Seventh Inning Home Run Lifts UMBC Softball Past UNC-Wilmington, 5-3; Retrievers Fall to Liberty, 12-0

WILMINGTON, N.C. – UMBC softball's freshman outfielder Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) picked up her first hit as a Retriever in the top of the seventh inning, blasting a two-run home run to lift UMBC past UNC-Wilmington, 5-3, in the opening game of the Seahawk Classic on Saturday at Boseman Field, but the Retrievers fell in the nightcap, 12-0, in five innings to Liberty.

Buckley's home run came with one out and one on in the top of the seventh, with the Retrievers down 3-2. Pinch hitter Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) walked, followed by Buckley's blast into left field, but that was not all from UMBC in the frame. The Retrievers added further insurance with Katlin Olesky (Irvine, Calif./Northwood/Saddleback College) singling to right field and moving over to second on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough). Senior Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) drove O'Malley home with a double into center field.

In the bottom of the seventh, freshman pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) surrendered a lead-off double, but did not allow another ball out of the infield in the inning. Holte tossed the complete seven innings for her first collegiate victory. The rookie allowed three earned runs on 10 hits, while Seahawks' freshman pitcher Peyton Jordan (1-2) tossed 6.1 innings, allowing five earned runs on seven hits and fanning five batters in the loss.

The Retrievers took a two-run lead over UNC-Wilmington in the top of the fourth inning. With two outs, UMBC strung together three hits, a double from junior Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby), a single from senior Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) and a two-run double into center field from sophomore Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River).

UNC-Wilmington tallied all three of its runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Seahawks opened the frame with back-to-back bunt singles and followed with a sacrifice bunt advancing both runners. Two more sacrifices scored a pair of runs and a single from freshman Nella Chamblee gave the Seahawks a 3-2 advantage.

In game two, the Retrievers stranded nine runners and registered four errors in the five inning contest. Freshman pitcher Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) surrendered seven earned runs on 10 hits in her first collegiate start, while Liberty's Alyssa DiMartino (1-1) tossed the shutout victory.

Liberty hopped out in front 2-0 in the top of the first inning, stringing together a pair of singles and following with an RBI ground out to second base from junior Kelby Allen to take the one-run advantage. Another single, this time up the left field line by junior Hanna Nichols, extended the lead to 2-0.

A pair of UMBC errors in the top of the second, allowed the Lady Flames to take the 3-0 lead and a nine-run top of the fifth inning blew the contest open.

Sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) registered a team-best three hits on the day, while Hall tabbed a pair of doubles.

The Retrievers continue action on Sunday, Feb. 16 at the Seahawk Invitational, starting with a 10 p.m. matchup versus Norfolk State and closing out the day with a 4 p.m. rematch versus host UNC-Wilmington.