BALTIMORE – UMBC softball played tough on Senior Day, jumping ahead in both games against Lehigh, but the Retrievers were unable to hold on, dropping Saturday's doubleheader against Lehigh at UMBC Softball Stadium.
The Retrievers (20-17) were unable to hang on to a 3-0 advantage in game one, surrendering a six-run top of the seventh inning to fall, 6-3. Game two proved to be a pitching battle, with Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) shining on Senior Day in the circle, but the Retrievers came out on the wrong end of the 5-1 10-inning battle. Junior Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) and freshman Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior) were the only two Retrievers to record multiple hits on the day, but UMBC left a combined 18 runners on base.
"Today was the longest outing of Miranda's career and the best outing of her career," said head coach Joe French. "I'm glad it could happen on Senior Day in front of friends and family."
GAME 1: A lead-off single from O'Neill and a walk from classmate Bridget O'Malley (Baltimore, Md./Seton Keough) put a pair of runners aboard for the Retrievers in the bottom of the second. Following a sacrifice bunt that moved both runners into scoring position, freshman Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J./New Milford) dropped in an RBI-single to right field to put the Retrievers out in front, 1-0.
UMBC starting pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) got herself into a jam in the top of the third, walking a batter to load the bases after two singles, but the sophomore forced a ground out to end the inning without damage.
UMBC senior Katlin Olesky (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College) narrowly missed out on the second home run of her career, picking up a lead-off double to left field in the bottom of the fifth. Alexander showed off her speed, legging out a bunt, but a miss handled throw to first allowed Alexander to advance to second and Olesky to score the Retrievers' second run of the contest. UMBC added one more run in the frame, with freshman Emily Neal (Bear, Del./Caravel Academy) scoring from third base, while sophomore Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) was caught in a run-down.
After tallying just three hits through the first six innings, Lehigh led off the top of the seventh with three straight singles to load the bases. A single up the middle from Carissa Zito got the Mountain Hawks on the board with two runs. A pair of UMBC errors helped Lehigh to plate four more runs in the frame to put the Mountain Hawks out in front 6-3.
Holte (12-7) allowed four earned runs on eight hits in seven innings of work. Lehigh's Christine Campbell (13-2) allowed three runs on six hits in the complete game victory.
GAME 2: Alexander broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the third inning with a solo shot over the left field fence to put UMBC out in front, 1-0.
A lead-off walk and stolen base in the top of the sixth inning put a runner in scoring position for the Mountain Hawks and a single through the right side of the infield tied the contest at one apiece.
After nine great innings of work, Clark showed signs of fatigue in the top of the 10th inning, hitting the lead-off batter and walking the second, to bring an end to her day. A sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position and third baseman Morgan Decker took advantage with a two-run single up the middle. First baseman Vicky Lattanzio continued the damage with a two-run shot to left center off relief pitcher Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) en route to their second come-from-behind victory of the day.
Clark (2-2) surrendered three runs on two hits and struck out three in nine innings of work. Lane allowed two runs on two hits in relief. Emily Bausher (15-4) picked up the win after coming in relief for 2.1 scoreless innings.
UP NEXT FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC hits the road for a doubleheader against Mount St. Mary's on Tuesday, April 21.