West Hartford, Conn. -- A day after being named the first ever to win both America East Rookie and Pitcher of the Year, Courtney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) threw her fourth no-hitter of the season to lead the fourth-seeded UMBC Softball team to a 3-0 victory over fifth-seeded Hartford to open America East Tournament play on Wednesday morning.
Sophomore Julia Keffler (Huntingtown, Md.) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while classmate Sierra Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio) also had an RBI and scored a run in the victory. It was the first victory in the AE Tournament for UMBC (27-22) since 2016, and the first time it's won its first game of the double-elimination tournament since 2007.
Anna Lonchar (Bristow, Va.), who has caught all five no-hitters thrown by UMBC pitchers this season, was one of six Retrievers to get a hit on the day. Valerie Hammett (Mechanicsville, Md.), Kaly Winslow (Leesburg, Va) and Coppersmith also had singles.
Keffler started the bottom of the first with an infield single, Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz.) reached on an error and Coppersmith singled to load the bases. Keffler would then score on a Pierce sacrifice fly to center to put UMBC up 1-0 after Hartford (20-30) was able to limit the damage.
Hammett would hit a leadoff single in the second, and pinch runner Noelani Herrera (Arnold, Md.) would move to second on a Lonchar one-out single. Imani Dawson (Hanover, Md.) then moved both runners into scoring position with a bunt and Keffler would beat out an infield single to score Herrera to make it a 2-0 Retriever lead.
Pierce ripped a one-out double in the third and would then score on a two-out error to make it 3-0. Hartford threatened in the top of the fourth, putting two on with a pair of walks, but Coppersmith won a prolonged at-bat getting a swinging strikeout with a full count and two outs to end the inning.
Coppersmith struck out 11 and walked four in the no-hit effort. Keffler also added a stolen base for UMBC.
The No.4 Retrievers will face regular season champion No.1 UMass Lowell on Thursday morning at 11 a.m.