Vestal, N.Y. -- The UMBC Softball team saw its 2018 season come to a close with two losses on the first day of the America East Tournament at Binghamton University on Wednesday. The sixth-seeded Retrievers dropped the opening game to third-seeded Stony Brook, 5-1, and then fell to fourth-seeded Maine, 5-3, in the elimination game later in the day. UMBC finishes the season with a 12-31 record.
In game one, Stony Brook (24-20) jumped out to a 4-0 lead after three innings, but UMBC would answer in the top of the fourth when Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.) opened the frame with a single to center and then scored on a Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J.) triple to the left field corner.
The Retrievers couldn't get any closer and the Seawolves added a run in the sixth to advance to the next round with a 5-1 victory. Erin Trnka (Goffstown, N.H.) and Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) each had doubles, while Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) and Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) each had a single. Brianna Baker (Waldorf, Md.) and Hammett each pitched three innings in the game.
Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va.), fresh off being named to her second consecutive All-Conference First Team, smacked the first pitch of game two for a double to left field. Trnka thenwas hit by a pitch and Daigneau laid down a gorgeous bunt single to load the bases. Two batters later, Dawson worked a five-pitch walk to put UMBC up 1-0. Maine (21-24) answered with a run in the bottom half of the first and took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-out double.
The Retrievers would immediately answer in the top of the fourth when Dawson and Pierce laced back-to-back singles to open the frame. After a groundout moved both over, Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) singled home Dawson and then Pierce stole home to put the Dawgs up 3-2.
The Black Bears would tie the game back up in the bottom half of the inning and then hit a two-run homer in the fifth to go up, and eventually win, 5-3. Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J.) pitched five innings in the final game of her career, while Baker worked a perfect sixth inning.