WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Freshman Merritt Wilkinson went 3-for-4 with four RBI to lead UNCW to a sweep of its games during the second day of the Seahawk Invitational Sunday at Boseman Field.

UNCW opened the day with a 3-1 victory over Liberty before rallying for a 4-3 triumph over UMBC in the nightcap. The Seahawks improved to 4-3 on the young season as they finished the Seahawk Invitational with a 3-1 record.

UNCW returns to action Feb. 21 when it opens South Carolina’s Gamecock Invitational with a 12:30 p.m. contest against Michigan State.   

HOW IT HAPPENED (Liberty): Liberty took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when sophomore Holly Seiz opened the frame with a walk and later scored on a two-out wild pitch.

The Seahawks responded with two unearned runs in the bottom of the second, using a sacrifice fly by Wilkinson and a single by sophomore Erin Brown to go in front of the Lady Flames, 2-1.

UNCW added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth as freshman Lauren Moore doubled to right center to score senior Brittany Gamby, who opened the inning with a bunt single.

AT THE PLATE (LIBERTY): Gamby, Moore, Brown and freshman Nella Chamblee tallied the Seahawks four base hits in the contest. Brown, Moore and Wilkinson recorded UNCW’s three RBI.

Senior Katie Zavodny and sophomore Katie Han tallied Liberty’s two base hits.

IN THE CIRCLE (LIBERTY): Junior Casey Rowland improved to 2-1 on the season, limiting Liberty to two hits and four walks in seven innings. Rowland finished with two strikeouts.

Senior Alyssa DiMartino took the loss for the Lady Flames, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits in six innings of work. 

HOW IT HAPPENED (UMBC): Trailing 3-2 with a runner on third and two out in the bottom of the sixth, Wilkinson hit a full-count offering from freshman Kelly Lane over the left-field fence for a two-run home run and a 4-3 lead. Wilkinson’s first collegiate home run scored Shue, who opened the inning with a walk.

A one-out single by freshman Jaclyn Buckley in the top of the seventh put the tying run on the board for UMBC, but freshman pitcher Peyton Jordan retired the next two batters in order to end the threat and give the Seahawks the one-run victory.

Earlier in the contest, UNCW jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second on squeeze bunt from sophomore Erin Brown that scored junior Jessica Rappe from third.

UMBC responded with three runs in the top of the third, using a two-run double from junior Taylor Hall and a RBI single from freshman Kaelin Jackson to build a 3-1 cushion.

Wilkinson brought the Seahawks within one in the bottom of the fourth as her two-out triple to right center scored senior Casey Shue and made it a 3-2 contest. UMBC would maintain its one-run edge until Wilkinson’s decisive home run in the bottom of the sixth.  

AT THE PLATE (UMBC): Wilkinson was 3-for-3 with three RBI as the Burlington, N.C., product finished just a single shy of the cycle. Three players – Gamby, Shue and Rowland - tallied the Seahawks other three base hits in the contest.

Jackson went 2-for-3 with a RBI and Hall was 1-for-3 with two runs driven in for UMBC.

IN THE CIRCLE (UMBC): Jordan picked up the win for UNCW to improve to 2-2 on the season as she pitched 4.1 innings of scoreless relief. Jordan allowed one hit, a single in the top of the seventh, and did not issue a walk as she struck out two.

Sophomore Kayla Pine got the start for the Seahawks and went 2.2 innings, surrendering three unearned runs on four hits.

Lane took the loss for the Retrievers to fall to 0-1 on the campaign. Lane allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks. She struck out three.  

NOTES: UNCW moved to 6-14 all-time against Liberty as they the Seahawks picked up their second straight victory against the Lady Flames … UMBC and UNCW split their two games during the Seahawk Invitational  as UMBC defeated UNCW, 5-3, in action at the Seahawk Invitational on Saturday … UNCW now stands at 14-6 against the Retrievers all time … Rowland has held Liberty to just five hits in her last two appearances against the Lady Flames …  Rowland held Liberty to three hits in a 3-1 victory against the Lady Flames in a neutral site contest last March in Durham … Rowland’s effort against the Lady Flames was her second complete game of the season … The Seahawks are now 1-1 this season in one-run contests …  Freshman Merritt Wilkinson is the first UNCW player to record three base hits in a contest this season … Freshman Nella Chamblee failed to reach base for the first time in seven games as she was 0-for-1 with two sacrifice bunts against UMBC.