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RETRIEVER SOFTBALL WINS TWO MORE TO TAKE UMBC DAWG POUND TOURNAMENT TITLE
Kali Shirk went 5-for-7 with five runs scored, two home runs, and four RBI in two games Sunday.
The top-seeded Retrievers rode the long ball to the 9-0 five-inning victory over No. 4 Howard in the first game, as three different players hit four home runs, including two by center fielder Kali Shirk.
Shirk led off the game with a homer to straightaway center field, her first of the season. Two batters later, designated player Melanie Denischuk hit a solo shot of her own to right field to give UMBC the early 2-0 lead.
With one out in the second, right fielder Krista Kearns singled and pitcher Amy Sadowl walked two batters later, and they both crossed the plate on Shirk’s second roundtripper of the game to give the Retrievers a 5-0 lead.
After a quiet third inning, UMBC plated four more runs in the fourth, all with two outs. Shirk doubled to center and stole third, then scored on a balk.
Sadowl pitched brilliantly, retiring the first nine Bison batters in order. She picked up the win and improved to 3-2 on the season, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out five in the complete game shutout.
Dale McNeal suffered the loss for Howard after allowing nine runs (six earned) on nine hits and three walks while striking out two.
Shirk was 3-for-3 with two home runs, four RBI and three runs scored in the game. Ward was 1-for-3 with three RBI, and Denischuk was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
The championship game turned out to be a nail-biter against second-seeded St. Francis. The Red Flash out-hit the Retrievers, 13-6 in the game.
UMBC had runners on second and third in the first inning but was unable to capitalize. But an inning later the Retrievers struck for four runs. Second baseman Ashlea Underwood singled to right field with one out in the second inning, then advanced to second base on a fielder’s choice by catcher Krissy Licursi, who was also safe on the play. Left fielder Courtney O’Hara singled to left field to plate Underwood, and Shirk singled to load the bases. Shore walked to drive in Carla O’Rourke, who pinch ran for Licursi, and Denischuk was hit by a pitch to score O’Hara.
With the bases still loaded, Laura Caldwell relieved Janelle McCoy for St. Francis. The next batter, Ward reached on a fielder’s choice to drive in Shirk for the 4-0 UMBC lead.
Senior Lauren Nicholson escaped jams of in each of the first three innings after allowing two hits in each frame, but could not get out of trouble in the fourth. With the bottom of the Red Flash order due up, Nicholson walked center fielder Nichole Bender to lead off the inning, then allowed a single to right fielder Ashley Harlan and a double to left fielder Christine McDonald, which plated both runners. With one out, second baseman Kelly Slingwine doubled to right-center to score MacDonald and bring St. Francis back to within one run at 4-3, and that would be the end of the road for Nicholson.
The Retrievers got one run back in the bottom of the fourth, as Shirk led off with an infield single and stole second base, her career-high 20th steal of the season and UMBC-record 37th in a row. With one out, Denischuk doubled to left field to drive in Shirk and give the Retrievers a two-run advantage at 5-3.
Both teams went quietly in the fifth, but MacDonald led off the top of the sixth with a single to right field, advanced to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a one-out single by Slingwine and scored on a single by third baseman Richelle Hall. But
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Bender singled and Harlan walked, but
McCoy suffered the loss for St. Francis after allowing four runs (three earned) on three hits and two walks while striking out three in 1.1 innings.
Shirk went 2-for-4 in the game with two runs scored, while Denischuk was 1-for-3 with two RBI.
In the two games on the day, Shirk was a red-hot 5-for-7 (.714) with five runs scored, two home runs, a double, two steals and four RBI. Denischuk was 3-for-6 (.500) with two runs scored, a home run, a double and three RBI.
In the six games on the weekend, Denischuk hit .562 (9-for-16) with four runs scored, two home runs, 11 RBI and 16 total bases. She held a 1.000 slugging percentage and reached base at a .579 clip. Kearns went 5-for-9 (.562) with a home run, two runs scored and two RBI at the plate, and also won three games in the circle, posting a stellar 1.14 ERA with 13 strikeouts in 12.1 innings, as she allowed only two runs on eight hits and two walks.
Shirk led the Retrievers with 10 hits and 11 runs scored in the six games, as she hit .476 (10-for-21) and posted two doubles, two home runs, 18 total bases and four RBI.
In the day’s other games, Howard defeated UMES, 11-3, in five innings; and St. Francis defeated
UMBC won the Dawg Pound Tournament with a 6-0 record, while St. Francis finished second at 4-2.
The Retrievers return to action Tuesday, March 12, as they head to LaSalle for a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m.
Second Annual UMBC Dawg Pound Tournament
Friday, March 10,
St. Francis (
UMBC 6, St. Francis (
UMBC 9, Howard 5
Saturday, March 11, 2006 – Pool Play
Howard 11, UMES 0 (5 innings)
St. Francis 3,
UMBC 9, UMES 0 (5 innings)
Sunday, March 12, 2006 – Bracket Play
No. 4 Howard 11, No. 5 UMES 3 (5 innings)
No. 2 St. Francis 4, No. 3 Vermont 2
No. 1 UMBC 9, No. 4 Howard 0 (5 innings)
No. 1 UMBC 5, No. 2 St. Francis 4
Dawg Pound Tournament Champion: UMBC
Dawg Pound Tournament Runner-Up: St. Francis (