WILMINGTON, North Carolina – The UNCW softball team earned a split of its two games in the Seahawks Invitational on Saturday, opening the day with a 5-3 setback to UMBC before rallying for a 10-2 victory over Norfolk State in the nightcap.

The Seahawks moved to 2-3 on the season with the split. UNCW completes the first of its two home tournaments Sunday with games against Liberty (2 p.m.) and UMBC (4 p.m.).

In other action in the Seahawk Invitational Saturday, Liberty defeated Norfolk State, 5-1 and knocked off UMBC, 12-0.

HOW IT HAPPENED (UMBC): Trailing 3-2 in the top of the seventh, UMBC used a two-run home run from freshman Jaclyn Buckley and a RBI double from senior Caitlin Chance to take a 5-3 lead.

The Seahawks threatened to tie the game in the bottom half of the seventh with a leadoff double by freshman Merritt Wilkinson, but the Retrievers retired the next three batters in order to preserve the two-run victory.

Earlier in the contest, the Retrievers took a 2-0 lead in the top of fourth on a two-run double by sophomore Jessica Sganga before the Seahawks plated three runs in the fifth on a pair of sacrifice bunts by senior Casey Shue and junior Jessica Rappe and a single up the middle by freshman Nella Chamblee to build a 3-2 cushion.

AT THE PLATE (UMBC): Senior Brittany Gamby and freshmen Nella Chamblee and Merritt Wilkinson all tallied two hits apiece to power a UNCW attack that finished with 10 base hits. Chamblee, Rappe and Shue recorded the Seahawks’ three RBI.

Taylor Hall was 2-for-4 with a run scored for UMBC while six players notched one hit apiece. Sganga and Buckley both finished with two RBI.

IN THE CIRLCE (UMBC): Freshman Jessica Holte picked up the victory for UMBC in her collegiate debut, allowing three earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings of work. Holte struck out three and did not issue a walk.  

Freshman Peyton Jordan took the loss for the Seahawks, allowing five runs on seven hits and one walk in 6.1 innings of work. Jordan finished the contest with five strikeouts.

HOW IT HAPPENED (Norfolk State): With the score tied at 2-all in the bottom of the third, UNCW exploded for seven runs on two hits, two errors and six walks to build an 9-2 cushion.

The Seahawks added a single run in the fourth on a scoring error by Rappe to take a 10-2 lead and evoke the eight-run mercy rule after the fifth inning.

Earlier in the contest, UNCW jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a two-run single by Shue before a single by sophomore Heather Dunning and a wild pitch in the top of the third allowed Norfolk State tied the game at 2-all and setting up UNCW’s game-changing inning.  

AT THE PLATE (Norfolk State): Shue was 2-for-2 with four RBI and Rappe was 2-for-3 with two runs scored to record UNCW’s four hits in the contest. Wilkinson and Chamblee drew three and two walks, respectively, to pace a UNCW lineup that drew nine free passes in the contest.

Dunning, sophomore Whitney Williams and freshman Kayla McNair accounted for the Spartans three base hits in the contest.

IN THE CIRCLE (Norfolk State): Junior Casey Rowland picked the win to even her season mark at 1-1. Rowland allowed two runs on three hits and four walks in five innings of work. She struck out three.

Senior Jamie Schulle took the loss for the Spartans in her season debut, allowing nine runs (one earned) on three hits and eight walks. Senior Stephanie Wheatley replaced Schulle in the third and allowed one unearned run in 1.1 innings in the circle.

NOTES:  UNCW left seven runners on bases in its contest against Norfolk State and stranded eight versus UMBC … Wilkinson picked up its first career hit with her single in the third against UMBC … The Seahawks recorded double-digit hits for the second time this season as they matched their season high with 10 hits versus UMBC … Roberts made her first appearance of the season with her 0.2 of work against UMBC … Saturday’s contest served as the first meeting between UNCW and Norfolk State … The Seahawks moved to 13-6 all-time versus UMBC.