STONY BROOK, N.Y. – UMBC softball's designated player Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) homered for the 11th time this season to enter into the Retrievers' single-season home run list, but Stony Brook used three of its four blasts as part of a 12-run fourth inning to defeat UMBC, 16-1, in the opening game of the America East Championships on a rainy Thursday afternoon at University Field.
UMBC freshman pitcher Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) led the league during the regular-season with two home runs allowed, but doubled that total on the afternoon by surrendering a pair of blasts to the Seawolves. SBU finished the afternoon with four home runs in five innings of play to improve to 33-16 on the season, while the Retrievers fell to 31-21.
The Retrievers put two aboard in the top of the first inning, with America East All-Conference First Team selections O'Neill and Taylor Hall (Cosby, Va./Cosby) each drawing a walk. A fly out to right field from senior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College), an All-Conference Second Team selection, advanced O'Neill to third with two outs, but the AEC Pitcher of the Year Allison Cukrov came up with her second strikeout of the frame to escape the inning scoreless.
The Seawolves led off the bottom of the first with three straight singles, including an RBI-single to right center from center fielder Shayla Giosia, to take a 1-0 lead. Left fielder Bria Green followed with a three-run home run to left center field to extend the advantage to 4-0 after one inning of play.
O'Neill launched a solo shot to center to tie for 10th on UMBC's single-season home run list to bring the Retrievers within three, 4-1, in the top of the third inning.
Stony Brook exploded for 12 runs on 11 hits in the bottom of the fourth inning, starting with a solo home run from designated player Alexandra Pisciotta, her first of two blasts and four runs batted in during the frame. Holte's (18-10) afternoon ended after surrendering 11 earned runs on 10 hits through 3.1 innings of work.
UMBC loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the fifth inning, but were unable to take advantage. The Retrievers stranded seven runners on base in the contest.
Cukrov earned her 22nd win of the season, allowing one run on three hits and striking out five in the victory. Casagrand surrendered two earned runs on five hits in relief for the black and gold.
The Retrievers continue to America East Championship action on Friday, May 9. UMBC will face the loser of Thursday's game two, No. 2 Albany versus No. 3 Binghamton, at 1:30 p.m. at University Field. Stony Brook will face the winner of Albany and Binghamton at 11 a.m. at University Field.
-Due to rain, the game started an hour and a half late.
-Danielle O'Neill moved into a tie for 10th on UMBC's single-season home run list. This marks just the third time in program history that a pair of teammates posted top-10 marks in home runs in the same season. O'Neill also moved into a tie for second on the Retrievers' single-season walks list with 34 on the year.
-Taylor Hall finished the afternoon with three walks to move into a tie with Kristie Pickeral (30) for seventh on the Retrievers' single-season walks list.