Baltimore, Md. -- Senior Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J.) went a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, including smacking the eventual game-winning RBI single as the UMBC Softball Team knocked-off visiting UMass Lowell, 6-1, to open America East play on Friday afternoon.
UMBC (6-19, 1-0) and the River Hawks were locked in a tight, scoreless battle until the Retrievers scored three in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the sixth to break it open
In the fourth, Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va.) dropped a gorgeous one-out bunt between the pitcher and third-baseman and then stole second to get into scoring position. Lesko then laced a single to center to plate Alexander, and scored when classmate Toni Santonastasso (Canonsburg, Pa.) blasted a two-run homer to left to give UMBC a 3-0 lead.
UMass Lowell (6-17, 0-1) would quickly respond in the fifth, however, having four consecutive players reach base with two-outs and getting on the board with a bases loaded walk. Senior pitcher Kim Puccio (Sparata, N.J.) would limit the damage to just that one run as she coaxed a fly out to left for the final out.
The Retrievers would get that run back in the bottom half of the inning when Alexander smacked a two-out RBI single to left that scored Erin Trnka (Goffstown, N.H.). Lesko then started the bottom of the sixth with a double and scored on a Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) one-out triple to make it 5-1, and Keffler was then driven in by a Maddie Daigneau (New River, Az.) RBI groundout.
Puccio pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits and one earned run, while striking out three and walking two. Alexander, Keffler and Trnka had two hits each, while freshman catcher Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) had a hit and walked twice.
The start of the game was delayed three hours by rain, therefore turning tomorrow into a doubleheader. Games are scheduled for 11 am and 1 pm.