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RETRIEVER SOFTBALL WINS AMERICA EAST OPENER OVER HARTFORD, 10-3
Melanie Denischuk went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBI in the series opener against Hartford.
West Hartford, Conn.-The UMBC softball team (29-8, 1-0 AEC) out-hit Hartford, 17-1, to open America East Conference play with a 10-3 victory over the Hawks (3-8, 0-1 AEC) Saturday afternoon at the new Hartford Softball Field. The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed due to darkness after four innings with the Retrievers leading, 12-1, and will be concluded Sunday at before the series finale.
UMBC struck first in the top of the second on three straight singles by right fielder Carla O’Rourke, left fielder Courtney O’Hara and center fielder Kali Shirk to go up 1-0. The Retrievers extended their lead to 3-0 in the top of the fourth, as Shirk singled with two outs, third baseman Reilly Ward hit and RBI double to center and first baseman Melanie Denischuk drove her in with an RBI single.
The Hawks got one back in the bottom of the inning on a walk, a stolen base and an error, then tied it up in the fifth, as four straight batters reached base with two outs.
But the Retrievers went back up by three in the top of the sixth, as four straight batters reached base to lead off the inning. Shirk doubled, Ward singled her in, Denischuk doubled and shortstop Dana Shepherd singled in Ward. With one out, catcher
UMBC broke it wide open in the seventh, scoring four runs on four hits and two errors for the 10-3 victory. Denischuk singled in two runs and designated player Jessica Griffith hit a two-run double.
Freshman Krista Kearns pitched a complete game one-hitter to pick up the win for UMBC, allowing three runs, only one of which was earned. She walked six and struck out eight in seven innings.
Nicole McMillon suffered the loss for
Six Retrievers tallied multiple hits in the game, including Shirk (3-for-5, double, one RBI, three runs), Ward (2-for-4, double, two RBI, three runs), Denischuk (3-for-4, double, three RBI, one run), Shepherd (2-for-4, one RBI), Griffith (2-for-5, double, two RBI) and O’Hara (3-for-4, one run).
The second game of Saturday's doubleheader did not begin until after due to a rain delay. UMBC was leading 12-1 before play was halted after four innings due to darkness. The contest will be completed Sunday at before the teams play the scheduled third game of the series. The Retrievers hit two long balls in the four innings, including a three-run shot by Denischuk in the second and a grand slam by Shepherd in the third.