Nashville, Tenn. -- The UMBC Softball team had the tying run on base with the leading run at the plate in the top of the seventh, but couldn't cash in as it fell, 6-3, at Belmont to open 2017. The Bruins were up 5-0 after three innings before the Retrievers rallied at the end.
UMBC (0-1) finally got the offense going in the fourth after senior Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) started off the inning with a single to third, followed by a walk to junior left fielder Toni Santonastasso (Canonsburg, Pa./Pope John XXIII Regional). Junior first baseman Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J./New Milford) then brought them both home with a two RBI double to center that cut the Belmont lead to 5-2.
The Retrievers would then load the bases and trim the deficit to 5-3 on a sac fly to left off the bat of shortstop Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior) scored Lesko.
Belmont (1-0) would add a run in the fifth on a solo homer, before UMBC loaded the bases with none out in the seventh. However, a double-play and a fly out ended the threat and the game.
Lesko, Lane, Morgan Peyou (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) and Jaclyn Buckley (Vorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) each had two hits, while senior third baseman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) added a hit of her own.
Lane (0-1) started in the circle and took the loss, going 2.2 innings, while allowing five runs, all earned, on seven hits. Classmate Nicole Casagrand (Melbourne, Fla./Hatboro-Horsham) pitched well in relief, goin 3.1 innings while allowing just one run on six hits and walking none.
The Retrievers will continue play at the Belmont Winter Fest Tournament with two games on Saturday. First, a matchup with Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) at 11 a.m., before a rematch with Belmont at 4 p.m.