River Hawks Handed Pair of Losses at UAlbany Friday
ALBANY, N.Y. – The UMass Lowell softball team (19-25, 12-4 AE) faced a pair of hard-fought setbacks at America East foe UAlbany (27-13, 12-4 AE) on Friday afternoon.
The River Hawks were first defeated, 1-0, on a walkoff in the bottom of the seventh in game one before falling, 4-2, in game two. With the squads’ records now tied, tomorrow’s series finale will decide the league’s regular-season champion.
“I thought we were trying a little too hard up at the plate,” said Head Coach Danielle Henderson. “We weren’t able to get the hits we needed and score the runs. This is a new experience for the team and they are learning how to play with pressure.”
Four different River Hawks logged one hit on the day, including redshirt-sophomore Casey Harding (Cheshire, Conn.), who roped her fifth home run of the year in game two. Junior pitcher Kaysee Talcik (Shelton, Conn.) fanned two batters in her complete-game performance in game one to become the first River Hawk to surpass 100 strikeouts in a single season at the Division I level.
Game one was a defensive battle, as sophomore Marianne Sparacia (Spring Hill, Fla.) and senior Madison Alcorn (Lowell, Mass.) logged the only hits through the first three innings. Talcik controlled the game from the circle, holding the Great Danes hitless through six complete innings.
The home team broke up the no-hitter in the bottom of the seventh with a double to left center by McKenzie Bump. A bunt single moved the runner into scoring position for Kelly Spear, whose two-bagger to center gave the Great Danes the 1-0 victory in walk-off fashion.
Game two was similar to game one, with the pitchers for both sides controlling the momentum for much of the contest. UAlbany accounted for the only three hits in the first three innings.
The River Hawks plated their first run of the day in the top of the fourth when Alcorn reached on a three-base error and scored on a double to right field by sophomore Courtney Cashman (Danvers, Mass.).
The lead remained intact until the bottom of the sixth, when the Great Danes rallied for four runs on a double and a homer to pull in front, 4-1. The River Hawks got one back in the seventh on a long ball from Harding, but it was not enough, as UAlbany sealed the 4-2 decision.
The squads will square off in the rubber match for first place in the league standings tomorrow, Sunday, May 5 at 12 p.m.
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