Softball Drops Season-Opener at Jimmy John’s Lion Classic II, 13-5

Chelsea Bertoglio launched her first home run of the season on a 2-for-3 night
Chelsea Bertoglio launched her first home run of the season on a 2-for-3 night

Box score

HAMMOND, La. – UMBC softball junior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) went 2-for-3 in her first outing with the Retrievers, while sophomore catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) drove in three of UMBC's five runs on the evening, but it was not enough as Southeastern Louisiana (4-1) picked up a 13-5 victory in six innings in the Retrievers 2013 season-opener at North Oak Park in day one of the Jimmy John's Lion Classic II.

The Retrievers' bats wasted no time getting into the groove in UMBC's first action of the year, as the black and gold put up four runs in the top of the first inning. Junior shortstop Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) drew a walk in the leadoff spot and freshman utility player Danielle O'Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) followed with a single to third – one of her two hits on the day – in her first collegiate at bat. A second walk in the inning – from senior right fielder Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./Stafford North) – loaded the bases for the reigning America East Co-Rookie of the Year Hall, who blasted a bases clearing double into right center. Despite the Lions going to the bull pen early, newcomer Megan Sauble (Glen Burnie, Md./CCBC-Catonsville) tacked on UMBC's fourth run of the inning driving home Hall two batters later with her first hit as a Retriever.

The host Lions quickly eliminated their four-run deficit in their first at bats, leading off the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles. A shot over the center field fence from freshman first baseman Amber Sather brought SLU within one at 4-3. UMBC did not do itself any favors, allowing senior Katie Doyle to reach base on an error and advance to second on four straight balls from junior pitcher Kayla Martinez (Odenton,Md./Arundel). Doyle crossed the plate on a double from junior second baseman Megan McCollum on the next at bat to tie the contest at four.

Southeastern Louisiana added three more runs in the bottom of the second before sophomore Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) provided relief for Martinez. Clark walked her first two batters before retiring back-to-back Lions.

Clark tossed three scoreless innings in the circle for the Retrievers, while Bertoglio launched her first homer of the season in the top of the fifth to trim UMBC's deficit to 7-5, however a few timely mistakes from the Retrievers' pitching staff loaded the bases for sophomore Megan Moore, who delivered a two-run single, part of a four-run bottom of the fifth for SLU.

Southeastern Louisiana cashed-in two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Lions the walk off win.

SLU starter Jessie Browne faced five batters, allowing four runs on three hits, before being relieved by Rachel Hellyer. Hellyer (2-0) picked up her second win of the season, surrendering one run on five hits and striking out five. Martinez is credited with the loss, pitching one and a third innings and allowing six earned runs. Clark completed three and a third innings, while freshman Rachel Ionata (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) also saw an inning of work.    

The Retrievers (0-1) continue action at the tournament with a pair of contests on Friday, Feb 15, taking on Texas Southern at 4 p.m., followed by a meeting with LSU-Alexandria at 6:30 p.m. UMBC concludes its trip with matches up against South Dakota and South Dakota State on Saturday, Feb. 16. All game times are listed as EST.