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UMBC SOFTBALL SPLITS WITH LIU; HANDS BLACKBIRDS THEIR FIRST NEC LOSS
The Retrievers concluded the Northeast Conference regular season with a doubleheader split against Long Island University (28-22, 21-1 NEC) in what would be a preview of next week's NEC championship game. The Blackbirds, who had their perfect regular season ended today, go into the tournament as the top seed, while UMBC (40-17, 18-4 NEC) enters at the number two spot. In game one, sophomore Maggie Foster singled home Sonia Zapata with the winning run in the ninth inning to give LIU a 4-3 victory. UMBC's only lead came in the third inning when senior Deanna Vecchio led off with a single to left field. Freshman Kristie Pickeral reached on an error by junior hurler Crystal Eubanks and Vecchio advanced to second. Eubanks then walked Jess Graziano to load the bases, and senior Bonnie Nevin blasted a two-run double to center field. Retriever senior Angie Amedro (15-7) surrendered four runs on 13 hits, while walking three and fanning three to suffer the loss.In the second game, senior Linsi Moy silenced LIU bats by tossing a three-hit shutout, marking the Blackbirds' first conference loss of the season. UMBC received all the offensive support Moy would need in the opening frame on an RBI-single by Graziano. The Retrievers added an insurance run in the sixth on a long homerun to left field by Pickeral. Moy (14-5), who earned her seventh win in conference play without a defeat, scattered three hits, while walking one and striking out five. UMBC finishes the regular season on May 1 with a non-conference doubleheader at Delaware. The NEC Tournament begins on May 3 at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.