BALTIMORE – UMBC softball returned to action for the just the second time in the last two weeks and was able to come away with a 5-2 victory against Siena and posting an 8-6 lead versus Rhode Island in a halted game that will be continued on Monday at 1 p.m. at the UMBC Softball Stadium.
Sophomore Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) and junior Bridget O'Malley (Baltimore, Md./Seton Keough) each finished the day with three hits. Jackson hit .500 for the day with two doubles, one home run and three runs batted in, while O'Malley hit .429, scoring four runs and driving in two.
GAME 1: UMBC got going from the beginning of game one. A lead-off walk from freshman Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior), followed by a single down the right field line from O'Malley put runners on first and third. O'Malley took off for second and got in a run down, allowing Alexander to take off from third and beat the throw home and O'Malley to reach second safely. Senior Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) added an RBI-single to give the Retrievers a 2-0 cushion after one.
Junior Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River)) led off the second inning with a single and despite Siena starting pitcher Amanda Gatt retiring the next two batters, the Retrievers were able to produce a pair of RBI-doubles from O'Malley and Jackson to extend their advantage to 4-0.
UMBC starting pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) retired the first six batters she faced, but the Saints trimmed the Retrievers' deficit in half in the top of the third inning, scoring two runs on three hits and one UMBC error in the frame.
The Retrievers used some small ball in the bottom of the fifth inning to add an insurance run for Holte, who did not allow a base runner in the final four innings of the contest to help guide UMBC to victory. Holte improved to 2-5 on the season after allowing one run on three hits and striking out four batters. Gatt falls to 0-4 on the year after surrendering four earned runs on five hits.
GAME 2: The Retrievers were able to take advantage of a pair of walks in the bottom of the first inning, scoring four runs on two hits in the frame. A double steal brought home the game's first run, followed by an RBI-double down the right field line from sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern). Freshman Toni Santonastasso (Galena, Ohio/Pope John XXIII Regional) drilled her second home run of the season, this one over the fence in left-center field, to put UMBC out in front, 4-0, after one inning of play.
A hit and a pair of walks helped the Rams load the bases in the top of the second inning. A wild pitch scored the first run and a third walk re-loaded the bases. Freshman pitcher Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) tried to gain back control, but hit the next batter to help Rhode Island to cut its deficit in half, 4-2. Puccio was able to retire the next two batters to get out of the inning without any further harm, with the Rams stranding the bases loaded.
The Retrievers were able to do much of the same in the bottom half of the frame. A walk and stolen base from senior Katlin Olesky (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College) put a runner in scoring position for O'Malley, who drilled her third hit of the day to score Olesky. URI starting pitcher Andrea Chiaradio walked back-to-back batters to load the bases and force the switch to relief pitcher Caitlin Kennedy, but the sophomore hit O'Neill to walk in a run and extend UMBC's lead to 6-2.
Rhode Island was able to pull back within two, 6-4, in the top of the fourth inning. The Rams loaded the bases on a walk and two singles and were able to score a pair of runs on back-to-back ground outs.
Rhode Island capitalized on a UMBC error by following with back-to-back singles to center field to pull within one, 6-5. Senior Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) came in with runners on first and second with two outs. A walk and hit batter tied the contest at six.
Clark tossed a scoreless top of the sixth inning, allowing the Retrievers' offense to get going. Alexander reached on a single, but a fielder's choice put O'Malley on first with two outs and Jackson at the dish. Jackson launched her third homer of the season to put UMBC back out in front, 8-6.
The game was halted in the top of the seventh inning due to darkness and will be concluded before the UMBC versus Rhode Island matchup scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday.
UMBC Spring Classic Schedule/Results
Sunday, March 15
Sacred Heart 7, La Salle 4
UMBC 5, Siena 2
UMBC 8, Rhode Island 6 (Halted due to darkness)
Monday, March 16
11 a.m. Rhode Island vs. Lafayette
1 p.m. Continuation of UMBC vs. Rhode Island halted contest. Followed by UMBC vs. Rhode Island game two.
3 p.m. UMBC vs. Lafayette