BALTIMORE – UMBC softball sophomore catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) batted a team-best .667 and tabbed a double and home run on day two of the UMBC Retriever Classic. The Retrievers defeated Morgan State, 7-0, on Saturday at the UMBC Softball Stadium, but were unable to overcome a controversial call that led to a seven-run sixth inning for Saint Francis, who went on to capture an 8-1 win.
Hall was one of three Retrievers to record two RBI on the day, accompanied by freshman Danielle O'Neill (Loathian, Md./Southern) – who drove in both runs in game one against the Bears – and senior Ashley Scroggin (Stafford, Va./North Stafford), who launched her second home run of the tournament.
UMBC (3-10) took a 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the third inning in game one, with sophomore Mary Hartman (Eldersburg, Md./Century) drawing a walking and advancing to second on a wild pitch. O'Neill doubled down the left field line to score Hartman, who had reached third on a grounder to second from freshman Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River).
The Retrievers picked up four of their eight hits in the contest in a six-run bottom of the fourth inning. Hall led off with a double and Scroggin followed with a shot to left center to put UMBC up, 3-0. A single and back-to-back walks loaded the bases for O'Neill who drove in her second run of the contest on a single to left. Freshman Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) drew a walk to score another run and leave the bases loaded with one out. Morgan State made its second pitching change of the inning, but that did not stop the Retrievers from scoring two more runs and cruising to its third victory of the season.
Senior Heather Brown (Pasadena, Md./Northeast) picked up her first victory of the season (1-1) in the circle, a complete game shutout. Brown struck out seven, walked one and surrendered three hits.
In game two, Saint Francis (4-4) got on the board first, in the top of the second inning. Taylor Darneille led off with a double followed by a sacrifice bunt from Maggie Creciun and a RBI single through the left side from Samantha Thomas.
The Retrievers evened the score at one apiece in the bottom of the fourth on a solo shot to left centerfield by Hall – her team-leading fourth of the season.
The game remained a pitching duel through five innings, with starters Rachel Ionata (Tampa, Fla./Palm Harbor University) and Ketarah DeVries allowing just five combined hits in five innings.
With two outs and a runner on second for the Red Flash, Creciun sent a double to left field. Shannon Tomasello, who pinch ran for Darneille after reaching base on a single to right, looked to have been gunned down at the plate, but a controversial call gave SFU the lead and extended the top of the sixth inning. The Retrievers were unable to escape the inning before further damage occurred, as the Red Flash went on to score six more runs in the sixth and hung on for the victory.
Ionata (0-2) was credited with the loss, while Devries (3-1) struck out six in the complete game effort.
UMBC closes out the UMBC Retriever Classic with two contests on Sunday, March 3. The Retrievers take on Saint Peter's at 11:30 a.m. and follow with Coppin State at 1:45 p.m.