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Gray Pitches 12 Scoreless Innings in Loss, but Retrievers Take Game Two for French’s 200th UMBC victory in Doubleheader Split with Maine
Ashley Gray pitched 12 scoreless innings in Game One but suffered the loss.
Baltimore-Facing the 2006 America East regular season champions for the first time since knocking them out of the playoffs last May, the UMBC softball team (14-7, 1-1 America East) split a doubleheader with Maine (16-16, 1-1 America East) on Opening Day of conference play Saturday afternoon at UMBC Softball Stadium. The Black Bears took the first game, 3-1, in 13 innings, before the Retrievers won Game Two, 7-0. The victory was head coach Joe French’s 200th at UMBC.
UMBC junior Ashley Gray pitched 12 scoreless innings in Game One, retiring 10 straight batters to start the game and 15 in a row later on, but she ran into trouble in the 13th. She hit leadoff batter Whitney Spangler, and second baseman Ashley Waters reached on an error before shortstop Kristen Calvetti homered to left field to break the scoreless tie.
Gray (3-4) struck out 12 and allowed just five hits and a walk in 13 innings but suffered the loss. She took a one-hitter into the 10th and had allowed just three hits before Calvetti’s home run.
The Retrievers out-hit
UMBC’s only run came in the bottom of the 13th when the first three batters reached base on a walk by designated player Amanda Fefel and back-to-back singles by Gray and shortstop Riley Ward. But reigning America East Rookie of the Year Jenna Balent came in to relieve starting pitcher Christine McGivney and induced a double play ball off the bat of center fielder Kali Shirk and got catcher Krissy Licursi to fly out to end the game.
McGivney picked up the victory after pitching 12 innings and allowing one run on 10 hits, a walk and four strike outs. Balent earned the save.
Ward and second baseman Dana Shepherd each had three hits in the game, including two doubles apiece.
Game Two was a different story, as the Retrievers jumped on
UMBC sent eight batters to the plate in the third and scored twice on a hit, three walks and an error. The Retrievers batted around in the fifth, adding four more runs on five hits and chasing Balent from the game.
Denischuk was 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBI in the game. Gray and Licursi also drove in two runs apiece.
The reigning America East Pitcher and Rookie of the Week, Fefel (6-1) pitched six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits and two walks while striking out three. She retired the first eight batters she faced and had a no-hitter through 4.2 innings. Senior Jessica Taylor finished off the shutout, just UMBC’s second of the season, allowing two hits and a walk and striking out a batter in the seventh.
Balent allowed seven runs on eight hits and three walks while striking out three in 4.2 innings and suffered the loss. Cayleigh Montano pitched the final 1.1 innings and held the Retrievers scoreless on one hit and two walks.
The Retrievers and Black Bears play the rubber match of the three-game series Sunday at at UMBC Softball Stadium.