Montgomery, Ala.— The UMBC softball team's offensive struggles continued as they fell to Middle Tennessee State and Alabama State on the first day of the ASU Black & Gold Tournament
Middle Tennessee State (3-4) struck six times in the first inning to chase junior pitcher Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) early en route to an 8-4 win. Lane pitched an inning and was charged with all six runs. Nicole Casagrand (Melbourne, Fla./Hatboro-Horsham) then entered in relief and limited the damage. She wound up going six innings, striking out five and allowing only two runs in a stellar relief performance. The Retrievers (0-6) were able to cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the third when Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior) and Morgan Peyou (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) each scored on an error at third, and Lane followed with a solo homer. Senior Bridget O'Malley (Baltimore, Md./Seton Keough) had an RBI ground-out in the fifth to bring UMBC back to within 7-4, but the Retrievers could do no more.
Junior Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) went five innings, allowing only two runs, but that would be all host Alabama State (3-6) needed in a 3-0 shutout of UMBC. The Retrievers mustered only two hits in the game, one off the bat of O'Malley and the other, a double, from junior third baseman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional).
UMBC is back in action tomorrow at noon when they have a rematch with Middle Tennessee State followed by a 4 p.m. matchup with Nicholls State.