Softball punches ticket to America East Tournament

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Softball punches ticket to America East Tournament

Kelly Insalaco, Staff Writer

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The Hartford softball team dropped two games on day one of their America East series against UMBC, losing 9-0 in game one, and 3-2 in game two on Friday, May 3. In the first game of the series, UMBC came out firing, scoring nine runs during the first three innings. The Hawks were able to hold the Retrievers at their 9-0 lead for the remainder of the game, however were unable to recover from the early deficit. Freshman Paige Fedak kept UMBC pitcher Courtney Coopersmith from recording the no-hitter with the only hit for the Hawks, but Coopersmith would go on to secure the victory for UMBC with 12 strikeouts on their way to a 9-0 win.

In game two of the weekend series, UMBC topped the Hawks with a score of 3-2. Coming off of the 9-0 loss in game one, the Hawks came out hungry for redemption. Things looked bright for Hartford in the second inning after freshman Emma Curry hit a two-run homerun over the left field wall to take the 2-0 lead. With this bomb, Curry recorded her fourth home run of the season and became tied for fourth on the team with 15 RBI on the season. Unwilling to give up, the Retrievers answered in the fifth inning, scoring three runs on four hits to take the 3-2 lead over the Hawks. Hartford battled hard to reclaim the lead, however they were unable to put runners on base for the remainder of the game, as UMBC would take game two.

On the final day of their series and of regular season play, Hartford bounced back and punched their ticket to the America East Tournament with a 6-3 win over UMBC on Saturday, May 4. After UMBC took a 3- 0 lead in the bottom of the second inning, things were not looking great for the Hawks. However, Hartford bats came alive in the fifth inning. Freshman Emma Curry continued her huge weekend, sending a homerun over the left field fence to begin the Hartford rally and cut the Retriever’s lead to 3-1. After getting on base junior Amber Mianti was able to score, and sophomore Nicolette Barranger was able to make it to first thanks to a throwing error by the UMBC shortstop. Sophomore Danielle Rocheleau knotted up the score at 3-3, singling to centerfield and scoring Barranger. With her two hits of the game, Rocheleau continued her impressive offensive stats this season with 66 hits. Sophomore Kiana Harris gave Hartford its first lead of the game, with her single to left center field, scoring two runs and wrapping up the strong fifth inning performance by the Hawks with a score of 5-3. The Hawks were not finished yet, as they pushed their lead to three at a score of 6-3 over the retrievers in the top of the seventh inning after sophomore Lily Sencer came around to score on a throwing error by the catcher. Freshman Julianna Kocenski was clutch at the mound for the remainder of the game, shutting down any sort of rally by the Retrievers, as Hartford went on to win game three of the series with a final score of 6-3.

With this win, the Hawks secured its first spot in the America East Tournament since 2017 as the number five seed and reached 20 regular season wins for the first time since 2013.