeout of the contest.
The Bearcats put two more runners on in the top of the sixth on a pair of singles with one out. Pinch hitter Griffin McIver looked to have broken the scoreless affair with a shot to left field, but freshman Jane Pardo (Malverne, N.Y./Sacred Heart) stretched out for the touch catch to keep runners on first and second.
O’Malley put UMBC (8-27, 1-7 AEC) on top in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman designated player Danielle O'Neill (Loathain, Md./Southern) drew a one-out walk and O’Malley followed with a two-run home run into left field. The home run cued the exit of starting pitcher Demi Laney, who allowed two runs on three hits and finished with six strikeouts in 5.1 innings.
Binghamton was finally able to cash in on some of its runners, after stranding nine runners on base through the first six innings. A hit batter and walk with one out put runners on first and second. A groundout to shortstop advanced both the runners and left fielder Jessica Phillips took advantage with a blooper just over the head of second baseman Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) to score Harbaugh from third and pinch runner Rhoda Marsteller from second, evening the score at two apiece.
BU, who left 13 runners on base in game one, did so again in the top of the eighth. Third baseman Mikala King led off with a double to right field and was sacrificed over to third on a bunt from shortstop Caitlyn Friis, however, Brown was able to retire the next two batters to strand King on third.
Brown walked the first batter in the top of the ninth before the Retrievers went to the bullpen to bring in sophomore Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant). Clark walked two more batters to load the bases and a dribbler from catcher Taylor Chaffee to the right of the circle scored the game-winning run for the Bearcats.
Brown (5-11) tossed nine innings and surrendered three runs on nine hits. Kate Price (4-4) earned the win, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings.
Clark, UMBC’s game two starter, walked the bases loaded to open the contest. A fielder’s choice hit to the shortstop by Lisa Cardogan put Binghamton out in front, 1-0. Clark hit Phillips with a pitch to again load the bases for the Bearcats and Chaffee took advantage, driving in a run with a single to right. A sacrifice to left on the next at bat from King put BU on top, 3-0.
The Retrievers got one back in the bottom of the first, as O’Malley and Hall each recorded one-out singles to put runners on first and second. Junior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) reached on a fielding error by the shortstop and scored O’Malley from third.
UMBC registered just four more hits in the contest, opening the doors for the league’s top-ranked hitting squad to take advantage of the opportunity. The Bearcats finished the contest with 11 hits.
Clark (1-4) surrendered eight earned runs on seven hits, while Ionata allowed four earned runs on four hits in relief. Rhoda Marsteller (6-2) earned the victory, allowing one unearned and striking out six batters.