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SOFTBALL SWEEPS LONG ISLAND; MOVE INTO FIRST PLACE IN THE NORTHEAST CONFERENCE
Baltimore, MD - - -The UMBC Retrievers (37-18) swept a doubleheader from the Long Island Blackbirds (24-19) by scores of 10-6 and 6-3, Friday afternoon at UMBC Softball Stadium. The teams are now tied for first place with an identical record of 17-3 in the Northeast Conference. In the opener, UMBC trailed 4-1 heading into the bottom of the third inning, but scored nine unanswered runs. SO third baseman Kristy Pickeral cut the deficit to 4-2 with a solo homer in the third, her 10th of the season. The Retrievers tied the game in the fourth inning as pinch runner Kristen Rynning scored on a wild pitch by LIU starter Jackie Brown and Abbie Kahn added an RBI single. Blackbirds? starter Brown left after four innings and was replaced by senior righthander Crystal Eubanks, who allowed six earned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and suffered the loss Pickeral belted her second bomb of the game, a grand slam to left field in the frame. Lisa Boone added an RBI walk and Christy Sheppard added an RBI double. FR righthander Amy Sadowl (17-6) allowed 6 earned runs and 11 hits in 7.0 innings to pick up the win. Pickeral drove in five runs and Kahn was a perfect 3-for-3 for UMBC. First baseman Briana Mathiesen had three hits and a pair of RBI?s in a losing cause. Long Island took a 2-1 edge in the nightcap, only to watch the Retrievers score three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 lead. Sheppard came through with a clutch, two-out, three-run double to left center to provide UMBC with the game-winner. UMBC added a run on a sacrifice fly by junior Crystal Beveridge in the fourth and an RBI single by Kahn in the fifth. FR righthander Lauren Nicholson improved to 16-7 after allowing just three earned runs and 9 hits in 7.0 innings. Eubanks (12-7) was hit with her second defeat of the afternoon after allowing five earned runs on 7 hits in just 4.0 innings. Junior Lauren Hebb added a lead-off homer, her 15th of the season. Sheppard drove in a game-high three runs for UMBC. Junior shortstop Sonia Zapata and senior leftfielder Rosette Rough each had a pair of hits for the Blackbirds.