Albany, N.Y.-- Freshman Courtney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) drove in two runs and pitched a complete game to help lead the UMBC Softball team to a split at two-time defending America East Champion UAlbany. The Retrievers hung on for a 3-2 win in game one, before dropping a 13-5 (6) contest in the second game.
UMBC (24-20, 5-9 AE) jumped out to an early lead in game one when Coppersmith tripled with one out in the first to score Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) who reached on an error and stole second. Coppersmith would then score on an error to make it 2-0 a batter later.
The Retrievers would add to their lead in the top of the third using a similar formula to the first. Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) reached on a out out error and advanced to second on a groundout. Coppersmith then delivered the eventual game-winning hit, an RBI single to right that scored Keffler and made it 3-0. UAlbany (24-13, 11-2 AE) would get a run back in the bottom half of the inning after a leadoff single, stolen base, bunt and two-out RBI single. Coppersmith would strand the tying run at third, however, on a ground out.
The score would remain 3-1 until the bottom of the seventh, when the Great Danes would rally after the leadoff batter reached on an error, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and then another error put runners at the corners. A single made it 3-2 with runners at the corners and one out, but Coppersmith got a strikeout and groundout to hand UAlbany just its second conference loss of the season.
Coppersmith finished 2-of-3 at the plate with two RBI and a run scored, and improved to 16-11 in the circle. She allowed just the one earned run, striking out five and walking none in the complete game. Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) and Logan Hawker (Mechanicsville, Va.) had the other two hits for the Retrievers.
UAlbany jumped out to an 8-0 lead after three innings in the second game, but UMBC would rally with three in the fourth. Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.), Anna Lonchar (Bristow, Va.) and Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) would get three consecutive RBI singles with two outs to cut the Great Dane lead to 8-3.
The hosts would get two runs back in the bottom half of the inning, but the Retrievers halved the lead on a Pierce two-RBI double with two outs in the fifth. UAlbany would again respond with two runs in the bottom half of the inning, and then walk-off via run rule in the sixth.
Defending America East Rookie of the Week Gillian McCarthy (Northfield, N.J.) pitched all five-plus innings and fell to 8-8 on the season. Daigneau, Dawson and Lonchar all had two-hit games, while Hammett, Keffler and Pierce also had hits. Daigneau scored twice, and Coppersmith, Hammett and Keffler scored a run each.
The two teams conclude the series tomorrow at noon.