SAVANNAH, GA – A day after sweeping Savannah State for the first time since its incorporation into the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team was defeated twice by the Lady Tigers in Savannah, Ga. UMES was on the wrong side of a 20-1 score in game one, before falling in the last inning in the series finale. The decisions on Saturday provide UMES with a 2-2 record for the weekend.
UMES (7-14) was led on the day by Jasmine James (Willingboro, N.J.) and sophomore Morgan King (Danville, Ill.). James was 3-for-4 in game two, while King went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBI. Senior Belen Benitez (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) was the tough luck loser in the nightcap after she allowed two earned runs in a complete-game effort. King was the only Hawk to pick up a hit in Saturday's opener.
In game one, UMES yielded 18 hits and 20 runs to a vicious Savannah State (16-10) offensive attack. The women held a 1-0 lead after their share of the first after junior Cherokee Williams (Upper Marlboro, Md.) walked with one out and scored on a double by King. SSU went on to tally five in the bottom half of the inning and extended its lead to seven with two in the second.
UMES went quiet in the third, before SSU used a 10-run effort to race to a lead of 17. SSU's Madison Hedderly was too much for the women to handle in the match as she picked up her 12th win of the year with a complete-game, six strikeout effort. Hedderly was one of seven Tigers to post at least two hits as she was 4-for-4 with seven RBI and two homeruns.
The second contest saw Savannah State take an early 1-0 lead after
one inning of play. The score would remain the same until the fourth,
where UMES scored two runs to take a 2-1 lead.
King walked to open the frame and moved over on a single by James. Freshman Trenece Nash (Decatur, Ga.) reached base safely to load the bases and King scored when Benitez was hit by a pitch. Junior Chelsea Alston (Matawan, N.J.) singled home James with two outs.
SSU evened the game at two in its share of the fourth. The teams both went scoreless in the fifth, but SSU took the advantage with one run in the sixth after Hedderly blasted a solo shot to lead off the inning. Senior Carmen Gurrola (Arleta, Calif.) and James each reached base in the inning, but were unable to score as Hedderly ended the UMES threat.
UMES returns to action with a doubleheader at South Carolina State on Tuesday, March 19, at 1 p.m.