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Licursi’s Walk-Off Homer Sends Retrievers to America East Championship Game, but UMBC Falls to Albany in Finals, 6-4
Krissy Licursi was named to the all-championship team after batting .545 and hitting a walk-off home run.
Boston-Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the second-seeded UMBC softball team (32-18) rattled off three straight hits, highlighted by a walk-off three-run home run by catcher Krissy Licursi, to defeat No. 3 Hartford (23-27) by a score of 3-2 Sunday morning at the Boston University Softball Field in the conclusion of Saturday’s suspended game. The Retrievers advanced to the America East championship game, where they fell to No. 4 Albany (33-15) 6-4.
The semifinal game was resumed with a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth inning.
But UMBC designated player Melanie Denischuk and first baseman Ashley Gray led off the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles, and Licursi crushed the ball over the left field fence to propel the Retrievers to the title game with the 3-2 victory.
UMBC starter Amanda Fefel (13-3) picked up the victory after allowing two runs on three hits and eight walks while striking out six. Brittany Stratton (16-12) suffered the loss after giving up three runs on seven hits and no walks while striking out five. Both pitchers went the distance in the game.
The Retrievers advanced to their first-ever America East title game and faced
Fefel gave UMBC an early 2-0 lead with a two-out two-run homer to left field in the top of the first, but Albany got them right back in the bottom of the inning when shortstop Meagan Butsch hit a three-run shot to center.
The score remained 3-2 until the top of the fifth when the Retrievers loaded the bases on three walks and scored on a fielder’s choice by Licursi, which led to two fielding errors and two runs on the play, giving UMBC a 4-3 lead.
Casey Halloran (18-9) picked up the victory for
Licursi, Fefel and center fielder Kali Shirk were named to the all-championship team. Licursi hit a team-best .545 (6-for-11) with two doubles, a home run and five RBI. Fefel batted .357 (5-for-14) with a double, a homer, three RBI and three runs scored. Shirk reached base at a .357 clip, scored two runs, stole two bases and played an outstanding center field.
“I’m very proud and excited with the way this team played with so much heart and intensity this year,” head coach Joe French said. “I would especially like to thank the six seniors for showing this team how to become a contender in the America East.”