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Softball Completes Sweep, Pounds Maine, 10-0, in Regular-Season Finale
Kali Shirk went 3-for-4 with three RBI to improve her batting average against conference opponents to .368.
ORONO, Maine—The UMBC softball team (24-27, 12-9 AEC) scored six runs in the second inning and pitcher Ashley Gray tossed a one-hitter, as the visiting Retrievers completed a three-game sweep of America East rival Maine (11-39, 10-11 AEC) with a 10-0 victory in the regular-season finale Sunday afternoon at Mike Kessock Field. Winners of six of their last nine games, the Retrievers will be seeded fourth in the America East Championships, which will take place May 8-10 at top-seeded
Four straight Retrievers singled to lead off the second inning, the fourth by right fielder Carla O'Rourke driving in third baseman Emily Thompson with the first run of the game. With one out, catcher Kali Shirk singled in left fielder Lauren Brummell, and shortstop Dana Shepherd reached on an error to score designated player Krista Kearns. After Gray hit an RBI groundout to make the score 4-0, first baseman Amanda Fefel hit a two-run single through the right side to complete the scoring.
UMBC tacked on a single run in the fourth on a solo homer by Shirk, her second round-tripper in as many days.
Thompson then led off the seventh with a home run of her own, sparking a three-run rally that included a two-out RBI triple by center fielder Lynn Pronobis, who later scored on a single by Shirk.
Despite giving up just one hit, Gray pitched just one perfect inning – the sixth – as she walked seven batters. She escaped a second-and-third situation in the third by forcing shortstop Kristen Calvetti to pop up, then got out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fifth with a strikeout and a pop-up.
Gray struck out four batters and improved to 7-9 with her second complete-game shutout of the season. Christine McGivney got the start for
Every UMBC starter had at least one hit, as the Retrievers pounded out 15 base knocks in the game, led by Shirk, who produced her second three-hit performance of the week and added three RBI and scored twice. Gray, Thompson and first baseman Julia Culotta also had two hits in the game.
In three games, the Retrievers held the Black Bears - who entered the weekend as the best hitting team in conference games - to a .154 batting average (12-for-78). UMBC, on the other hand, collected 35 hits in the series and batted .368.
UMBC concludes the regular season with its second-best America East record at 12-9. Last season, the Retrievers finished 13-8 en route to the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
The Retrievers return to action Thursday in Albany, N.Y., when they take on the three-time defending league champion