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UMBC SOFTBALL TOPS GEORGE MASON, 9-3
Dana Shepherd went 3-for-4 with two RBI in the Retrievers' 9-3 win over George Mason.
UMBC struck first in the bottom of the first inning, as first baseman Melanie Denischuk (
UMBC starter Lauren Nicholson (Audubon, N.J./Paul VI) set down the Patriot batters in order in the top of the third, and the Retrievers added two more in the bottom of the inning. Denischuk singled with one out, catcher
George Mason threatened in the top of the fourth, as runners reached first and third with one out on a single, a sacrifice bunt and an error, but Nicholson struck out first baseman Kristin Dickel and got right fielder Dee Murray to fly out to left field. Three Patriot errors led to two more UMBC runs in the bottom of the inning, as the Retrievers took a 6-0 lead.
Nicholson struck out the side in the fifth, but the Retrievers went quietly in the inning, as well.
But the Patriots’ bats woke up in the top of the sixth, as catcher Emily Miller singled with one out, shortstop Kelsey Mack doubled and third baseman Kat Winter homered to center to pull George Mason to within three runs at 6-3. The Patriots brought the tying run to the plate with one out after pinch hitter Paige Miller reached on an error and Murray singled, but Nicholson escaped by getting two ground outs to end the inning.
The Retrievers got the three runs back in the bottom of the inning, all with two outs, as both center fielder Kali Shirk (
Second baseman Mandy Bach singled with one out in the top of the seventh, but Emily Miller grounded into a double play to end the game, as UMBC won, 9-3.
Nicholson went the distance and earned her ninth win of the season. At 9-0, she is off to the best start of her career. She allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out seven in the seven-inning complete game.
Rachel Hastings started for George Mason and suffered the loss, as she allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks with one strike out in 2.1 innings of work. Ali Bryan relieved her and gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk with one strikeout in three innings, while Arielle Weinkofsky finished the game and allowed two runs (none earned) on two hits and one walk in 0.2 innings.
Shepherd led the Retrievers with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and also drove in two runs. Denischuk was 2-for-2 with three runs scored and an RBI, while
Emily Miller went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Winter was 1-for-1 with a run and three RBI.
The Retrievers return to action this weekend, as they host the UMBC Spring Classic, March 24-26. They will take on Sacred Heart at 1:30 p.m. and St. Francis (N.Y.) at 3:30 p.m. Friday, then face