Princess Anne, Md – Junior third baseman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) mashed three home runs and drove in seven total as the UMBC Softball team split a doubleheader with in-statr rival UMES on Thursday on the eastern shore.
UMBC (17-24) won a wild first game, 10-9, before dropping the evening contest, 7-2.
Jackson's first homer of the day was a three-run first inning shot that put UMBC up 3-0. Two batters later, senior Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) hit a solo shot of her own to push the lead to 4-0. O'Neill would give the Retrievers a 5-0 lead in the second with an RBI single to left. UMES (9-20) would plate two in the bottom of the second before UMBC exploded for four runs in the third.
Kelly Lane put UMBC up 6-2 with an RBI groundout before Morgan Peyou (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) stole home to give UMBC a 7-2 lead. Jackson followed with a two-run shot to give UMBC a 9-2 lead, but UMES would battle all the way back to tie the game at nine in the fifth and knock out UMBC starter Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee). The game would remain tied until the seventh when junior second baseman Jaclyn Buckley came up with two outs and two on, and blooped a two-strike pitch to left to score Jackson from second and give UMBC a 10-9 lead. Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) would shut down the Lady Hawks in the seventh to seal the victory. Puccio, making her first appearance in a month due to injury, went 2.1 innings allowed no hits or runs, walked two and struck out two to improve to 5-3. Holte lasted 4.2 innings, allowing nine runs, eight earned, on 12 hits, walking two and striking out one.
Jackson finished game one by reaching base all five plate appearances, going 2-for-2 with two homeruns, five RBI, four runs scored, two walks and a hit-by-pitch. O'Neill went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and finishing a triple short of the cycle.
UMES jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third inning, UMBC cut the lead to 6-2 on Jackson's third homer of the day, a two-run no-doubter to left, but UMBC could get no closer. Bridget O'Malley (Baltimore, Md/Seton Keough) was the only Retriever with multiple hits in the night cap, going 2-for-3 with a double. Nicole Casagrand (Melbourne, Fla./Hatboro-Horsham) took the loss for UMBC to fall to 1-6 on the season. The junior allowed six runs, five earned, on nine hits while walking one and striking out one in three innings of work. Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) went the other three innings allowing an unearned run on three hits while also striking out and walking one apiece.
UMBC returns to action on Saturday when they travel to America East rival Hartford for a three-game series. First-pitch for game one is set for 1 p.m.