GURROLA THROWS FIRST CG SHUTOUT IN FOUR YEARS, UMES SPLITS MEAC OPENER
Morgan King (pictured) ripped a solo shot in the opener for UMES
Morgan King (pictured) ripped a solo shot in the opener for UMES

March 24, 2013

Box (Game One)      Box (Game Two)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior Carmen Gurrola (Arleta, Calif.) notched the first complete-game shutout for the Lady Hawks in nearly four years as the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team opened Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference play with a doubleheader split at Howard. The Lady Hawks dropped the opener, 4-3, before torching Howard in the nightcap, 15-0. With the decisions, UMES moves to 9-16 overall and 1-1 in conference.

UMES was led on the day by freshman Trenece Nash (Decatur, Ga.), who combined to go 4-for-6 with three runs and two RBI. Freshman Vanessa Gomez (Belleville, N.J.) posted the most hits on the day with five, while the team clubbed out a season-high 14 hits in the nightcap. UMES took advantage of 11 HU errors in the doubleheader.

The opener proved to be a thriller between the two squads. After a scoreless first, each team used solo homerun shots in the second to make the score 1-1. The women would take a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Nash singled and moved over on a walk by senior Belen Benitez (E. Los Angeles, Calif.).With two outs, Gomez singled to score Nash. The advantage was then upped to two the next frame when Nash singled home sophomore Morgan King (Danville, Ill.) with one away.

Howard (3-11, 1-1 MEAC) used a leadoff homer to make the score 3-2 the next inning, before the game went scoreless into the bottom of the seventh. The Lady Bison would pick up their third solo homer to begin the last inning and tie the game at three all. Benitez retired the next hitters and induced a force out at second two batters later. She then plunked Howard’s next two hitters to load the bases and the game would end the following batter after a passed ball scored Brianna Banks.

After dropping the first game, UMES came out with vengeance in the nightcap. The squad reeled off a five-run first courtesy of three HU errors. In the second, King advanced to second on a wild pitch and came home after two more Lady Bison errors.  

Gurrola posted an RBI single in the third and later scored on a wild pitch to up UMES’ lead to eight. UMES would go onto score one in the fourth on a ball in play by senior Jasmine James (Willingboro, N.J.), before registering six runs on five hits and three errors in the fifth. Gomez, Nash and junior Chelsea Alston (Matawan, N.J.) all had RBI in the inning. Alston and Gomez each concluded the second game with 3-for-4 efforts at the plate.

Although the blistering offensive effort, it was work of Gurrola that proved to be the difference in game two. The senior notched the first complete-game shutout of her career and first for UMES since April 27, 2009, as she fanned four and allowed just two hits in six innings. She used a balanced approach of speed and finesse to stymie the Lady Bison bats and give UMES its first win over HU in its last six tries.

Howard was led on the day by Jasmine Gammons, who went 3-for-5 with two homeruns and two RBI. Emily Krantz went the distance for the Lady Bison in the opener as she allowed seven hits in the pitcher’s duel with Benitez.

UMES looks to take the series with Howard on Sunday, when the Lady Hawks square off with HU at 12 p.m. at Banneker Field. The winner of the event will move to 2-1 in conference play on the year.

For complete recaps, results and news of Hawk athletics, please visit www.umeshawks.com