PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – UMBC softball split Sunday's doubleheader against UMES to take three-of-four in the weekend series at Hawks Field. The Retrievers fell in game one, 4-3, but came back in game two to defeat the Hawks, 3-2.
"It is tough to start the year with 16 straight road games," head coach Joe French. "In the end it will make us tougher. I could not be more pleased to be 12-4 at this point in the season."
The Retrievers continue to keep pace with the 2010 team, posting a 12-4 overall record through 16 games, while UMES falls to 3-15 on the year.
After combining for 25 hits in yesterday's doubleheader, UMBC tallied just four hits in game one on Sunday. The Retrievers did draw seven walks in the contest, but would go on to strand eight runners on base in the contest.
UMBC starting pitcher Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) allowed just two hits through the first five innings, but surrendered three in the sixth, allowing the Hawks to take the lead with a pair of runs in the inning.
The Retrievers stepped up and got three runs in the top of the seventh inning, starting with a pair of one-out walks from the bottom of the order. Sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) drilled a single down the left field line to score UMBC's first run of the game. Classmate Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) added her first hit of the day to tie the score at two and junior Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) followed with a sacrifice fly to score O'Neill and give the Retrievers the one-run advantage, 3-2.
After tossing the perfect game yesterday, the Retrievers brought in freshman pitcher Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) to finish out the contest. Lane started with back-to-back strikeouts, but the top of UMES' lineup jumped on Lane, starting with a triple from senior Chelsea Alston. Sophomore Vanessa Gomez scored Alston with a single on the ensuing at bat to tie the game at three and junior Morgan King ended the contest with the game-winning triple into right center field.
Sophomore Kaitlyn Hitch picked up the victory in the circle for the Hawks, while Lane was credited with the loss.
In game two, both teams were able to capitalize on errors, each scoring unearned runs to be tied at one after the opening frame. A single from Hall scored O'Neill from second to drive in the Retrievers' run and a single through the ride side of the infield from sophomore Emily Diseroad evened the score.
With a runner on third, Diseroad singled to center field to put UMES out in front, 2-1, in the bottom of the third inning. The Retrievers brought in freshman Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) for the fourth, as Lane departed after allowing one earned run on five hits.
The Retrievers were able to string together three hits in the fifth inning to take the lead for good. Senior Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) started things off with a single to left and freshman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) followed with a double to the same side of the field to put runners on second and third. Freshman Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) drove in Bertoglio on a single and Jackson also reached home following a rundown with Buckley to put the Retrievers out in front, 3-2.
Holte held on for the victory, her eighth of the season, surrendering one hit in four innings. Freshman Kelly Cullen was credited with the loss, allowing two earned runs on nine hits.
UMBC returns to action on Tuesday, March 11 when it hosts Rhode Island for a doubleheader. First pitch is set for 1:15 p.m. at UMBC Softball Stadium.