Hampton, Va.—Senior shortstop Bridget O'Malley collected a total of four hits and 3 RBI, including a two-run homer, to lead UMBC to a split on Wednesday afternoon at Hampton.
UMBC (11-14) took and early 1-0 lead when sophomore centerfielder Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior) started the game by working a nine-pitch walk, and then promptly stole second. Two batters later, O'Malley singled through the right side and Alexander held up at third, but the right fielder threw home anyway and it sailed way over the catcher's head allowing Alexander to score easily.
Hampton (7-14) would tie the game in the bottom half of the inning and then each team would go down in order in the second. Morgan Peyou (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) worked a full-count walk to lead off the third and O'Malley followed with a walk of her own. That's when sophomore first baseman Carly Lesko (New Milford, N.J./New Milford) swung at the first pitch and crushed an absolute no-doubter way over the left field fence to give the Retrievers a 4-1 lead.
After Hampton sliced the lead in half on an unearned run in the bottom of the third, UMBC would get it right back, and then some, in the fourth. Senior catcher Jordan Sganga (Edgewater, Md./South River) lead off the inning with a hit and Shayna Rider (Westminster, Md./Delone Catholic) pinch-ran for her and moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional). She would score on a Peyou squeeze bunt, which was followed by a two-run homer off the bat of O'Malley to push the lead to 7-2.
In the fifth, Kaelin Jackson (Export, Va./Franklin Regional) led-off with a walk and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Danielle O'Neill (Lothian, Md./Southern) and then over to third on a single by Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central). Nicole Shavlik (Woodinville, Wash./Woodinville) entered to pinch run for Lane, stole second and would score, along with Jackson, on a Sganga single to make it 9-2 UMBC.
The Retrievers would then tack on three more in the sixth, all with two outs. Peyou and O'Malley hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and after two outs, O'Neill singled home Peyou to make it a 10-2 Retriever advantage. Shavlik then loaded the bases when she laid down a georgeous bunt that stopped right outside the batter's box. Sganga then hit a line drive to short that the shortstop dropped to score O'Malley, and Buckley followed that with an RBI single to make it 12-2.
Hampton added a run in the sixth, but Buckley and Shavlik made back-to-back great defensive plays to record two outs and the Retrievers held on for the 12-3 run-rule victory.
Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) pitched six-inning complete game improve to 5-5 on the season. The junior lefty allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits, while striking out two and walking one.
The second game started as a pitcher's duel, as the game remained scoreless until the fifth inning. Freshman catcher Jenna Stupey (Edmonds, Wash./Kamiak) was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Haley DeLany (Lederach, Pa./Souderton Area) pinch ran and advanced to third on a double to left by Alexander. O'Malley would bring in DeLany with a two-out infield single to second. The lead would be short lived, however, as Hampton would then explode for seven runs in the bottom half of the inning and hold on to win 7-1. O'Malley finished 1-for-3 with the lone RBI for the Retrievers, while Alexander went 2-for-4 with two doubles.
Sophomore Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) took the loss for the Retrievers, pitching 4.0 + innings allowing four runs, all earned, on five hits, while walking five and striking out four. She falls to 4-3 on the season.
UMBC will get the day off on Thursday before starting the UMBC Spring Classic on Friday against Siena. First pitch between the Retrievers and Saints is scheduled for 12:45 pm at UMBC Softball Stadium.