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Softball Advances to Spring Classic Championship Game with Split on Day Two; Shepherd Collects 200th Career Hit
Dana Shepherd collected five hits on the day, including the 200th of her career.
BALTIMORE—The UMBC softball team (9-12) split two more games on the second day of the UMBC Spring Classic, falling to Niagara, 7-6, in the final pool game, before defeating Mount St. Mary’s, 6-2, in bracket play. The Retrievers will take on St. Francis (
Niagara took a 2-0 lead off a wild Krista Kearns in the first inning, capitalizing on two hit batters, a wild pitch and a walk, when left fielder Jenna Baker roped a two-run single down the left field line.
The Retrievers scored four times with two outs in the third to take a 4-2 lead, as second baseman Dana Shepherd and designated player Amanda Fefel hit RBI singles, and
But the Purple Eagles answered back with two of their own in the bottom of the third on a two-run home run to center by Baker to tie the score at 4-4. An inning later, first baseman Tory Healy homered to left to drive in two more and give
Culotta drove in another run in the fifth on a single to center that plated Shepherd, who had reached on an infield hit. The Purple Eagles then got one more in the bottom of the sixth when Baker reached on an error that allowed right fielder Kristin Sito to score.
The Retrievers tried to rally in the seventh, as they loaded the bases with two outs, but they only got one run when left fielder Lauren Brummell reached on an error.
Fefel suffered the loss after allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings of relief. Cassie Stone picked up the victory for
Shepherd led the Retrievers offensively, as she went 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Her two-bagger in the first inning was the 200th hit of her career, making her just the sixth player in UMBC history to reach that milestone.
Baker led the Purple Eagles at the plate with a 2-for-4 effort and four RBI.
The Retrievers used a five-run first inning to take control of the game. With one out, Shepherd tripled to right-center to drive in center fielder Lynn Pronobis, who had reached on an error. After Fefel grounded out, Kearns singled down the left field line and opened the flood gates for five straight base hits, with the big blow coming on a two-run single by designated player Ashley Gray. Shortstop Jessica Vetock also drove in a run in the inning, as UMBC sent 11 batters to the plate.
UMBC starter Stephanie Weigman took a shutout into the sixth, but gave up two runs in the inning when left fielder Courtney Zingle homered to left. The Retrievers got one run back in the bottom of the inning when catcher Kali Shirk reached on an error and eventually came around to score on a single by Fefel.
Weigman picked up the complete game victory after allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven. Jamie Fowler suffered the loss, despite not allowing an earned run. She was charged with five unearned runs on 10 hits and a walk in four innings, while Amanda Hanson pitched the final two frames and gave up one unearned run on two hits. Neither Mount pitcher struck out a UMBC batter.
The Retrievers collected 12 hits in the game, with two apiece by Shepherd, Fefel and Culotta.
After struggling through the first 14 games of the season, Shepherd has gotten a hit in all four games of the UMBC Spring Classic and is batting .533 (8-for-15) with three extra-base hits and four RBI in the tournament.
In the other bracket game, fourth-seeded St. Francis defeated top-seed
UMBC Spring Classic Results
Thursday, March 20 – Pool Play
Game 2: Niagara 13, St. Francis (
Game 3: UMBC 3, St. Francis (
Friday, March 21 – Pool/Bracket Play
Game 1: St. Francis (
Game 3: No. 4 St. Francis (
Game 4: No. 2 UMBC 6,