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SOFTBALL CLINCHES #1 SEED IN NEC TOURNAMENT WITH SWEEP OF MONMOUTH
Baltimore, MD –
Baltimore, MD –UMBC improved to 39-18 on the season and 19-3 in Northeast Conference play as they swept league rival Monmouth (17-25, 13-9) by scores of 3-2 and 4-1 this afternoon at the UMBC Softball Stadium. With the wins, the Retrievers clinched the top spot in this year’s NEC Tournament to be held at Long Island University from May 8-10. UMBC will compete with Monmouth, Long Island, and Quinnipiac for this year’s conference championship.
Today’s first game was a continuation of a previous match that had been rained out. Play resumed in the bottom of the fifth inning with a 1-1 tie, and UMBC’s Christina French (Waterloo, NY/Waterloo) on second base with two outs. Monmouth pitcher Kim Lyall (Bristol, PA/Conwell-Egan) walked Retriever shortstop Lisa Boone (Owings, MD/Northern) before giving up an RBI-single to sophomore Kristie Pickeral (Hughesville, MD/Thomas Stone). UMBC extended its lead to 3-1 in the sixth on an RBI-single by first-baseman Lara Seamon (Richfield Springs, NY/Utica Notre Dame). The Hawks battled to add another run in the seventh on an RBI-ground out by second-baseman Dana Pasini (Saddle River, NJ/Immaculate Heart), but the effort came too late as UMBC starter Lauren Nicholson (Audobon, NJ/Paul VI) got Monmouth’s Breanna Steins (Whiting, NJ/Manchester) to hit a fly ball to left field to end the game.
In the nightcap, Monmouth took an early 1-0 in the first inning, but UMBC came right back in the bottom frame to score two behind a double by Seamon. The Retrievers added insurance runs in the third and fifth innings to secure the victory. Nicholson received the win after giving up just one run on four hits in seven innings of work. She improved to 18-7 on the year and tied the school record for single-season wins.
In addition, the Retriever victory in the second game gave Head Coach Joe French his 300th career win.
UMBC will travel to Maryland (College Park) on Tuesday, May 6, for a non-conference doubleheader before making the trip to Brooklyn, NY for the 2003 Northeast Conference Tournament.