BALTIMORE – UMBC softball looks to continue its non-conference success as it heads into its final weekend before America East play when the Retrievers host the 11th Annual UMBC Spring Classic. Due to field conditions at the UMBC Softball Stadium, the schedule has been updated from its original form.
The Retrievers will open the weekend with a doubleheader on Friday, March 21, beginning with a 1:45 p.m. matchup against Sacred Heart and following with a meeting against Saint Peter's. On Saturday, March 22, UMBC will start a doubleheader at 12:45 p.m. against the Peacocks and following with a matchup versus the Pioneers. The Retrievers conclude the weekend with a 2 p.m. contest against Mount St. Mary's on Sunday, March 23.
UMBC is off to its second-best start under head coach Joe French, posting a 17-6 record heading into its final weekend of non-conference play. French, a former women's basketball and tennis coach, earned his 800th career coaching victory in the final game of the UMBC Dawg Pound Invitational. The Retrievers defeated Hampton, 6-1, behind the reigning America East Pitcher of the Week Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) and a trio of long balls from UMBC's offense to conclude a 5-2 week.
The Retrievers are batting .293 as a team and are hitting at a .330 clip with runners in scoring position. Junior catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) leads the way with a .403 batting average and a .667 slugging percentage. The junior has 11 extra base hits on the season and has driven in 23 runs. Senior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) has added clutch hitting of her own, launching a team-best five home runs and batting in 22 runs. Freshman center fielder Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) has posted a .400 on-base percentage and is hitting .380 in her rookie campaign.
In the circle, the Retrievers have seen great production out of their rookie rotation. Holte became the fastest Retriever to reach 11 victories (11-1) and is posting a team-low 1.78 ERA. Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) is holding opponents to a .261 batting average and has already recorded a perfect game and a shutout during her time with the Retrievers. Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) has been victorious in three-of-four decisions and has allowed a team-low 16 earned runs in 35 innings of work.
Sacred Heart (5-7) has dropped three straight coming into the weekend, including a pair to America East foe Stony Brook on Sunday. The Pioneers are led offensively by senior outfielder Jade Bowins' .359 batting average and .432 on-base percentage. Senior catcher Annie Dreher has tallied four extra base hits and has a team-best six RBI. In the circle, Jamie Carlson has struck out 26 batters in 36.0 innings of work and is posting a 3.69 ERA.
Saint Peter's (3-13) fell in six of eight games at the Rebel Games in Orlando, Fla. over spring break. Sophomore Lee Harrison is batting a team-best .333 with three home runs and eight runs batted in. In the circle, Crystal Carlucci is accounted for two of Saint Peter's three victories, seeing 40.1 innings of action and striking out 25 batters.
Mount St. Mary's (8-11-1) dropped three-of-four at the Coppin State Invitational last weekend. Senior Cat Clifford and freshman Jessica Greenewald are each batting .273 for the season. Clifford has tallied seven RBI on a team-best five extra base hits, while sophomore Rachel Gavigan and junior Holly Buckel have combined for 21 runs batted in. In the circle, red-shirt senior Pagano has posted a 7-5 overall mark with a 1.27 ERA. The senior has posted 93 strikeouts in 71.2 innings of work.
Bowling Green will play a doubleheader at Mount St. Mary's on Friday and face Sacred Heart and Saint Peter's in early action on Saturday at UMBC. BGSU (6-13-1) split a doubleheader against North Florida in its latest action, falling in the opener, 4-0, before defeating the Ospreys, 2-1. Senior Katie Yoho is batting a team-best .328 with nine runs batted in. Senior Erika Stratton has driven in a team-best 11 runs. In the circle, Jamie Kertes has appeared in all 20 games, making 11 starts and posting a 2.58 ERA. The junior pitcher has 56 strikeouts in 73.1 innings of work.
UMBC Spring Classic Game Schedule
Friday, March 21
1:45 p.m. UMBC vs. Sacred Heart
3:45 p.m. UMBC vs. Saint Peter's
@Mount St. Mary's
2:30 p.m. Mount St. Mary's vs. Bowling Green
4:30 p.m. Bowling Green vs. Mount St. Mary's
Saturday, March 22
8:45 a.m. Sacred Heart vs. Bowling Green
10:45 a.m. Bowling Green vs. Saint Peter's
12:45 p.m. UMBC vs. Saint Peter's
2:45 p.m. UMBC vs. Sacred Heart
Sunday, March 23
10 a.m. Saint Peter's vs. Mount St. Mary's
12 p.m. Sacred Heart vs. Saint Peter's
2 p.m. UMBC vs. Mount St. Mary's