STONY BROOK, N.Y. – UMBC softball's freshman third baseman Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) tied the game with an RBI-double in the top of the seventh inning, but Binghamton's Taylor Chaffee used a walk-off home run to slip past the Retrievers, 2-1, in heartbreaking fashion in an elimination game at the America East Championships on Friday evening at University Field.
UMBC concludes its 2014 campaign with a 31-22 overall record, its 10th 30-win season and first since 2009. Binghamton (22-24) advances to the finals of the loser's bracket to face Albany at noon on Saturday, May 10.
The Bearcats' first baseman Lisa Cadogan put Binghamton on the scoreboard first in the bottom of the second inning with a solo shot over the center field fence, giving Binghamton the early 1-0 lead.
Senior first baseman Chelsea Bertoglio (Laguna Hills, Calif./Laguna Hills/Saddleback College) drilled a shot to left center that fell just shy of tying the game at one apiece, knocking off the fence and falling in for a double in the top of the fourth inning, but the Retrievers were unable to bring her around to score in the frame.
With the Retrievers still trailing a run, Bertoglio launched an identical shot to left center to lead off the top of the seventh inning, giving UMBC a runner in scoring position with no outs. Binghamton starter Demi Laney was able to get the next two batters out, but a double from Jackson scored pinch runner Kathleen Sharp (Toms River, N.J./Toms River/Brookdale CC) from second and tied the score at one apiece. A wild pitch allowed Jackson to advance to third, but the Retrievers could not capitalize with the go-ahead single.
Chaffee's lead-off dinger was her first of the day and only the fourth hit of the contest from the Bearcats. Holte (18-11) allowed two earned runs on four hits and struck out two batters. She ends the year tied for first on UMBC's freshman wins list and ranks third on the Retrievers' single-season wins list. Laney surrendered one earned run on four hits and struck out nine.