Long Ball Helps UMBC Softball Sweep Day Two of Spartan Classic

NORFOLK, Va. – The UMBC softball team used five home runs, including two from sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern), to sweep day two of the Spartan Classic on Sunday afternoon at NSU Softball Field. The Retrievers defeated Monmouth, 8-3, in game one and followed by avenging yesterday's loss to Norfolk State with an 8-1 victory versus the Spartans.

The Retrievers (9-3) registered 23 hits on the afternoon and batted .343 as a team. Five players hit above .350 on the day, including a team-best .571 from O'Neill. Junior Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) hit at a .500 clip and drove in a team-best six runs.

In game one, UMBC was able to put one run on the board in both the first and third innings. Sophomore Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) doubled in the opening frame and Hall drove her in with a single to right center. In the third, O'Neill led off the inning with a solo home run into left center.

Bertoglio added to the Retrievers' advantage in the fifth inning with a three-run home run, giving UMBC a 5-0 lead. O'Neill and O'Malley started in the inning with back-to-back singles before Bertoglio launched her first home run of the season. Monmouth helped the Retrievers to add three more in the sixth, walking a pair of batters and adding a two-out error that extended the inning, allowing Hall to seize the opportunity with a three-run double.

The Retrievers did allow Monmouth to get three back in the bottom half of the inning, as UMBC started the frame with an error and MU added a trio of singles, including a two-run single from Raelynn Galindo, however, it was not enough to complete the comeback.

UMBC freshman pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) (6-0) did not allow an earned run in the complete game victory. Sydney Underhill was credited with the loss, allowing five earned runs on 11 hits in 5.2 innings.

UMBC allowed its only earned run of the day in the first inning of game two. Norfolk State started the contest with three straight singles off starting pitcher Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) to take a one-run lead, but Casagrand would settle in, allowing just five more hits in the contest to pick up her second win of the season (1-2).

The Retrievers exploded for a five-run second inning, coming on five hits. O'Neill and Chance homered in the frame as UMBC took the lead and would not look back. NSU's starting pitcher Liz Riley (0-4) exited the game in the inning, having surrendered six hits and five earned runs.

UMBC added one unearned run in the fourth and a two-run home run from Hall in the sixth en route to its second victory of the day.

The Retrievers' game set for Tuesday, March 4 at George Washington has been moved to March 25 due to anticipation of inclement weather in the area. UMBC is set to return to action on Thursday, March 6 when it hosts Buffalo at 2:30 at UMBC Stadium.