ELON, N.C. – UMBC softball swept a pair of contests for the second straight day to take all four of its contests at the Phoenix Opening Tournament. Senior Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) and junior Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) each generated three RBI on the day for the Retrievers.
The Retrievers picked up the 3-2 eight inning victory, scoring three runs on five hits, while Elon (7-4-1) finished with 10 hits, but left eight runners on base in game one. UMBC eliminated a three-run deficit in game two by exploding for a nine-run fifth inning in a 10-8 victory against Iona to improve to 4-2 on the year.
UMBC surrendered a two-out double in the bottom of the third inning to Emily Cameron and Emily Roper followed with an RBI single into right center to take a 1-0 lead. The two connected again in the fifth, this time with Roper coming up with the RBI double, to extend the advantage to two runs, 2-0.
The Retrievers wasted no time, driving in a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning to knot the contest at two. Sophomore Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough) put herself into scoring position, doubling to left field, and then scored on a defensive miscue from Elon following a fly out from Hall. A double down the left field line from senior Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) setup an RBI single from Chance to tie the game at two apiece.
In extra innings, UMBC moved Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee), who was placed on second, over to third on a ground out by sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern). O'Malley singled down the right field line, for her second hit of the contest, to score the game-winning run.
Holte moved to 3-0 on the season with eight innings of work, allowing two runs on 10 hits and striking out three. Alli Burdette allowed two runs through 5.2 and Caitlin O'Shea (1-1) was credited with the loss, surrendering the game-winning run in 2.1 innings.
UMBC got out in front early on Iona, loading the bases with one out in the top of the first inning against Iona's starting pitcher Jordan Courage. Chance picked up her second RBI of the day, reaching on a fielder's choice to score O'Neill from third and giving the Retrievers a 1-0 advantage.
A pair of singles followed by a home run put the Gaels out front, 3-1, in the top of the third inning. A defensive miscue from the Retrievers allowed for Iona to extend the inning and add another run with back-to-back singles.
The Retrievers exploded for nine runs on eight hits and a pair of Iona errors in the bottom of the fifth inning. Four of UMBC's eight hits went for extra bases, including a leadoff home run from O'Neill, giving the Retrievers a 10-4 lead.
Iona (0-2) did not go quietly, homering to lead off the top of the seventh and adding three more runs on three hits in the frame. UMBC relief pitcher Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) held on for the victory (1-1), allowing two earned runs in 3.2 innings. Christine Costelllo (0-1) was credited with the loss, surrendering five runs on seven hits in 4.1 innings of work.
The Retrievers return to action on Wednesday, Feb. 26 when they travel to George Mason for a midweek single game.