HAWK SOFTBALL USES 8-1 VICTORY OVER HOWARD TO WIN FIRST MEAC SERIES OF YEAR
March 25, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior Carmen Gurrola (Arleta, Calif.) went 3-for-3 with three RBI and threw a complete-game two-hitter to lead the University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team to an 8-1 victory over Howard at Banneker Field on Sunday afternoon. The win in the rubber match gives the Lady Hawks their first Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference series victory in nearly four years. UMES has now reached 10 wins on the season, which is just the third time a Hawk team has recorded a double-digit win total in the past decade.
UMES (10-16, 2-1 MEAC) stroked 10 hits in the victory, five of which came in the team’s four-run seventh. The Lady Hawks had three different student-athletes connect for the long ball in the game as Gurrola and sophomore Morgan King (Danville, Ill.) each hit solo shots, while senior Belen Benitez (E. Los Angeles, Calif.) hit a two-run homer in the seventh. The home run by Benitez proved to be the first of her collegiate career. Gurrola allowed just two hits as she fanned five and walked none in her second consecutive complete-game win.
The Lady Hawks began the game with a 1-2-3 inning on offense, before HU’s Jenny Ly hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the frame. King hit her second homer of the series to open up the second but each offense would go silent until the fifth. Gurrola led off the fifth with a solo shot, before junior Cherokee Williams (Upper Marlboro, Md.) walked, stole second and scored on single up the middle by junior Chelsea Alston (Matawan, N.J.).
UMES upped its lead to 4-1 in the sixth when senior Jasmine James (Willingboro, N.J.) led off the inning with a walk and scored two batters later on a Gurrola double to right-center. The women added four insurance runs in the fourth courtesy of a triple by Alston, a two-run bomb by Benitez and an RBI single by freshman Trenece Nash (Decatur, Ga.).
Gurrola was on fire throughout the game on the mound as she retired 11-of-12 hitters from the first through the fifth. She concluded the game with three strikeouts in the final three innings and saw just three balls reach the outfield in that span.
Howard (3-13, 1-2 MEAC) saw Ly and Emily Krantz log the only hits of the game. Krantz was saddled with the loss after allowing seven runs (all earned) on four hits in six-plus innings.
The Lady Hawks look to continue their hot hand on Wednesday, March 27, when they host Delaware State University for a MEAC doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. The second game will be played immediately following the first.
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