February 16, 2014

Softball Splits on Final Day of the Seahawk Invitational

WILMINGTON, N.C. – UMBC softball's senior Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) batted in three runs on a 1-1 afternoon for the Retrievers. UMBC opened the day with a 5-3 victory versus Norfolk State, but closed out the Seahawk Invitational with a 4-3 loss to host UNC-Wilmington on Sunday at Boseman Field.

UMBC finished out its season-opening weekend with a 2-2 overall record, while Norfolk State dropped to 0-3 and UNC-Wilmington moved to 4-3.

The Retrievers put one on the board early in game one, as a one-out double into left center field from sophomore Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) put a runner in scoring position for Chance. Chance knocked a two-out single up the middle to put the Retrievers on the board in the top of the first.

UMBC was able to add to its advantage in the top of the third, again with two outs. Junior Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) singled to left field and back-to-back doubles from freshman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) and Chance extended the Retrievers' advantage to 3-0. The Spartans were able to get one back in the bottom half of the inning, as a leadoff fielding error from the Retrievers allowed for senior Nikki Jones to advance to third, setting up an RBI single from sophomore Heather Dunning.

The Retrievers knocked NSU's starting pitcher senior Jamie Schulle out of the game after stringing together four straight hits to start out the fourth inning. UMBC would score two runs in the frame, with senior Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) and O'Malley picking up an RBI in the frame. Schulle allowed all five earned runs in three innings of work, despite fanning five batters.

Three straight singles and a fielder's choice in the bottom of the sixth inning scored two runs for Norfolk State to make it a two-run ballgame, 5-3, but UMBC starting pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) held off the Spartans in the bottom of the seventh to earn her second complete game victory of the weekend. Holte finished the afternoon with six strikeouts and surrendered two earned runs.

Freshman Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) was a perfect three-for-three from the dish in game one and finished the day with four hits in six at bats.

In game two, the Retrievers scored all three of their runs in the third inning and held an advantage until the host Seahawks were able to punch home a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to snag the come-from-behind victory.

UNC-Wilmington took a one-run lead in the second inning, as a walk from junior Jessica Rappe, coupled with a double from freshman Merritt Wilkinson and a sacrifice from sophomore Erin Brown brought home the game's first run. The Retrievers wasted no time responding, once again doing all of their damage with two outs in the inning. Hall doubled to center field to score the runners on first and second and Jackson followed with a single through the right side to drive in pinch runner Kathleen Sharp (Toms River, N.J./Toms River/Brookdale CC) from second.

Pitcher Peyton Jordan (2-2) got the last out of the third inning and went on to pitch 4.1 scoreless innings to pick up the victory.

A lead-off single in the bottom of the fourth, followed by a triple from Wilkinson brought the Seahawks back within one, 3-2. Wilkinson continued to be a problem for the Retrievers, as her two-run home run in the sixth proved to be the difference in the contest. Wilkinson finished the contest with three hits and three RBI.

Lane (0-1) surrendered four earned runs in six innings and struck out three.

The Retrievers return to action on Tuesday, Feb. 18 when it travels to George Mason for a single game.