UMBC softball hoping to take biggest step yet

Bidding for 1st NCAA win, Retrievers meet Georgia

State notebook


May 16, 2002|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Today in Columbia, S.C., the UMBC softball team will attempt to do what no other Retrievers team has accomplished in NCAA Division I tournament play.

Win one game.

UMBC (46-19) will meet Georgia (57-15) in the opening round of the six-team NCAA Region One, double-elimination tournament at the University of South Carolina. There are 48 teams in eight regions in the tournament.

The Retrievers are seeded fifth in the region, while Georgia is seeded second and ranked 25th in the country.

UMBC has certainly stepped up to the big time in collegiate softball, with the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, UCLA, the top seed in the region. Always-strong South Carolina is also in the field, with Eastern Kentucky and Liberty completing the six-team lineup.

The Retrievers have already established a school record for single-season victories.

But UMBC did not have an easy road to the NCAAs, winning the Northeast Conference tournament as the second seed and then needing three games to oust Bethune-Cookman in a best-of-three play-in series.

Senior shortstop Deanna Vecchio and senior pitcher Linsi Moy have been the leaders in UMBC's drive.

Vecchio was the Northeast Conference Player of the Year, hitting .414 and establishing a school single-season record with 64 runs scored. Vecchio and Lisa Boone both set a UMBC single-season record for hits with 87.

Moy had an 18-5 record and a 1.87 earned run average, and was the winning pitcher in both the NEC championship game and play-in game.

Salisbury No. 8 seed

Can the Salisbury softball team find happiness in Eau Claire, Wis., this week?

The Sea Gulls (39-9) are seeded eighth in the eight-team NCAA Division III World Series and will begin play today at noon in the double-elimination tournament, meeting top-seeded Pacific Lutheran.

This is Salisbury's second trip to the women's World Series, having finishing fifth in 1998.

The Seagulls have won 20 of their last 22 games, led by junior right-hander Katie Mullinix, who has moved closer to the top of the Division III record books in several single-season pitching categories.

With 43 starts, Mullinix is two short of the national record. Her 34 wins are six shy of the all-time record, and her 267 2/3 innings place her seventh on the list.

Jackson ranks high

Frostburg State senior Krissy Jackson has finished the softball season with a .515 batting average (11th in Division III), 10 doubles in 23 games (ninth in the country) and 28 RBIs (21st in the NCAA).

Jackson was a first-team All-America for the Atlantic Division III Region.

Hawks honored

Charles Pickard (baseball) and Destiny Avent (women's basketball) were named the top Male and Female Athletes of the Year at the Maryland-Eastern Shore All-Sports Banquet recently.

Pickard and Avent are seniors and both have made exceptional contributions to their teams and the community during their stay at the Princess Anne school.

Clyde's records

Towson senior third baseman Brook Clyde finished her softball career as the school's all-time leader in RBIs (113), runs (139), doubles (46) and stolen bases (40).

She was a Colonial Athletic Association all-tournament choice last week as the team (36-24) finished runner-up to Hofstra.

24.08 for Crawford

Junior sprinter Ebony Crawford broke the women's 200-meter record last Friday in the Eddie P. Hurt Invitational at Morgan State.

Crawford was timed in 24.08 to better the mark of 24.22 that she had shared with former Eagles standout Lisa Taylor.

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