KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The University of Delaware softball team carried a two-run lead into the top of the fifth inning, but UMass answered with eight consecutive runs to post a 9-5 comeback win over the Blue Hens Friday evening on the first day of the Citrus Classic.

Delaware (1-10) opened the day by falling to the Czech National Team, 2-0, in an exhibition contest. Mariah Kondravy and Mattie Nuccio had the two Blue Hen hits, while the Czechs scored a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth to account for the margin. Sarah Piening allowed just the pair of unearned runs on three hits during six innings of work in the circle.

The Minutewomen (6-5) then jumped in front with a run in the top of the first inning on an RBI double by Kaitlyn Stavinoha, but the Blue Hens answered back in the bottom half when Leanna Gearhart singled and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Anna Steinmetz.

Kondravy singled home Gearhart in the bottom of the third to put Delaware in front, while later in the frame Giovanna Kolofer drove home Reyna de Jesus with a double to make it a 3-1 game.

However Jena Cozza drilled a solo home run in the top of the fifth to pull UMass within one, before the Minutewomen added two runs in the sixth to take the lead for good. UMass then tacked on five runs in the final frame, highlighted by another Cozza longball and RBI doubles from Kaycee Carbone and Madison Gimpl.

Delaware countered in the bottom of the seventh when Kondravy singled and Steinmetz belted a two-run homer, but the Blue Hens would not get closer.

• Gearhart and Kondravy each had two hits for UD, while four Blue Hens added one apiece
• Gearhart has now scored 130 runs, five shy of the school record
• Steinmetz went back in front of Kondravy on the UD home run chart with 28 career longballs
Jordan Cargile allowed three runs in five innings, while Piening took the loss after giving up six runs in two frames
• Delaware and UMass were facing each other for the first time in school history

Delaware vs. Ball State (Kissimmee, Fla.) – March 3, 2018 (10 a.m.)
Delaware vs. Robert Morris (Kissimmee, Fla.) – March 3, 2018 (3 p.m.)
Delaware vs. Binghamton (Kissimmee, Fla.) – March 4, 2018 (11:30 a.m.)

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