Baltimore, Md. – UMBC dropped both games of a Thursday afternoon doubleheader at UMBC Softball Stadium against nearby Towson University as the Tigers won 5-3 in game one before shutting out the Retrievers 7-0 in game two.
The Retrievers record goes to 21-20 while the Tigers improve to 29-18
Game 1: Towson 5, UMBC 3
The Retrievers dropped a heart breaker in game one of the doubleheader against Towson, 5-3. In a game that was a pitcher's duel for five innings, but the game was full of twists and turns in the last two innings. The contest moved along swiftly as a bunt single in the top of the third by Tiger Jessica South was the only hit for the first five and a half innings of the game.
UMBC got their offense going in the bottom of the sixth with a lead-off double by Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior). Emily Neal (Bear, Del./Caravel Academy) singled on a bunt and advanced on a throwing error to put runners on second and third with no outs. Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) put down a squeeze bunt and Alexander beat the throw to score the first run of the game. A second consecutive squeeze bunt by Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) bounced over the third baseman's head for an RBI-single. Toni Santonastasso (Galena, Ohio/Pope John XXIII Regional) then came up with a clutch bloop single to center to put the Retrievers out in front, 3-0, but pinch runner Erin Trnka (Goffstown, N.H./Goffstown) advanced to third on a throwing error and was then thrown out at the plate.
Towson answered back in the top of the seventh as Tateum Valentine and Macie McGeehan each singled. Kendyl Scott walked to load the bases with two outs and represented the tying run on first. A wild pitch from UMBC starting pitcher Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) squirreled away to score one run and Tigers' pitcher Missy McCormick followed with a three-run home run that just got over the left field fence to give Towson the 4-3 lead. Holiday Cahill added to the damage with a solo homer over the left field fence to extend the advantage to 5-3.
Retrievers' pitcher Miranda Clark took the loss going 6.2 innings giving up five hits, five earned runs, and seven walks along with four strikeouts. Tigers' pitcher Missy McCormick picked up her 14th win of the season pitching seven innings giving up five hits, three earned runs, two walks, and tallying 10 strikeouts.
Game 2: Towson 7, UMBC 0
The Retrievers were unable to score in the second game of the doubleheader as they fell to Towson, 7-0.
A catcher's interference by UMBC's Kathleen Sharp (Toms River, N.J./Brookdale CC) led to the first run of the game when Scott singled in Daria Edwards.
UMBC tried to respond in the bottom of the third inning when they had runners on second and third with one out. A squeeze bunt attempt by Neal saw Katlin Olesky (Irvine, Calif./Saddleback College) in a run down between third and home. Olesky was able to make it back to third safely, but Alexander was caught trying to return to second base on the play with Neal moving all the way to second base. Bridget O'Malley (Baltimore, Md./Seton Keough) was unable to cash in as she grounded out to end the threat.
Sophomore pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) got into a jam in the top of the fourth with runners on first and second with one out but Olesky completed an inning-ending double play to stop the threat.
Towson did most of their damage in the top of the fifth inning, with Edwards getting a lead-off double ripped down the left field line and advancing to third on a wild pitch. A ground ball to Olesky was thrown home, initial tag was late as runner dodged it, but she failed to touch home plate and Sharp was able to tag her out on the second try. That was not enough to stop the Tigers as they followed with three straight singles, a double, and a home run from Valentine to take a 7-0 lead. The home run chased Holte out as Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) came in to end the fifth inning.
Pucchio pitched a flawless sixth inning and Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) followed likewise in relief for the seventh inning. Starter Holte went 4.2 innings allowing 10 hits, six earned runs, and striking out four while not giving away any free passes. Towson starter Megan Dejter pitched seven shutout innings allowing three hits and fanning four batters.
UP NEXT FOR THE RETRIEVERS: UMBC closes out its home schedule with a three-game series against Binghamton, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday, April 25.