Wilmington, N.C. -- Sophomore outfielder Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) improved her average to .714 on the season thanks to three more hits, but the UMBC Softball team fell to Lehigh, 6-3, on Friday morning in the first game of the Courtyard by Marriott Seahawk Softball Classic hosted by UNCW.
The second game of the day between the Retrievers and North Carolina A&T was postponed due to rain and moved to Sunday. The new Sunday schedule will be UMBC vs Lehigh at 8:30 am and NC A&T at 1:30 pm.
Pierce collected three hits for the third time in four games this season and is 10-for-14 at the plate so far in 2019. UMBC (1-3) took an early lead after Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) started the game with a single, eventually stole second and moved to third on a Pierce infield single. Pierce then stole second and both would score on a two out error to put the Retrievers up 2-0.
Lehigh (2-1) would respond in the bottom half of the first, plating four runs (three unearned), and add two more in the second inning. The Mountain Hawks' final five runs all came with two outs.
The Retrievers quickly answered in the top of the third when Pierce lead-off with a single and moved to second on an Anna Lonchar (Bristow, Va.) walk. After a fielders' choice to get pierce out at third, Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Another fielders' choice got Lonchar at home, but Kaly Winslow (Leesburg, Va.) was then hit by a pitch to force in freshman Logan Hawker (Mechanicsville, Va.) and cut the Lehigh lead in half. However, that was the final scoring of the game for either side as UMBC would strand 12 on base, including having runners at the corners with one out in the top of the seventh.
Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.) made her first appearance in the circle this season, coming on in relief in the second inning. She allowed just one hit and no runs in 1.1 innings of work. Reigning America East Pitcher of the Week Courtney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) worked three scoreless innings of relief to close the game. The freshman allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out four.
Keffler was the only other Retriever with multiple hits, finishing with two singles. Hammett, Lonchar and Winslow each added a single, while Dawson, Hawker and Lonchar all walked once.
UMBC will play two more games on Saturday, a 10 a.m. contest against the host Seahawks and a 3 p.m. game with North Carolina A&T.