BALTIMORE – UMBC softball exploded for 10 runs in a shutout five-inning victory against Saint Peter's in its opening game of the day, but was unable to carry its hard-hitting offense into the UMBC Spring Classic finale, falling to Mount St. Mary's, 5-0, on Sunday afternoon at UMBC Softball Stadium.
It was all Retrievers (19-9) in the day's second game, as the black and gold were able to avenge yesterday's 4-2 loss to the Peacocks, with UMBC starting pitcher Nicole Casagrand (Horsham Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) picking up her first collegiate shutout. UMBC posted all 10 of its runs in the third and fourth innings, including a seven-run fourth.
A pair of lead-off walks and a rocket up the middle from sophomore Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) loaded the bases for the Retrievers in the bottom of the third inning. A Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) walk scored the first run of the frame, while freshmen Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) and Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) each chipped in an RBI to put UMBC out in front, 3-0.
A two-out solo home run in the bottom of the fourth from sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) started a seven-run inning for the Retrievers. The SPU pitching staff helped UMBC in the frame, walking and hitting a combined five batters, while the Retrievers added four timely hits to take a 10-0 advantage.
Casagrand faced 19 batters in the five innings and allowed two hits and one walk in the win. Tori Feorenzo suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs on two hits in two innings. Crystal Carlucci surrendered seven runs on five hits in 1.2 innings of relief work.
O'Neill reached base safely in all four of her plate appearances and was one of three Retrievers to finish the contest with two hits, including O'Malley and Buckley. Buckley finished with a game-high three runs batted in.
Errors plagued the Retrievers in the finale, with all five of the Mount's runs being unearned. An UMBC miscue in the opening inning allowed a single up the middle from Holly Buckel to put Mount St. Mary's on top 1-0.
Starting pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) and the Retrievers were able to escape a jam untouched in the top of the fourth inning, as the Mount failed to add to a 1-0 lead, despite loading the bases with one out. In the bottom half of the frame, UMBC found itself with a runner on third after a lead-off single, passed ball and ground out, but the Retrievers were unable to capitalize as starting pitcher Nicole Pagano registered one of her 10 strikeouts in the contest.
A lead-off error in the top of the sixth inning proved to be costly for the Retrievers, as the Mount distanced themselves with two more runs, each scoring on a single from catcher Rachel Heinze. Mount St. Mary's added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Holte fell to 11-3 on the season, while Pagano moved to 8-5.
UMBC's game against George Washington has been moved from Tuesday, March 25 to Thursday, March 27. First pitch is set for 3 p.m. at GW Softball Field.