FAIRFAX, Va.– Freshman Vanessa Gomez (Belleville, N.J.) swiped three bases to move atop the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference stolen base leaders list, but it was not enough as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team dropped a pair of 2-1 contests at George Mason on Wednesday.
With the losses, UMES moves to 12-24 and has now lost seven one run games this season.
Gomez was one of two Hawks to register hits on the day as pitching dominated the contest for both sides. Senior Belen Benitez (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) and senior Carmen Gurrola (Arleta, Calif.) each were fantastic on the mound as they combined to allow just three earned runs in 12 innings. The pair also combined to not walk a single hitter and came through in several big situations for the maroon and gray. Gomez moved her MEAC-leading stolen base tally to 24 on the season with the three bags.
UMES and George Mason (13-30) were each scoreless through the first three innings of play, before the Lady Hawks struck first blood. Gomez singled to lead off the fourth and stole second with one out. She moved over on a groundout by Gurrola and scored on the same play on a throwing error by the first baseman.
GMU evened the game at 1-1 when Brooke Blankenship ripped a solo shot with one out. GMU's Sarah Kleinfelter retired the Lady Hawks in order in the fifth and George Mason would take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. UMES had a chance to tie the game in the sixth after the women had a runner on third with two outs, but it was not meant to be as the women fell in the opener. In the nightcap, the Lady Hawks opened the scoring once again.
Senior Jasmine James (Willingboro, N.J.) walked to open the inning and moved to second on a ball in play by freshman Trenece Nash (Decatur, Ga.). Benitez doubled her home the following hitter and the women would have runners on second and third with one out. GMU's Christina Gabriele would thwart the UMES rally by fanning the next two hitters. George Mason scored a solo run in the third to even the ball game, before the game went scoreless over the next three innings.
The Patriots would take the double header sweep after they broke up the 1-1 affair with a run in the bottom of the seventh. The Patriots walked off with the win after a leadoff double came around to score two batters later.
UMES looks to halt its four-game losing skid on Saturday, April 20, when the women host Hampton for a MEAC doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
The doubleheader is pivotal for the Lady Hawks as they continue their quest of playing in the MEAC Championships at the beginning of May.