WASHINGTON, D.C. – After a 10-day hiatus, UMBC softball struggled to get the timely hits, stranding 11 runners on base in a 5-4 loss to Howard in non-conference action on Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Junior Park.
UMBC pulled within one run in the bottom of the seventh inning, but stranded the bases loaded to fall to 2-9 on the season.
Sophomore Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) reached base safely, including a pair of singles, while classmate Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) batted in two of the team's four runs.
Howard (3-16) took advantage of an UMBC error in the top of the first inning by following with three straight hits to take a three-run lead. The Retrievers' bats took a bit to warm up, but UMBC was still able to load the bases in the bottom of the fourth inning following a walk and two hit batters.
The Retrievers were able to take advantage of a Howard error in the bottom of the fifth to score one run, while UMBC starting pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) cruised through the second, third, fourth and fifth innings without allowing a base runner. UMBC pulled within one run, 3-2, in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jackson led off the frame with a single and after a wild pitch and a Howard error, Lane drove in a pair of runs with her first hit of the afternoon. The Retrievers would continue to produce in the inning to load the bases, but were unable to capitalize.
The Bison were able to get their bats going again in the top of the seventh inning, stringing together two singles and a double to score two runs in the frame and cue the exit of Holte for freshman reliever Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta). UMBC did not give up, drawing a walk and following with Jackson's second single of the day before starting pitcher Janessa Flynn headed to the bench. The Retrievers' offense produced the same results, with freshman Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J./New Milford) drawing a walk to load the bases and O'Malley singling to drive in a run, but Flynn returned to the circle and was able to retire three straight Retrievers to pick up the victory.
Flynn improved to 3-9 on the season, allowing two earned runs on six hits, while Holte falls to 1-5 on the year after surrendering three earned runs and striking out four.
UP NEXT FOR THE RETRIEVERS: The Retrievers have made updates to the UMBC Spring Classic schedule, which is slated for Saturday, March 14 through Monday, March 16.
UMBC Spring Classic Schedule
Saturday, March 14
11:30 a.m. UMBC vs. Sacred Heart
1:45 p.m. UMBC vs. Siena
4:00 p.m. La Salle vs. Sacred Heart
Sunday, March 15
9:30 a.m. Sacred Heart vs. La Salle
11:30 a.m. Siena vs. Rhode Island
1:45 p.m. La Salle vs. Siena
3:45 p.m. UMBC vs. Rhode Island
Monday, March 16
10:30 a.m. TBA
12:30 p.m. UMBC vs. Rhode Island