Wilmington,N.C.-- Junior Toni Santonastasso (Canonsburg, Pa./Pope John XXIII Regional) hit the first Retrievers homer of the year, while Morgan Peyou (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) hit a clutch two RBI double in the eighth, as the UMBC Softball team (4-9) knocked off host UNC Wilmington (6-2), 6-4 in eight innings on Saturday morning. North Texas (7-6) would defeat UMBC, 6-2, in the second game of the day for the Retrievers.
UMBC got off to great start against the host Seahawks, scoring in the top of the first when Santonastasso was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. The Retrievers went up 2-0 in the second, freshman Maddie Daigneau (New River, Ariz./Boulder Creek) continued the torrid start to her career by doubling to left with two outs to score Haley DeLany (Lederach, Pa./SoudertonArea). It was the first career RBI for the defending America East Player and Rookie of the Week.
The Retriever advantage was extended to 3-0 when Santonastasso blasted a two-out homer to left. A two-out two RBI double in the bottom half of the third chased UMBC starter Kelly Lane (Albany, N.Y./Colonie Central), but, after a pitching change, catcher Chelsie Delperuto (Syracuse, N.Y./Solvay) caught the runner trying to steal third to end the inning.
UNCW would tie the game in the bottom of the sixth on a sac fly, but strand the go-ahead run at third. The game would head into extra innings and that's when the Retrievers would break through.
Tori Alexander (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge Senior) was placed on second base to start the inning due to International Tiebreaker Rules, and moved over to third on a Delperuto sacrifice bunt. DeLany then hit an infield single to the pitcher and stole second to put two in scoring position for Peyou, who brought them home with her double down the left field line. After a groundout moved Peyou to third, Lane hit a two-out RBI single to left center to make it a 6-3 UMBC lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Kim Puccio (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) got the first two outs, but allowed an RBI single and a walk to put the tying run on base. Lane re-entered to pitch, and quickly got a strikeout, but a passed ball allowed the game to continue and load the bases. The senior would keep her poise and get a pop out to shortstop to end the game and pick up her second save of the season.
Puccio (1-3) picked up the win, going 1.2 innings with three strikeouts, three walks and a hit. Jessica Holte (Ashland, Va./Atlee) was the first reliever in the game for UMBC and 2.1 innings, allowing just the one run on three hits. Nicole Casagrand (Melbourne, Fla./Hatboro-Horsham) pitched a scoreless inning of relief as well.
The Retrievers once again took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Jaclyn Buckley (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Camden Regional) hit a sacrifice fly to score Kaelin Jackson (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional). He lead would be short-lived, however, as North Texas would score once in the first and twice in both the second and third, to go up 5-1.
The Mean Green added another run in the fifth to push the advantage to 6-1, but UMBC would continue to fight until the end as Peyou would get an RBI single to score Alexander in the sixth to cut the deficit to 6-2, which would end up being the final.
UMBC will take on Appalachian State at 10 a.m. Sunday morning in the third place game. The matchup will be the fourth time the two teams have played each other in the last week. .