Friday, April 10, 2009

UAlbany Splits America East Softball Doubleheader Against UMBC

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Jess Bergin went yard for the first time this season and drove in a career-high four runs in leading UAlbany to a 9-1 victory in the first game of an America East Conference softball doubleheader against UMBC on Friday, April 10, at Albany Field. The Retrievers held off a rally by the Great Danes to win the second game by a 5-3 score and earn the split.

In game one, UMBC (25-15, AE 5-5) scored a run in the top half of the first inning. With two runners in scoring position and only one out, Julia Culotta grounded out to Michelle Connors (Shenendehowa) to plate Lauren Brummell.

UAlbany (19-9responded with four runs in the bottom half of the inning. After Connors and Kristine Bill each drew a walk, Meagan Butsch singled to center and advanced to second on the throw which was too late to gun down Bill. With two on and two out, Bergin broke the tie by clubbing a three-run homer over the fence in center.

After Bergin drove in another run in the third, the Great Danes put the game away with four runs in the sixth. Butsch led off with a double to right center and stole third. Mason then drew a walk to put runners on the corners for Bergin. After MacDowell, who came in as a pinch runner, stole second, Bergin walked to load the bases. Bailey Van Deest, who was pinch hitting for Katie Wambold, dropped a bloop single in left field on the next play to score the Great Danes’ first run of the stanza and sixth of the game. MacDowell came home for the seventh run on a passed ball, and Nicole Kothe singled up the middle to plate pinch runner Wambold and Bergin to end the game due to the eight-run rule.

UAlbany’s Leah McIntosh, who most recently hurled her third perfect game of the season last weekend against Hartford, improved to 12-1 this season with the victory. She recorded four strikeouts, gave up one run which was earned, and did not issue a walk for her third consecutive start.

UMBC’s Amanda Fefel fell to 9-4 with the loss. She struck out four, walked four and was charged with seven runs (six earned). The junior also gave up six hits in five innings of work. Culotta made a relief appearance in the sixth, and recorded one out. She surrendered two hits, one walk and was tagged with two runs which were earned.

Lauren Brummell led off the second game by hitting a routine pop-up, but a Great Dane infielder dropped the ball which allowed the sophomore to advance to second. The miscue would prove to be costly, as the Retrievers scored four times before the third out was recorded. Brummell came across home on a groundout to Powell, and Culotta doubled down the left field line a few plays later. Emily Thompson capped the frame when she homored to left field with two outs.

UAlbany made a rally by scoring one run in the third and two in the fourth. Bill doubled in the first run, and Mason went yard to cut the UMBC lead to a single run. After Fefel homered in the fifth to put the Retrievers ahead by two, the Great Danes made one effort to at least tie the score and force extra innings in the bottom of the seventh. Batting with one out, Kat Smith reached second on an error by the left fielder to get the attempted rally started. Kothe then grounded out to the pitcher which advanced Stephanie Talerico, who was pinch running for Smith, to third. Andrianna Walraven came up to bat with one last chance to extend the game, but she hit a pop-up which was caught by the second baseman in short center through traffic for the third out.

UAlbany’s Marissa Powell was credited with the loss and fell to 8-9 this season. She surrendered six hits and issued one walk while fanning four. Only one of the five runs she gave up was earned. UMBC’s Stephanie Weigman improved to 15-10 with the victory in the circle. She surrendered five hits, three walks and three runs which were all earned while striking out four batters.

The Great Danes and Retrievers will play the rubber game of the series on Saturday, April 11 at noon.

UMBC 100 000 1 4 0
UAlbany 401 004 9 8 1

(game called with one out in the sixth due to eight-run rule)
UAlbany: Leah McIntosh and Kat Smith.
UMBC: Amanda Fefel, Julia Culotta (6) and Amanda Page, Rebecca Bernheimer (6).

UMBC (25-15, AE 5-5) 400 010 0 5 6 1
UAlbany (20-10, AE 3-3) 001 200 0 3 5 2

UAlbany: Marissa Powell and Kat Smith.
UMBC: Stephanie Weigman and Rebecca Bernheimer.

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