Softball Travels to Alabama for Five-Game Black & Gold Tournament

Softball Travels to Alabama for Five-Game Black & Gold Tournament
The UMBC Softball team will look to rebound from a tough opening weekend when they travel to Alabama State's Black & Gold Tournament this weekend down in Montgomery, Ala.
The Retrievers will face a trio of Southern teams when they face Middle Tennessee State and the host Hornets two times each, as well as a single game against Nicholls State.
UMBC (0-4) will look to get the offense going in Montgomery after batting only a combined .193 in the four-game GCU Kickoff Tournament last weekend.  Senior Bridget O'Malley (Baltimore, Md./Seton Keough) led the team with a .333 average, while sophomore Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J./New Milford) was the top slugger for the Dawgs; belting two home runs and driving in four runs. 
In the circle, the Retrievers will send out junior Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) who, despite throwing a season-opening complete game, went 0-2 last weekend. Classmate Nicole Casagrand (Melbourne, Fla./Hatboro-Horsham) made two relief appearances, including a perfect inning of work against a potent Grand Canyon offense.
Scouting the Blue Raiders
Middle Tennessee State (2-3) enters the contest on a two-game slide that concluded the FGCU Kickoff Classic in Fort Myers, Fla.  The Blue Raider offense is powered by senior infielder Megan Griffith, batting .500 with two RBI and three walks in 12 at-bats. Kelci Cheney leads the MTSU pitching staff with a 2.49 ERA to go along with her 2-2 record. The senior has thrown two complete games in her four starts, giving up 10 runs, (six earned) on 18 hits, while walking 10 and striking out eight.
Scouting the Hornets
Alabama State (1-5) is coming off an appearance in the 2015 SWAC championship game. The Hornets are led by a veteran core of eight seniors and nine juniors, including junior transfer Alexia Boggess, who leads the team with a .412 average and five RBI.  Classmate Jenna Mae Thorne is also swinging a hot bat early on, hitting .400 with three RBI.  Senior pitchers Maddie Phelps and Melissa Christmann have combined to start all seven games this season. Sophomore pitcher Chelsea King was the 2015 SWAC pitcher and freshman of the year while posting a 1.60 ERA and going 8-7, but she has not seen any action thus far in the 2016 season.
Scouting the Colonels
Nicholls State (6-1) is coming off a doubleheader sweep against Jackson State on Wednesday. The Colonels are averaging six runs a contest, while only giving up 2.67 runs per game. The offense is led by freshman Amanda Gianelloni, who has started all seven games and is batting .500 (.750 slugging) with eight RBI, while scoring six runs herself.  In the circle, senior Hannah Haydel has a 3-1 record in four starts, while posting 1.66 ERA and striking out 26 and walking only nine. Freshman pitcher Megan Landry is 3-0 with 0.00 ERA in four appearances (two starts), and has struck out 15 batters and walked three.


  UMBC Black & Gold Invitational Schedule 

Friday, February 19, 2016 

5 p.m. – vs Middle Tennessee State 

7 p.m. – vs Alabama State 

Saturday, February 20, 2016 

12 p.m. – vs Middle Tennessee State 

4 p.m. – vs Nicholls State

 Sunday, February 21, 2016

 12 p.m. – vs Alabama State