BALTIMORE – UMBC softball's junior catcher Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) homered for the 14th time this season to move into a tie with Stevie Shore for third on the Retrievers' single-season home run list in the regular-season finale at UMBC Softball Stadium. The Retrievers hit the ball hard, but Albany came away with the 6-1 victory on Senior Day to take the series sweep.
UMBC concludes the regular-season with a 31-20 record, its first 30-win season since 2009, and will enter the upcoming America East Championships as the fourth-seed. The Retrievers will meet tournament host No. 1 Stony Brook on Thursday, May 8. Game time is to be announced. Albany finishes the year at 29-10 overall and 14-3 in league play. The Great Danes are the second seed in the tournament and will face No. 3 Binghamton.
Hall's home run in the bottom of the seventh inning was her second hit of the day and put the Retrievers on the board with one out. Senior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) and freshman third baseman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) followed with back-to-back singles through the left side of the infield to put runners on first and second with one out. Albany starting pitcher Brittany MacFawn was able to get out of the inning despite a pair of hard-hit line drives to first and third from seniors Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Easton) and Megan Sauble (Glen Burnie, Md./Glen Burnie/CCBC-Catonsville). MacFawn (16-5) struck out 10 batters in the complete-game victory.
Two of the Retrievers' five errors in the contest came in the top of the second inning and put UMBC in a two-run deficit. Albany made its advantage to 3-0 with a solo home run from short stop Maggie Cocks in the top of the fifth inning.
The Great Danes added two more long balls from first baseman Jess Tate and second baseman Kelly Costello in the top of the seventh inning to drive in three more runs and extend its lead to 6-0. UMBC starting pitcher Nicole Casagrand (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) exited after surrendering three earned runs on eight hits in six innings of work to fall to 6-4 on the season. Junior Miranda Clark (Tampa, Fla./H.B. Plant) made her second relief appearance of the weekend, coming in to finish the top of the seventh inning without allowing a hit or a run.
-The Retrievers will make their first America East Championship appearance since 2011.
-UMBC's 45 home runs this year is the most for the Retrievers since they blasted 46 home runs in 2009.
-The Retrievers' 244 runs batted in are the most since 2007 (249).
-Taylor Hall takes over fifth place on UMBC's career home run list (29), moving ahead of Dana Shepherd. She also moves into a tie for sixth in single-season extra-base hits (27) and fifth in runs batted in during a single-season (51).