Photo courtesy of UMass Lowell Athletics

River Hawks Drop AE Opener at UMBC, 6-1

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River Hawks Drop AE Opener at UMBC, 6-1

BALTIMORE, Md. – The UMass Lowell softball team (6-17, 0-1 AE) dropped a 6-1 decision at UMBC (6-19, 1-0 AE) in the America East Conference opener on Friday afternoon.

The teams were originally scheduled to play a twin bill, but due to a three-hour rain and lightning delay before the start of the games, the River Hawks and Retrievers were only able to get one game in.

“I thought it was a rough start for us, but we have a lot of games left in the conference, so we just have to keep getting after it,” said Head Coach Danielle Henderson. “UMBC played great defense and took advantage of some of our mistakes.”

Despite the soggy conditions, the pitchers controlled the early innings of the contest, keeping the game scoreless through three and a half. The River Hawk defense stranded Retrievers in scoring position in each of the first two innings before both sides went three-up and three-down in the third.

Sophomore Marianne Sparacia (Spring Hill, Fla.) lined UMass Lowell’s first hit of the day over the UMBC second baseman’s head and into right-center in the top of the fourth, but the Retrievers pulled ahead, 3-0, in their next at-bat with a RBI single to center and a two-run homer over the fence in left.

The River Hawks cut into the difference in the fifth, loading the bases with hits from junior Brianna West (Fairfield, Conn.) and senior Vanessa Cooper (Pleasant Gap, Pa.) before classmate Samantha McQueen (Ewing, N.J.) was hit by a pitch. Senior Madison Alcorn (Lowell, Mass.) then drew a two-out, RBI walk to put her squad on the board.

UMBC got the run back in the home half of the fifth with the help of three singles, making the score, 4-1. In the sixth, sophomore Courtney Cashman (Danvers, Mass.) sent a ball to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but was left there, as the Retrievers pulled away 6-1.

Due to the weather delay, the River Hawks and Retrievers will now play a doubleheader tomorrow, Saturday, March 31, 2018, to close out the series. Game one is set to begin at 11 a.m.

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