Baltimore, MD- Freshman Kristi Munoz hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat St. Francis (Pa.) 4-3 in the first game of the UMBC Spring Classic on Saturday afternoon. However, the Bears finished the day with a split as a five-run inning by Niagara in game-two led the Purple Eagles to an 8-4 win over the Bears in game two.
In game one, the reigning Ivy League Player of the Week Stephanie Thompson, stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the first to give the Bears an early 2-0 edge against the Friars.
St. Francis cut its deficit to one the following inning after Jasa Mitchell hit a solo homerun to center field off Brown's senior pitcher Kristie Chin. The Friars then evened the score 2-2 in the top of the fourth after Mitchell singled through the left side to score Brianna Garcia.
Neither team could score over the next few innings registering just a couple of hits to send the game into extra innings, as the international tie-breaker rule went into effect. St. Francis scored in the top of the eighth when Kaitlin Andler singled to left center to cross Garcia, but the Bears came right back with a run of their own in the eighth after Jen Kries hit a sacrifice fly to center field to bring home Kelsey Williams.
Chin shut down the Friars in the ninth, and Munoz sent a single to shortstop to bring in Maegan Sloggett, the game-winning run.
Thompson led the offense against the Friars going 2-for-4 with one run scored, and homerun and two RBI, and Kate Strobel went 2-for-3 with a walk.
Chin received the win at the mound improving to 4-2 on the year. She pitched all nine innings and allowed just three runs (two earned), on eight hits, struck out six batters and walked one.
Against Niagara, Brown tallied the first run of the game in the bottom of the first after Alyssa Caplan's ground out to shortstop scored Kries. But the Purple Eagles tallied two runs in the second and a run in the third to take a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning.
The Bears were able to tally one run in the bottom of the inning to cut their deficit to one, 3-2, after Thompson blasted a single up the left side to bring home Kries, who reached first on a walk to lead off the inning.
But Niagara had a five-run fifth inning to jump out to a 8-2 lead, and only allowed the Bears to score two more runs, one in the fifth and another in the fifth. Kristi Munoz brought home Thompson in the fifth inning for the Bears, and Thompson hit a solo homer in the seventh, but it wasn't enough as the Bears fell 8-4.
Thompson led the attack with a 3-for-3 performance with two runs scored, two RBI and a homerun, while Kries went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and a walk.
Trish Melvin received the loss for the Bears pitching 4.1 innings and giving up eight runs on 12 hits, walking one and striking out 2 batters. Lauren Kathchee came in for relief in the final 2.2 innings, and faced nine batters and allowed just one hit and struck out two.
The Bears are back in action tomorrow when the squad takes on Morgan State at 12:30 p.m. and UMBC at 2:30 p.m. to finish the UMBC Spring Classic.