BALTIMORE – UMBC softball dropped its America East opening doubleheader to Stony Brook on Tuesday afternoon after stranding a total of 19 runners in a pair of one-run contests at the UMBC Softball Stadium. The Retrievers were unable to hold on to an early advantage in game one, falling, 3-2, and came up short on a comeback in game two in a 2-1 loss.
"Today's games were hard fought," said head coach Joe French. "We missed on a couple of timely hits and that proved to be the difference."
Junior catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) led the Retrievers offensively, tallying two hits and drawing four walks. Stony Brook improves to 12-12 on the year and 4-1 in league play, while UMBC falls to 20-11 on the season and 0-2 in conference action.
Taylor put the Retrievers out in front in the bottom of the first inning of game one with a two-run home run to left field, driving in sophomore shortstop Bridget O'Malley (Brooklyn, Md./Seton Keough), who drew her first of four walks in the contest.
A lead-off single to left from sophomore Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern), was followed by back-to-back walks to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the third. SBU starting pitcher Allison Cukrov gathered herself, striking out two of the next three batters and escaping the jam without any further damage from the Retrievers.
Stony Brook got one back in the top of the fourth inning on a two-out RBI-double from sophomore first baseman Melissa Phelan, scoring Nicole Schieferstein from second.
The Retrievers threatened in the fifth, leading off the frame with a pair of walks and advancing both runners into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from freshman first baseman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional). Cukrov got out of the inning, tallying one of her 10 strikeouts and forcing a lineout.
A double from senior third baseman Olivia Mintun in the top of the sixth put the game-tying run on second for the Seawolves. Junior left fielder Bria Green took advantage, sending a single up the middle for her first hit of the afternoon to tie the contest at two apiece. Stony Brook was not done yet, as an errant throw on a stolen base moved Green into scoring position and a two out single from red-shirt junior right fielder Jessica Zeilman gave the Seawolves a 3-2 advantage.
Cukrov surrendered two more walks in the bottom of the seventh to put a pair of runners aboard with one out, but the Retrievers were unable to capitalize.
UMBC starting pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) surrendered two earned runs on five hits in the loss (12-4), while Cukrov allowed two runs on two hits and nine walks. Cukrov tallied 10 strikeouts in her eighth win of the season (8-7).
In game two, Stony Brook loaded the bases in the second inning, while UMBC put two runners on in each of the first three innings, but the contest remained scoreless through the first three frames. A two-out double to left field in the top of the fourth inning from junior centerfielder Shayla Giosia drove in pinch runner Lexie Shue from first and broke the scoreless affair, 1-0, in favor of SBU.
A one-out homer from Zeilman extended Stony Brook's lead to two runs, 2-0, in the top of the sixth. A double to left center from the ensuing batter prompted the end of the afternoon for UMBC starting pitcher Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central) after two runs on six hits in 5.1 innings.
The Retrievers trimmed their deficit in half, 2-1, in the bottom of the sixth. A one-out walk from relief pitcher Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) put a runner on for Jackson, who took advantage by roping a double down the left field line to score Casagrand from first. A walk from Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) put runners on first and second, but UMBC left the duo on base.
SBU starter Jane Sallen picked up the victory, with the relief help of Cukrov. Sallen allowed one run on six hits. Lane picked up the loss (4-5), while Casagrand threw 1.2 scoreless innings.
The Retrievers step out of America East action on Wednesday, April 2 when it travels to Kiwanis Park in Ellicott City, Md., for a neutral site doubleheader against Howard. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.
-Taylor Hall's seventh home run of the season has moved her into sole possession of seventh place on UMBC's career home run list, surpassing Amy Wolff (1994-97) and Julia Culotta (2008-11).