Hawker and Pierce Lead Softball to Sweep of Coppin State

Photo: Ian Feldmann
Photo: Ian Feldmann

Baltimore, Md.-- Freshman Logan Hawker (Mechanicsville, Va.) and sophomore Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) each drove in four runs on the day as the UMBC Softball team swept visiting Coppin State, 5-2 and 11-3 (6) on Wednesday afternoon.

Pierce had go ahead hit in both games, while Hawker hit her first career home run in game two. All three pitchers in the staff factored in the sweep as Courtney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) and Gillian McCarthy (Northfield, N.J.) each picked up wins and Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.)picked up her first career save.

Game 1

Coppin State (2-12) got the scoring started in the third inning when the leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch, stole second and then scored after two straight groundouts. UMBC (9-10) answered right back in the bottom half of the inning when Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) and Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) started the inning with back-to-back infield singles and stolen bases. Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) then executed a squeeze bunt to score Dawson from third and tie the game.

The Eagles would retake the lad in the fifth after a leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt put a runner at second. After a strikeout Coppin scored on a two out bloop single that landed between shortstop and left field and the runner just beat the throw home. That would be the Eagles only hit of the game

Once again, UMBC would answer right away. Keffler and Daigneau hit back-to-back one out singles to put two on before Hawker and Pierce had back-to-back RBI singles of their own to give the Retrievers a 3-2 lead. After a flyout, Anna Lonchar (Bristow, Va.) drove in pinch runner Noelani Herrera (Arnold, Md.) with a single to left and Kaly Winslow (Leesburg, Va) doubled home Pierce to make it 5-2.

Coppersmith (6-6) worked her ninth complete game of the season, she allowed just the one hit, while striking out 13 and walking three.

Game 2

The first two Coppin State batters of the game reached on a single and a walk. After a sacrifice bunt moved both over, a sacrifice fly to right put the Eagles up 1-0, but McCarthy was able to limit the damage to just that.

Pierce started the second inning with a single and advanced to second when the left fielder misplayed the ball. She moved to third on a Hammett single and then scored on a fielder's choice grounder from Lonchar to tie the game.

There wasn't much action until the fourth inning when a Keffler to Lonchar to Hawker relay threw the potential lead run out at the plate, and then Hawker hit her go ahead solo homer in the bottom half of the inning. Coppin answered right back with a two-run homer of its own in the top of the fifth to go back up, 3-2.

The UMBC bats then came alive starting in the bottom half of the fifth. Mallory Pollack (Ivyland, Pa.) walked to leadoff the inning and was followed by a single from Keffler. Both eventually moved up on a wild pitch, but were in danger of being stranded until Pierce ripped a two out double down the left field line to once again put the Retrievers ahead, 4-3.

Hammett entered to pitch in the top of the sixth to preserve the one run lead and worked a perfect inning ny inducing three straight groundouts. The floodgates opened in the bottom of the inning as UMBC put together its best offensive inning of the season. Lonchar greeted a new pitcher by starting inning with her first career homer, a deep blast to straight away center field to make it 5-3.

Kennedy Lamb (Mexico, N.Y.) followed with a bunt single and moved to second on a Chloe Obispo (Virginia Beach, Va.) ground out. Winslow then hit a pinch hit double down the left field line to score Lamb and make it 6-3. Keffler and Daigneau followed with infield hits to load the bases, followed by a two RBI single from Hawker to push the lead to 8-3.

Pierce then made it 9-3 when she doubled home Daigneau, and the game ended via run-rule after Hammett immediately followed by lining a two run single to left. UMBC sent nine batters to the plate in the seven run inning, with eight batters collecting hits, including the final six in a row.

McCarthy (3-3) went five innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits, while striking out three and walking three. Hammett picked up her first career save thanks to her perfect top of the sixth.

The Retriever softball team continues its 16 game homestand when it hosts the La Quinta Inn & Suites BWI Classic beginning on Friday. UMBC will play both UAlbany (non-conference) and Robert Morris on Friday and Saturday. For a full tournament schedule, check the link at UMBCRetrievers.com