March 28, 2012

Walk-off Win Gives Softball Split With Framingham State

BOSTON, Mass.--After being down to their final strike, UMass Boston earned a thrilling comeback, walk-off victory to down Framingham State 7-6 in the second game of their home doubleheader, after the Rams had downed UMass Boston 4-3 in their home opener at the UMass Boston Softball Field.

UMass Boston led for much of the second game but Framingham State grabbed a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning to force the Beacons rally. The first two batters both recorded outs, leaving freshmen Amanda Perry (Worcester, Mass.) to spark the Beacons. She walked on four pitches and Sam Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) drove a double into left-center field to drive in pinch runner Tori Pizzuto (Waterbury, Conn.).

With the score tied at six, freshmen Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) proceeded to single off a Rams glove to put Beacons at first and third. Head coach Natalia Ardagna pinch ran for Hemstock with Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.) and the decision worked to perfection. The next hitter Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) hit a grounder to third baseman Kyle Fortin (Candia, N.H) who was unable to initially catch the ball and Fortin had nowhere to record an out as Scola crossed home plate.

In the first game, UMass Boston led for most of the way but errors cost the Beacons a home sweep.

Seniors Lisa Polsonetti (Revere, Mass.) and Jaci Goodwin (Melrose, Mass) both recorded two hits in the opener for the Beacons. Hemstock went 2-for-2 and added a walk as she continued her red-hot week.

In the circle, senior pitcher Kara Willis (Burrillville, R.I.) threw a complete game and allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits.

The Beacons jumped out to a 1-0 lead after one, when Polsonetti tripled with one out and crossed the plate on a Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) RBI groundout. UMass Boston would add to their lead behind some strong base running and some Rams miscues in the fifth. Senior Maria Nasta (Andover, Mass.) reached on an error by Taylor Ezold (Westfield, Mass.) and came around to score on a passed ball to put the Beacons ahead 2-0.

UMass Boston's lead would be short-lived though. The Rams scored three runs in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice bunt that went awry when Perry threw the ball away.

The home side didn't take long to answer, as Pizzuto pinch ran for Hemstock in the bottom of the sixth and scored the tying run on a wild pitch. 

Framingham State had one more answer though, as Fortin singled, advanced on a groundout, stole third base and scored on a single to give the Rams their final 4-3 margin.

In the second game, UMass Boston jumped out to an early lead and found a way to overcome the Rams rally.

Sophomore second basemen Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.), Nasta and Perra all had two hits for the Beacons in the second game.

Freshmen pitcher Michell Zullo (Everett, Mass.) earned her fourth victory of the season with four earned runs in seven innings. Willis scattered 13 hits over the course of the game, while striking out six batters for the second straight game.

The Beacons jumped out to a 4-2 lead after three innings and 5-2 after six, but Framingham State once again had a rally. The Rams scored four runs in the top of the seventh on four hits and one Beacon error to take a 6-5 lead and help set the scene for the Beacons dramatic final half inning.

UMass Boston will begin conference play this weekend when they play a doubleheader at UMass Dartmouth beginning at Noon.