Softball Splits Two on First Day of UMBC Spring Classic

Katie Ferguson threw her sixth complete game of the year on Thursday
Katie Ferguson threw her sixth complete game of the year on Thursday

BALTIMORE, Md. – The UMBC softball team defeated Siena, 3-2, and then fell to St. Francis (Pa.), 7-1, on the first day of the UMBC Spring Classic at the UMBC Softball Stadium. 

Sophomore Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) led the Retrievers, going 3-for-7 in the two games, hitting her fifth homerun of the season in the second game against St. Francis (Pa.).

In the first game of the day, senior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC) threw her sixth complete game of the season to pick up the win against the Saints.  Ferguson (5-5) recorded six strikeouts while only giving up only two earned runs.

Siena's Jessika-Jo Sandrini took the loss for the Saints, yielding three runs over six innings of work, while picking up nine strikeouts.

Both pitchers dominated the early innings as the Retrievers and Saints combined for only three hits in the first three innings. 

Siena finally took the initiative, plating one run in the top of the fourth on a single to right by Samantha Ray. The Saints doubled their lead two innings later in the top of the sixth when Shannon Jones hit a solo homerun to right field. 

The Retrievers made a comeback in the bottom of the inning however, scoring three times to take a 3-2 lead. Warner and freshman Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) started the inning with back-to back singles for UMBC. After a strikeout, junior Kaela Mason (Bel Air, Md./Harford Tech) singled to load the bases.  Freshman Kayla Margentino (Unionville, Conn./Farmington) then drew a walk to push across the Retrievers' first run and cut the Siena lead in half, 2-1.

With two down, sophomore Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) made the big blow, knocking a single to right-center, scoring Mason and pinch runner Katrina Gaar (Newport Beach, Calif./Orange Coast CC) to give UMBC the lead, 3-2.

Siena threatened in the top of the seventh, getting a runner to third base, but Ferguson struck out Jones looking to end the game. 

In game two, St. Francis erased an early 1-0 UMBC lead to score seven unanswered runs and take the win.

Red Flash pitcher Brooke Koch threw seven complete innings, giving up only one run while notching four strikeouts.   Koch registered four strikeouts and gave up only three hits.

Junior Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md. Northeast) took the loss for the Retrievers, giving up four runs in four innings of work.  Brown (2-5) struck out two batters, but also walked two.

Warner gave the Retrievers a bright start, leading off the game with her fifth homerun of the season.  Gaar then drew a walk, and advanced to third on a two base throwing error by the centerfielder.  UMBC could not widen the lead however, as the next two batters were sent down in order.

The Red Flash responded immediately, plating three runs in the top of the second to take the lead for good, 3-1. 

After extending the lead to three, 4-1, in the top of the fourth, St. Francis (Pa.) closed out the game with a 3-run homerun by Paige Smith in the top of the seventh.

The Retrievers return to the diamond on Friday to play Sacred Heart on day two of the four-day weekend tournament.  First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. at the UMBC Softball Stadium.

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