Baltimore, Md.-- Freshman Courtney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) broke the school record for strikeouts in a season and picked up a win and a save as the UMBC Softball team swept a doubleheader from visiting Hartford on Friday.
With the wins, UMBC (26-21, 7-10 AE) not only clinched a spot in the America East Tournament, but also secured the No.4 seed, its highest finish since 2014.
Coppersmith broke Stephanie Weigman's record of 293 strikeouts set in 2009 after she opened the third inning with her sixth strikeout of the game. She finished the first game with 12 strikeouts to become just the second America East pitcher to record 300 strikeouts in a single season.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second when Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) hit a one-out double and moved to third on an Anna Lonchar (Bristow, Va.) single. UMBC then took a 1-0 lead when Kaly Winslow (Leesburg, Va.) singled to center to score Pierce.
The Retrievers then exploded for eight runs on nine hits in the bottom of the third. Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) started the inning with a double to left and then scored with one out after the catcher threw the ball away as she stole third. After a pop-up made it bases-empty with two outs, UMBC rattled off eight consecutive hits.
Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Va.) and Pierce had consecutive singles and Lonchar followed with an RBI single of her own to make it 3-0. Winslow then tripled to right field to drive in Pierce and Lonchar and make it 5-0. Imani Dawson greeted the new Hartford (18-29, 5-12 AE) pitcher by doubling in Winslow to make it 6-0. Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) doubled home Dawson and then scored on a Daigneau triple. Coppersmith then singled home Daigneau to make it 9-0 before the inning finally ended.
Coppersmith allowed a two-out double in the first, but then retired the final 13 batters in a row to finish her 11th complete-game shutout of the season. The lefty struck out 12, walked none and allowed just the one hit. Eight of the nine UMBC starters recorded a hit, with Daigneau, Pierce, Lonchar and Winslow each recording two hits.
The Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a two-run homer in the second inning. UMBC was able to get four singles throughout the first four innings, but couldn't capitalize and trailed 2-0 heading into the fifth when Gillian McCarthy (Northfield, N.J.) replaced Hammett in the circle and eventually stranded a runner at second.
The Retrievers would have another two out rally in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead. After a pair of groundouts to start the inning, Dawson singled and then scored on a Keffler triple to cut the Hartford lead to 2-1. Daigneau then beat out an infield single to score Keffler and tie the game at two. Coppersmith then hit a double that scored Daigneau all the way from first to give the Retrievers a 3-2 lead.
McCarthy worked a perfect top of the sixth, and then Coppersmith came in to pitch the seventh and struck out the side to earn her first career save. Dawson and Coppersmith had two hits each, while Pierce, Hammett and Winslow also added hits.
McCarthy went two innings in relief, allowing just the one hit and striking out one to improve to 8-9 on the season. Coppersmith finished the day with 15 strikeouts, one hit and no walks on just 71 pitches in six innings. She now has 303 strikeouts on the season.
The two teams wrap-up the series and regular season tomorrow at noon. A Senior Day ceremony will begin at 11:50 a.m.