PRINCESS ANNE, Md.– The University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team began its Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference slate on Wednesday as the Lady Hawks split a doubleheader with North Carolina Central at Hawk Field.
UMES won the opener, 11-3, before the women fell in the nightcap, 7-3. The decisions give each squad a 1-1 record to begin conference play. UMES (5-12, 1-1 MEAC) clubbed out 19 hits between the two games.
The Lady Hawks were led by sophomore Morgan King (Danville, Va.), who ripped a homerun and double to go 4-for-4 in game one with four RBI. Freshman Trenece Nash (Decatur, Ga.) hit the first round-tripper of her collegiate career, while freshman Vanessa Gomez (Belleville, N.J.) had three hits and swiped three bags.
Senior Carmen Gurrola (Arleta, Calif,) was on song with freshman catcher Rachel Vander Ven (Dover, Del.) as the pair limited to NCCU to just five hits in the opener. UMES opened the scoring in game one when Gurrola walked with two outs and scored when King clubbed her second bomb of the season to left center. The women saw four of their first five batters reach base in the second as the Lady Hawks would go on to up their lead to six, 6-0. NCCU (2-16, 1-1 MEAC) scored three in the third, before two scoreless half innings were seen between the pair.
To open the fourth, Gomez walked and stole her away across the diamond. Gurrola singled home Gomez in the following at-bat, before King capped the scoring with an RBI single of her own to plate Gurrola. Freshman Emily Diseroad (Manchester, Md.) began the sixth with a double and scored on a hit by junior Chelsea Alston (Matawan, N.J.).
UMES claimed the victory with the mercy rule after Alston scored on a wild pitch and King doubled home Gurrola, who had previously walked in the fifth. The second contest proved to be much different than the first. UMES drew first blood with a single tally in the first, before the squads traded runs in the second.
The Lady Eagles would take their first lead of the game with two runs in the third, before holding UMES scoreless in the bottom of the inning. NCCU and UMES each put up solo tallies in the fourth, but the Lady Eagles would distance themselves with three unanswered runs the rest of the way. N.C. Central had eight hitters hit safely in game two, five of which connected for multi-hit games. Markell Wylie had three hits and Regina Diaz had a pair of RBI. London Germ had two hits in the first game for the Lady Eagles.
UMES returns to action on Friday, March 15, when Lady Hawks travel to Savannah, Ga., to take on Savannah State. The two teams will engage in four games between Friday and Saturday.