NORFOLK, Va. -- The University of Delaware softball team bounced back from a tournament-opening 8-5 loss to UMBC by posting a 9-4 comeback win over Monmouth as the Blue Hens split a pair of games on Saturday at the Norfolk State Spartan Classic.

Delaware, which is now 3-9 on the year following the split, trailed Monmouth by four runs heading into the bottom of the fourth during its second game of the day. After the teams played three scoreless innings, Hawks third baseman Vanessa Cardoza led off the fourth by drilling a home run to leftcenter. Later in the frame Jill Freese ripped a two-run single for Monmouth (0-1), while a Shannon Fitzgerald single gave the Hawks a 4-0 lead.

But the Blue Hens immediately responded with four runs of their own to pull even. Shelby Jones singled home pinch runner Abby Cline to put Delaware on the board, while Carolyn Szymanski followed with a three-run blast to leftcenter to knot the contest at 4-4.

Delaware took the lead for good during the following frame, when Danielle Wissinger led off with a single while pinch runner Giovanna Kolofer eventually scored when Tori Conrad reached on an error. Jones then ripped a two-run triple down the leftfield line, and she later scored when Hannah George legged out an infield single to make it an 8-4 game. The Blue Hens tacked on an insurance run in the sixth when Jessica Grisler belted a solo home run, her second longball of the day.

Delaware pitcher Kelly Lupton made the lead hold up, as she allowed just one hit and struck out six during 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to earn her first victory as a Blue Hen. Grisler, Wissinger and Jones all posted two hits during the victory, with Jones knocking home three.

In the Blue Hens’ first game of the day, UMBC (7-2) took control early by scoring five runs during the bottom of the second inning. Kaelin Jackson led off the frame with a walk and eventually scored when Kaitlin Olesky reached on a fielder’s choice, while Jaclyn Buckley then crossed the plate on another fielder’s choice. Bridget O’Malley followed with an RBI triple to rightfield, while Taylor Hall capped the rally with a two-run homer to give the Retrievers a 5-0 cushion.

Delaware got on the board during the top of the fourth inning when Wissinger singled to centerfield, moved to second on a single to center by Sarah Bencivenga, and scored on a two-out single up the middle by Kolofer.

However UMBC got the run right back in the bottom half when Megan Sauble led off with a home run, while Chelsea Bertoglio added an RBI single before Danielle O’Neill scored on an error as the Retrievers increased their advantage to 8-1. 

Delaware came roaring back in the top of the fifth, after the first two Blue Hen batters of the inning were retired. Gabby Klecko ignited the rally with an infield single, while Grisler followed by blasting a two-run homer to center. Following singles by Wissinger and Bencivenga, Heather Oakley delivered a two-run double to leftcenter to bring UD within three.

Delaware brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh when Wissinger reached on an error and Oakley singled to center, but UMBC pitcher Jessica Holte got Michelle McKinnon to bounce into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Holte improved to 5-0 for the Retrievers in the complete game effort, while Szymanski fell to 2-6 after allowing five runs in 1.2 innings of work. Wissinger, Bencivenga and Oakley paced the Delaware attack with two hits apiece.