Maryland Softball Takes Two from UMBC

Feb. 27, 2008

COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Kerry Hickey had four runs batted in and her first career home as the University of Maryland softball team defeated UMBC, 5-1, in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday at cold and windy Robert E. Taylor Stadium. The Terps scored five runs in the bottom of the first inning of the second game and went on to win 8-0 in five innings later in the day. The Terps (9-1) have extended their best start in school history beating the previous best mark through 10 games by two wins (7-3 in 1998).

Maryland's pitching staff only allowed six hits the entire day with the first game's starter, Sarah Dooley, only giving up one run in three innings, while Hickey (3-0) came on in the fourth and pitched four hitless innings to bring her ERA to a microscopic 0.71 on the season. Meredith Nelles (3-0) pitched a complete game, five-inning shutout striking out six, while only allowing two hits.

In the first inning of the first game, Maryland's Jenny Belak walked and Breanna Shaw singled off UMBC starter Stephanie Weigman. After a sacrifice bunt by Sarde Stewart, Hickey, in her first game as the cleanup batter, singled home Belak and Shaw to give the Terps an early 2-0 lead.

In the third inning, after Stewart reached on an error, Hickey stepped up and hit her first career home run over the left centerfield fence. On the day, the Huntingtown, Md. native ended with three hits and four runs batted in.

Hickey came on to pitch with two on and none out in the fourth inning in a 5-1 game. Hickey then struck out two batters and got one pop out to end the Retrievers' threat.

In the second game, after Shaw singled in Belak to load the bases in the first inning, Brittany Bessho singled to score Hickey and Stewart. Bessho was then caught in a run down, but the ball was thrown away. Shaw came in to score, Beesho ended up at third on the error and would score on a passed ball two batters later.

Nelles dominated the Retrievers striking out three in the second inning, not allowing a hit after the third inning. Nelles now leads the team with 34 strikeouts in 32 1/3 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the fifth inning, leading 7-0, Devon Williams scored when Meghan Booth's sharp grounder was misplayed by UMBC's Krista Kearns to give the Terps the win.

Maryland returns to action this weekend as it travels down to sunny Orlando, Fla. for a tournament hosted by Central Florida. The Terps face off against Villanova and Vermont on Friday at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. respectively. On Saturday, the tournament continues with the Terps facing off against Florida A&M at 12 p.m. before playing the United States National team in an exhibition under the lights at 7:30 p.m.

UMBC		000 100 0 -  1  4  2
Maryland	212 000 X -  5  6  0
Stephanie Weigman, Amanda Fefel (4) and Kali Shirk; Sarah Dooley, Kerry Hickey (4) and Brittany Bessho. W - Hickey, 3-0. L - Weigman, 1-2. HR - Hickey (1).

UMBC		000 00 -  0  2  2
Maryland	511 01 -  8  8  1
Ashley Gray and Kali Shirk; Meredith Nelles and Brittany Bessho. W - Nelles, 3-0. L - Gray, 0-3.