Seventh Inning Rally Gives UMBC Sunday Split with St. Peter’s

Heather Brown earned the win for UMBC in the second game
Heather Brown earned the win for UMBC in the second game

BALTIMORE, Md. – UMBC sophomore Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) laid down a squeeze bunt with no outs in the bottom of the seventh and senior Katrina Gaar (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar/Orange Coast CC) raced home from third as the Retrievers scored two runs in the inning to earn a walk-off victory against the St. Peter's Peahens, 4-3, and split Sunday's doubleheader at the UMBC Softball Stadium and after dropping the first game of the day, 8-3.

The Retrievers took three out of four from the Peahens and have now won six of their last seven contests.

Trailing 3-2 senior Ashley Carver (Swoyersville, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) hit a lead-off double before advancing to third on a wild pitch.  She then scored on an errant pickoff attempt, tying the score at three.  The next batter, freshman Courtney Paone (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) singled to right field and was replaced by senior Katrina Gaar (Newports Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar/Orange Coast CC) as a pinch runner.  Sophomore Jessica Warner (Huntingtown, Md./Huntingtown) followed with a double, her second hit of the game advancing Gaar to third.  Chance then laid down the bunt and Gaar ran home with the winning run.

Junior pitcher Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) threw a complete game for UMBC and fanned nine batters to improve to 6-5 on the season.

Erica Colon was charged with the loss, giving up all four runs on nine hits in six innings.

After the Peahens won the first game, they came out swinging in the second as well and took a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a two-run double by Shelby Cogan.  St. Peter's extended its lead the very next inning, pushing the margin to three with a leadoff homerun by Nicole Olmedo.

The Retrievers nearly struck right back with a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning, but ended up stranding runners on first and third.

Two innings later, though, UMBC picked up two key runs to keep its hopes alive.  Carver began the inning with a single to center and advanced to second when freshman Courtney Paone (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) drew a walk.  After Warner hit a fly ball to advance both runners, Chance followed with a sacrifice fly to bring Carver in for the Retrievers' first run.  Freshman catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) drew a walk and then pinch runner senior Becca Bernheimer (Lewes, Del./Cape Henlopen)  and Paone executed a double-steal that resulted Paone scoring to bring UMBC within one, 3-2.

Carver, Chance and Warner each finished the second game with multi-hit efforts while Chance also drove in two runs and Carver scored two.

St. Peter's won the first game of the day, 8-3, to salvage the weekend series.

Both teams came out hot as St. Peter's took the lead in the top of the first with one run, while UMBC responded with two in the bottom half to take a 2-1 lead. 

After a scoreless second inning, St. Peter's plated four runs in the top of the third to build a three run cushion, 5-2; a lead they would not relinquish.

The visitors added two more in the top of the fifth and another in the top of the seven while the Retrievers could only respond with one run in the bottom of the fifth.

Chance went 2-for-4 in the opener to lead UMBC with four hits on the day to go along with one run and two RBIs.

UMBC returns to action on Tue., April 3 when they host Georgetown at 2:00 p.m.  The Retrievers and Hoyas were scheduled to meet once last year in Washington, D.C. but the game was canceled due to rain.