Krista Kearns hit her first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning.
FARMVILLE, Va.—Right fielder Krista Kearns (Santa Fe Springs, Calif./Santa Fe) homered and Julia Culotta (Street, Md./North Harford/Tennessee) three 3.2 effective innings in her collegiate pitching debut as the UMBC softball team (2-6) defeated Iona (0-6) by a score of 4-3 in a five-inning rain-shortened game on Saturday at the Longwood Spring Classic. The Retrievers’ games against Central Connecticut State and the host Lancers were cancelled due to inclement weather.
UMBC scored three runs in the top of the first inning, as second baseman Lauren Brummell (Hanover, Va./Hanover) led off with a single and scored on Kearns’ monster home run to left-center. With two outs, catcher Amanda Page (Batavia, N.Y./Batavia/Monroe CC) doubled home first baseman Lauren O'Malley (Pasadena, Md./Archbishop Spalding), who had also doubled.
The Gaels got a run back in the bottom of the frame on a one-out RBI single by center fielder Erin Kyle.
The Retrievers loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batter in the fifth, and Brummell singled in a run to give UMBC a 4-1 lead.
In a driving rain, UMBC reliever Amanda Fefel (Baltimore, Md./Catonsville), who had replaced Culotta in the fourth, walked the bases loaded before getting the next two batters on a strikeout and a pop-up. But the junior then walked the next two batters to force in a pair of runs and cut the Retrievers’ advantage to 4-3 before striking out left fielder Chelsea Sheehan for the final out.
Culotta (1-0) earned her first career win after allowing just one run in 3.2 innings of work, giving up four hits and striking out three. Fefel pitched the final 1.1 innings to pick up her first save of the season.
Iona starter Deanne Algeo (0-2) suffered the loss after allowing four runs on eight hits in four innings. Sarah Jackson did not give up a run in one inning of work.
Kearns, Brummell and O’Malley paced the Retrievers’ offense with two hits apiece.
The Retrievers return to action on Thursday, March 5, when they host Drexel in the home opener at UMBC Softball Stadium.