Relief Pitching Helps Bears to 2-0 Start at UMBC Retriever Classic

Baltimore, MD- The Brown University softball team (2-0) started out the 2010 season with two wins at the UMBC Retriever Classic on Saturday afternoon.  The Bears defeated Morgan State 9-8 in 11 innings and then went on to defeat Fairleigh Dickinson 7-5.  Senior catcher Amanda Asay (Prince George, BC) batted .667 in the two wins, and led the Bears with four hits, including a double and two RBI.

GAME 1: Brown 9, Morgan State 8

In game one, Brown and Morgan State battled back and forth before senior Katie Rothamel (Brentwood, TN) drove in fellow senior Andrea Browne (Vineland, NJ) with the game-winner in the bottom of the 11th inning with a final score of 9-8.  It was junior reliever Kristie Chin (Katy, TX) who earned the win pitching the final six and two-third innings scattering four runs on six hits, one walk, one hit batsmen and nine strikeouts.  Asay went three-of-four with one walk and one RBI, while freshman Stephanie Thompson (Chino, CA) went three-of-five from the plate and had three runs scored, while rookie Erika Mueller (Steilacoom, WA) went three-of-five with one run scored.

Morgan State jumped out to a 2-0 lead after just the first inning, but the Bears were able to tie it up 2-2 after scoring a run in the first and another in the third. Bruno gained a 3-2 lead in the fourth inning after Lindsay Rice singled to bring in freshman Stephanie Thompson.

But MSU was able to score two runs in the fifth to gain a 4-3 edge, but the hard-nosed Bears tied it up in the bottom of the seventh after an Asay single brought home Rothamel. Both teams tallied runs in the eighth and ninth innings, and then both MSU and Brown scored two runs in the 10th to tie the ballgame at eight. Mueller singled and Rothamel hit her second double of the day to bring in a run in the 11th to end the game in Brown’s favor, 9-8.

Rothamel went 2-of-4 with two runs and an RBI, and Asay went 3-of-4 with two RBI. Having a solid collegiate debut was Thompson, hitting 3-of-5 with three runs scored.

Freshman Liz DiMascio (Braintree, MA) pitched 4.1 innings for the Bears and gave up three runs and allowed just three hits, and was relieved by winning pitcher Chin.

GAME 2: Brown 7, Fairleigh Dickinson 5

In game two, Brown's relief pitching got the job done again, as DiMascio completed four and one third innings with two runs on three hits, two walks, and five strikeouts to earn her first collegiate win.  Leading the way offensively were Rothamel (2-of-4, 1 run scored), sophomore Kate Strobel (Denver, CO) going 1-of-2 with two walks and two runs sored, and Thompson (2-of-4, 1 run scored).

The Bears jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead after the third inning, but Fairleigh Dickinson had a big three-run third inning to cut its deficit to just one heading into the fourth.

Both teams went scoreless the next three innings, but the Bears had a three-run seventh inning to extend their lead to 7-3. Rothamel started the inning off with a single to right field, and sophomore Sandra Mastrangelo (White Plains, NY) bunted to advance the runner to second. Asay then followed up with a sacrifice bunt to put Rothamel on third and Strobel earned a walk to put runners on first and third. Thompson smacked a single up the middle to bring in both Brown runners. DiMascio scored Brown’s third run of the inning after singling up the middle to score Strobel.

Fairleigh Dickson answered with two runs in the seventh, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the lead the Bears had built. Sophomore Trish Melvin (Wexford, PA) started at the mound for Bruno pitching 2.1 innings and giving up three runs, and DiMascio received the victory finishing the game allowing just two runs, three hits and striking out five.