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SOFTBALL ENDS LOSING SKID, TAKES SERIES FINALE FROM STONY BROOK, 3-1
Lauren Nicholson pitched a gem on Senior Day, allowing just one run on four hits.
Dana Shepherd drove in all three of the Retrievers' runs with a three-run homer in the first inning.
The Retrievers’ 42 wins are the most since the 2002 team won a UMBC-record 47 games and tie the 1997 team for second-most wins in school history. The Retrievers have also reached double figures in America East victories for the first time since joining the league in 2004.
UMBC scored all three runs in the first inning. Stony Brook starter Sarah Hoffman intentionally walked third baseman Melanie Denischuk to lead off the frame. Denischuk has received a free pass 12 times in the last four games, including eight intentional walks. She walked three times on Sunday, all intentional.
Denischuk was erased when left fielder Reilly Ward reached on a fielder’s choice. Ward then stole second base and advanced to third when center fielder Kali Shirk reached on an error by the left fielder. Both runners scored on Shepherd’s career-high seventh home run of the season.
Shepherd’s homer was the Retrievers’ first since the second game of the
Nicholson retired the first six batters in order but ran into a bit of trouble in the top of the third. Designated player Sara Cerrone singled up the middle and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. With one out, left fielder Kelsi Fanelli walked and right fielder Ashley Westphal singled to center to drive in Cerrone for the Seawolves’ only run of the game. Nicholson got the next batter to ground out to Denischuk, who stepped on the bag for the unassisted putout to end the inning.
Including the last out of the third, Nicholson retired nine batters in order until allowing a two-out single to first baseman Hayley Durham in the top of the sixth. Hoffman also settled down, allowing just four hits after the fateful first inning.
Nicholson improves to 17-2 on the season with the complete game victory. She ties Angie Amedro for the second-most wins in a single season at UMBC, just one behind her own school record of 18. In addition, her .895 winning percentage in 2006 is the best ever by a Retriever pitcher.
On her Senior Day, Nicholson allowed one run on four hits and one walk while striking out three in seven innings. Hoffman suffered the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks while striking out five in the six-inning complete game.
Right fielder Heather Bennett was the only Retriever with multiple hits, as she went 2-for-3 on the day.
Before the game, the Retrievers honored seniors Nicholson, Amy Sadowl, Jessica Griffith, Ashlea Underwood and Jessica Keenan, who were playing in the final home game of their careers.
The Retrievers return to action Wednesday, May 3, when they travel to