Saturday, April 11, 2009

University of Albany Kat Smith's Walk-Off Home Run in the Eighth Lifts Softball Over UMBC - UAlbany Sports 2009

Courtesy: UAlbany Sports Information

Albany, N.Y. – Junior catcher Kat Smith went 3-for-4 and hit her first career walk-off home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lift the UAlbany softball team to a 4-3 victory over UMBC in the rubber game of a three-game series between the teams on Saturday, April 11 at Albany Field. With the victory, the Great Danes moved into sole possession of fourth place in the America East Conference standings.

Pitcher Leah McIntosh, who did not allow a runner to reach second base through the first six innings, and the Great Danes carried a 2-0 lead into the final frame thanks to a solo home run by Gina Mason in the second and an RBI single by Jess Bergin in the fourth. After the first batter was retired, UMBC’s Lauren O’Malley singled to kickstart the wild finish. On the next play, Emily Thompson lined a homer to left to tie the game at two and eventually force extra innings.

McIntosh regained control in the top of the eighth by striking out the first two batters. However, Lauren Brummell knocked out a solo home run to right center to put UMBC (25-16, AE 5-6) ahead for the first time, 3-2. In the bottom of the eighth, Mason was hit by a pitch after the first out was recorded to set the stage for Smith. The junior, who holds Division I program records behind the plate for catching six no-hitters and three perfect games, came through in the clutch with her first home run of the season and fourth of her career.

“I went up there with a clear head, remembered what my coach told me to do and it worked out for me,” said Smith on her final hit. “You have to credit the entire team. None of us ever gave up. I did not win the game (today). The team did.”

UAlbany’s McIntosh improved to 13-1 this season with the victory. She surrendered five hits and three runs which were earned while striking out seven batters. In addition, the junior did not issue a walk for the fourth consecutive start. UMBC’s Stephanie Weigman, who leads the conference in victories, settled for the loss and fell to 15-11. She gave up seven hits and four runs, including three earned, while issuing three walks. The sophomore also finished the game with eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings of work.

“That was a huge at bat for Kat, and a big win for us,” head coach Chris Cannata offered. “We needed to take two out of three. It was definitely a big hit in a big moment.”

UAlbany (21-10, AE 4-3) will continue its longest homestand of the season when Manhattan visits Albany Field on Tuesday, April 14 for a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.


UMBC (25-16, AE 5-6) 000 000 21 3 5 1

UAlbany (21-10, AE 4-3) 010 010 02 4 7 0

(one out was recorded when the winning run scored)

UAlbany: Leah McIntosh and Kat Smith.
UMBC: Stephanie Weigman and Rebecca Bernheimer.

UAlbany 4, UMBC 3 (8 inn.) (April 11, 2009 at Albany, N.Y.)

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