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Retriever Softball Takes Two at UMBC Dawg Pound Tournament
Kali Shirk hit a two-run homer to lead UMBC past St. Francis.
Baltimore-The UMBC softball team (4-1) won two games on the second day of the UMBC Dawg Pound Tournament, defeating Bucknell 5-3 and St. Francis (
The Retrievers got on the board early against Bucknell, scoring two runs in the first inning. Junior center fielder Kali Shirk led off the game with a single and a stolen base, then scored on a one-out sacrifice fly by senior Melanie Denischuk. Junior Ashley Gray then hit her first home run in a UMBC uniform for a 2-0 lead.
The Bison scored one run in the third, fourth and fifth innings to take a 3-2 advantage, but the Retrievers regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore Krista Kearns singled and advanced to second on a throwing error, then scored on shortstop Dana Shepherd’s RBI single before Denischuk tripled to right to plate Shepherd for the 4-3 lead.
UMBC added an insurance run in the sixth on a solo homer by catcher Krissy Licursi.
In the second game, St. Francis took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but freshman Amanda Fefel and Shepherd hit solo shots in the second and third, respectively, to put UMBC on top, 2-1.
Freshman Ashleigh Robinson walked with one out in the top of the fifth, then came around to score on Shirk’s two-run blast, giving UMBC a 4-1 lead. The Red Flash added a run in the bottom of the fifth on an error, but the Retrievers held on for the 4-2 win.
Shepherd went 2-for-3 with an RBI in the game, while Shirk was 1-for-4 with two runs driving in. Three of UMBC’s six hits in the game were home runs.
Gray gave up two runs – none earned – on two hits and a walk to pick up her first UMBC victory.
In the first five games this season, UMBC pitchers have thrown five complete games, and the Retrievers have won four in a row and are off to their best start in head coach Joe French’s tenure.
In the first two games of the day, St. Francis defeated Howard, 8-5, and Howard took down Bucknell, 8-5.
In Sunday’s bracket play, third-seeded Howard will take on No. 2 St. Francis at 9:30 a.m. before top-seeded UMBC faces No. 4 Bucknell at 11:30 a.m. The championship game will take place at 1:30 p.m., and the consolation game, weather permitting, will be played at 3:30 p.m.
Third Annual UMBC Dawg Pound Tournament
Friday, March 9 – Pool Play
St. Francis (Pa.) 2, Bucknell 1
UMBC 3, Howard 0
Saturday March 10 – Pool Play
St. Francis (Pa.) 8, Howard 5
Howard 8, Bucknell 5
UMBC 5, Bucknell 3
UMBC 54, St. Francis (Pa.) 2
Sunday March 11 – Championship Bracket Play
9:30 a.m. No. 2 St. Francis vs. No. 3 Howard
11:30 a.m. No. 1 UMBC vs. No. 4 Bucknell
1:30 p.m. Championship Game
3:30 p.m. Consolation Game