Baltimore, MD – The Sacred Heart softball team split its first two games at the UMBC Spring Classic by downing Siena, 7-2, before losing to the host Retrievers, 9-2 on Friday. Liz Tsipouras (Simi Valley, CA) notched her third homerun of 2012 against the Saints while pitcher Nicole Sidor (West Vancouver, BC) went the distance, striking out seven, to pick up the victory.
Sacred Heart (5-12) got on the board in the second inning versus Siena with the help of a pair of freshman. Justine Sibthorp (Santa Clarita, CA) led off the frame with a walk and SHU successfully bunted the runner into scoring position. Kate Nadler (Southbury, CT) came up with the RBI single to give the Pioneers the 1-0 edge.
Siena was able to tie the game in the top of the third but Sacred Heart plated three in the bottom half of the inning. Annie Dreher (Saugus, CA) ripped a two-run double to chase home both Sidor and Jade Bowins (Frederick, MD). Carley Rudloff (Queen Creek, AZ) also tallied a RBI with a fielder's choice that scored Dreher. Tsipouras went yard in the bottom of the fifth to increase the SHU advantage to 5-1.
The Pioneers added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on the strength of a Dreher sacrifice fly and a Tsipouras single. Sidor's win in the pitching circle is her fifth of the season while the junior continues her streak of 39.2 innings without surrendering a walk.
In its matchup with the Retrievers, Sacred Heart took advantage of an early UMBC error to plate an unearned run in the top of the first inning. However, the UMBC offense got a grand slam from Jessica Warner to make it 4-1 in the bottom of the fourth.
The Pioneers cut the deficit to 4-2 as Alyssa Garza (Santa Clarita, CA) and Nadler successfully executed a double steal with the latter swiping home. However, UMBC was able to get to the Pioneer bullpen in each of the next three innings to pull away down the stretch. Warner supplied another homer for the Retrievers while Caitlin Chance had a two run single to plate the final runs in a 9-2 verdict.
The Pioneers return to action for two more games at the UMBC Spring Classic tomorrow as SHU squares off with Coppin State and NEC foe Mount St. Mary's.