Softball Mashes Four Homers, 21 runs and 24 Hits in Pair of Run-Rule Victories Over Maryland Eastern Shore

Photo: Ian Feldmann
Photo: Ian Feldmann

Baltimore, Md.-- Logan Hawker (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Kaly Winslow (Leesburg, Va.) each hit a run-rule walk-off homer as the UMBC Softball team cruised to a doubleheader sweep of Maryland Eastern Shore on Thursday afternoon.

Hawker's two-run blast in the bottom of the sixth of game one gave the Retrievers a 10-1 win, while Winslow's three-run sixth inning bomb ended UMBC's 11-3 victory in game two. Four different Retrievers homered, 10 had hits, nine drove in at least one run and nine scored at least one run. Coutney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) entered in relief of both games, retiring all 11 batters she faced, 10 of them via strike out and picking up the win in game two.

With the sweep, UMBC improves to 13-11, surpassing last season's win total of 12.

GAME 1

Eastern Shore (4-17) put two on with one out in the top of the first thanks to a pair of walks, but UMBC starter Gillian McCarthy (Northfield, N.J.) got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat. In the second, however, a pair of walks to leadoff the inning eventually resulted in a run scoring on a ground out to put the Hawks up 1-0.

The Retrievers responded in the bottom half of the inning after Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.) and Winslow had back-to-back singles to start the inning, and then the bases were loaded on an error. Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) hit a single to left to score Hammett and tie the game, and then Mallory Pollack (Ivyland, Pa.) followed by driving in the eventual winning run on an RBI groundout to shortstop.

UMBC broke it open in the third when Hawker hit a leadoff double and Hammett followed with a two-run homer, the first of her career, to make it 4-1. After a flyout, Anna Lonchar (Bristow, Va.) hit her second homer of the season, a no-doubt solo shot to left field to make it 5-1.

Eastern Shore again had back-to-back walks to start the fourth, and both runners moved over on a sacrifice bunt. McCarthy would get out of the jam, however, thanks to some heads-up defense as she struck a batter out on a wild pitch, but instead of throwing to first to complete the strikeout, Hawker threw the ball to third to catch the lead runner in a run-down and get the out. A flyout then ended the inning.

UMBC would add two more in the bottom of fourth when Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) hit a leadoff single and stole second. Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) then hit an infield single, but the shortstop threw the ball away to allow Keffler to score all the way from second and make it 6-1. Daigneau eventually stole third and scored on a Hawker RBI single to make it 7-1.

McCarthy again stranded two runners in the fifth, but was removed after giving up a bloop single in the top of the sixth. Coppersmith entered and struck out all three batters she faced on just 14 pitches.

UMBC would end the game in the bottom half of the inning after Daigneau hit a leadoff single and immediately scored when Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) doubled down the left field line. Hawker then followed with her homer to end the game via run-rule.

McCarthy improved to 4-4 on the year, allowing just three hits and the one earned run in five innings, while striking out five. Hawker finished a triple short of the cycle, going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Daigneau and Hammett each had two hits and two runs scored, while Dawson and Keffler also added two hits. Jenna Stupey (Edmonds, Wash.) picked up a pinch hit single for her first hit of the season.

Game 2

The Retrievers took the lead early and never looked back in night cap. Keffler started the first with a single, and that was followed by Daigneau reaching on an error and a one out Hawker single to load the bases. Winslow then worked a full count walk to make it 1-0 and Lonchar made it 2-0 with an RBI fielder's choice. The Hawks answered with a solo homer to lead off the top of the second and got the tying run to third with two outs, but Hammett induced a groundout to end the inning.

Kennedy Lamb (Mexico, N.Y.) and Keffler hit back-to-back one out singles in the second and both moved up on a double steal. Daigneau then drove in Lamb with an RBI single and Pierce hit a sacrifice fly to score Keffler and make it 4-1, and Daigneau would then score on a wild pitch to push the lead to 5-1 before the inning ended.

Eastern Shore would score two in the top of the fourth with one and had runners on the corners when Coppersmith replaced Hammett in the circle and immediately got two strikeouts to end the inning. UMBC would make it 7-3 in the fifth when four straight one-out walks lead to Chloe Obispo (Virginia Beach, Va.) forcing in a run with a walk, which Lamb followed with a sacrifice fly to score pinch runner Noelani Herrera (Arnold, Md.).

UMBC would end the game in the bottom half of the sixth after all four batters recorded a hit. Daigneau singled through the the left side and scored on Pierce double, followed by a Hawker single to put runners on the corners before Winslow hit her walk-off blast. It was Winslow's fifth homer of the season and her 20th RBI, both higher than the top marks on last season's team (four and 18).

Coppersmith (9-6) picked up the win and struck out seven of the eight batters she faced, including the first six. Hammett got the no decision after going 3.1 innings with three earned runs, four hits, a walk and a strike out.

Keffler, Daigneau and Winslow each had two hits, with Winslow driving in four runs and Daigneau and Keffler scoring three and two runs, respectively

UMBC opens America East play this Saturday when it hosts Binghamton for a doubleheader starting at noon. The teams wrap up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.