BALTIMORE -- Playing in the final regular-season series of the year, Albany took the opening doubleheader against conference rival UMBC on Friday, winning the first game 8-0 and taking the second 5-3.
Brittany MacFawn (15-5) started the first game on the mound for UAlbany, which was called in the fifth after the Danes took an 8-0 lead. MacFawn threw her second no-hitter this week, after no-hitting Massachusetts-Lowell on Sunday in the series finale with the River Hawks. MacFawn also struck out six and walked two.
UAlbany didn’t score until the top of the second inning, when they put two runs on the board. Charlise Castro led off the inning with a double to right-center, and Marlin Solano followed immediately with a double down the left field line that drove Castro in to score. Kate Biasi pinch ran for Solano at second, and advanced to third when Lauren Alcorn grounded out to shortstop. Caitlin Cooper then hit a single to center, which scored Biasi from third.
The Danes added another run in the top of the third, to take a 3-0 lead. With two outs on the board, Castro worked a walk, and advanced to second on a passed ball during Solano’s at-bat. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Solano proceeded to walk, and then she stole second, allowing Castro to steal home plate, scoring another run for UAlbany.
In the fourth inning, UAlbany scored four more runs. After Jess Tate grounded out to shortstop, Vicky McFarland hit a double to right-center. Kelly Costello then singled through the left side, and advanced to second on the throw home as McFarland scored. Maggie Cocks then worked a walk, and was tagged out by UMBC’s shortstop on a fielder’s choice by Elizabeth Snow. Costello advanced to third on the play. The next batter, Castro, hit a three-run home run to left, clearing the bases, and giving UAlbany a 7-0 lead.
UAlbany scored its last run in the top of the fifth, when Alcorn hit a lead-off home run to left center, her first of the season. The game was called after the bottom of the fifth when UMBC failed to score a run. Costello hit 1-for-3 with a run scored and one RBI. Castro hit 2-for-2 with a double, a home run, three runs scored, three RBI, and a walk. Solano hit 1-for-2 with a double and one RBI. And Alcorn hit 1-for-2 with a home run.
Mackenzie Thompson started the second game for the Danes, which was a decided closer affair. She pitched 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits with four strikeouts and a walk. MacFawn entered the game in the bottom of the seventh inning to record a two-out save, her third of the season.
UMBC scored first in the second game, opening up a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. The score would hold at 1-0 until the top of the fifth inning, when UAlbany scored three runs. Tate led off fouling out to shortstop. Alexa Toole followed with a double to right-center. McFarland reached safely on a failed fielder’s choice in which Toole successfully advanced to third. McFarland proceeded to steal second during Costello’s at-bat. Costello struck out looking for the Danes’ second out of the inning. Cocks then hit a double down the left field line, scoring both Toole and McFarland. Snow followed with her own double down the left field line, scoring Cocks, giving UAlbany a 3-1 lead.
UMBC tied the game with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. UAlbany responded with two runs in the top of the seventh, for what would be the final score of 5-3 in the Danes’ favor. McFarland led off the inning with a single to left. Costello hit a sacrifice bunt that pushed McFarland to second. Cocks then doubled down the left field line again, scoring McFarland. Snow followed with a single to left, pushing Cocks to third. Castro then singled through the right side, scoring Cocks for UAlbany’s fifth and final run.
Thompson got UMBC’s leadoff batter to fly out in the bottom of the seventh. MacFawn replaced her after the second batter hit a single. MacFawn hit the first batter she faced, putting runners on first and second with one out. She then struck out the next batter, before getting a force out at third to end the game. Cocks hit 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored, and three RBI. Snow hit 3-for-4 with a double and one RBI. Castro hit 2-for-4 with a double and one RBI.