Email This Page
Softball Completes Sweep of Vermont, Extends Scoreless Inning Streak to 30 With Two More Shutouts
Ashley Gray got it done at the plate and on the mound in UMBC's doubleheader sweep of Vermont.
Baltimore-The UMBC softball team (24-8, 9-2 America East) continued its dominant pitching with to more shutouts, defeating America East rival Vermont (9-22, 2-9 America East) by scores of 9-0 and 1-0 Saturday afternoon at UMBC Softball Stadium. The Retrievers, who completed the three-game sweep over the Catamounts with their fourth and fifth consecutive shutouts, have not allowed a run in five straight games spanning 30 innings, and also extended their winning streak to 10.
The Retrievers first got on the board in the second inning of the first game, when first baseman Ashley Gray led off with a double off the fence and scored on a wild pitch.
UMBC loaded the bases with none out in the third when second baseman Dana Shepherd doubled, center fielder Kali Shirk reached on a bunt single and designated player Melanie Denischuk was hit by a pitch. Shepherd scored on a sacrifice fly by starting pitcher Amanda Fefel to give the Retrievers a 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Gray crushed a three-run home run to center for a 5-0 UMBC advantage.
Fefel added a run with a two-out solo homer in the fifth, and Shirk ended the game with a three-run shot with two outs in the sixth, giving the Retrievers the 9-0 victory.
Shirk went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Gray was 2-for-3 with two runs and three RBI to lead UMBC at the plate. Shepherd also had two hits – both doubles – and scored twice.
Fefel (9-1) worked in and out of jams, allowing at least one base runner in all but the fifth inning. She picked up the complete game victory after allowing four hits and five walks while striking out four in six innings.
Alison Daggett also went the distance in the loss for
Gray (9-4) started game two on the mound for the Retrievers and extended her personal scoreless streak to 21 consecutive innings, as she has not allowed a run in four games. She picked up the victory with a three-hit complete game, walking two and striking out 11.
Gray struck out the side in the second and third innings, her only blemish in those two frames a two-out walk to right fielder Sarah Toczylowski in the third. At one point, nine consecutive outs were recorded by strikeout.
Aimee Kern was the hard-luck loser for the Catamounts, as she gave up just one run on five hits and one walk while striking out six in 6.1 innings of work.
The Catamounts nearly took the lead in the top of the seventh inning, when they had runners on first and third with two outs. Catcher Krissy Licursi allowed a passed ball and the runner on third, Kate DeForge, took off for home, but Licursi recovered the ball and threw it to Gray, who tagged DeForge out at the plate to preserve the scoreless tie.
In the bottom of the inning, Gray walked to lead off the inning and Heather Bennett pinch ran for her. Bennett advanced to second on a groundout by shortstop Reilly Ward, then scored on a game-winning triple by right fielder Krista Kearns.
“Our pitching has been outstanding, our hitting has been outstanding and we’ve played great defense,” UMBC head coach Joe French said after the game, referring to his team’s shutout streak.
Between games of the doubleheader, the Retrievers celebrated the fifth anniversary of the 2002 team that won a school-record 47 games, won the Northeast Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where they won a best-of-three play-in series over Bethune-Cookman, as well as a game in the Regionals.
Several members of the 2002 team were honored in a ceremony, including outfielders Crystal Beveridge and Abbie Kahn, third baseman Sarah Crowell, pitcher Kristin Dulay, utility players Christy French and Kristin Rynning, first baseman Kristie Pickeral, second baseman Christie Sheppard and pitching coach Joe Cunningham.
The Retrievers return to action Tuesday, April 17, when they host local rival