Orono, Maine -- Senior Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va.) went 3-for-5, stole two bases, walked and scored a run, but it wasn't enough as host Maine downed the UMBC Softball team 3-0 and 5-3 to sweep a Satuday doubleheader.
Neither team could get much going until the fifth inning when Alexander started the inning with a bunt single and advanced to second on a ground out. After pinch hitter Haley DeLany (Lederach, Pa.) was hit by a pitch, the Retrievers executed a two-out double steal to put two in scoring position, but they were stranded. Maine (16-16, 7-2) then broke through in the bottom half of the inning with three runs.
UMBC (8-26, 3-7) would attempt a rally in the top of the sixth when Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) singled, and then moved ot second when classmate Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.) was hit by a pitch. Alexander then singled through the left side to load the bases, but a groundout ended the threat. The Retrievers would again get the tying run to the plate with two outs in the seventh after Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) walked and Erin Trnka (Goffstown, N.H.) was hit by pitch with two outs, but a strikeout ended the game. Senior pitcher Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J.) had the tough-luck loss, pitching five innings, allowing just the three earned runs while striking out two to fall to 7-15 on the season. Frshman Briana Baker (Waldorf, Md.) worked a perfect sixth inning in relief.
The Black Bears would get a sacrifice fly in each of the first two innings to take a 2-0 lead. UMBC would get a run back in the fourth when Alexander led off the inning with a single and stole second. Classmate Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J.) walked and then DeLany was hit by a pitch to load the bases with none out. After a strikeout, Alexander scored on an error to make it 2-1, but UMBC could not plate anymore in the inning.
The Retrievers tied the game in the fifth when Hammett reached on a single and her pinch runner, Shayna Rider (Westminster, Md.) scored from second on a two-out RBI single by DeLany. Maine would re-rake the lead in the bottom of the fifth and add two more in the sixth to head into the seventh up 5-2. In the seventh Daigneau reached on an error and moved to second. Hammett then grounded out to first, but Daigneau caught a napping defense and scored all the way from second on the play to make it 5-3, which was the final.
UMBC and Maine wrap up the series tommorow morning at 11 am on ESPN3.