April 24, 2012

Softball Rallies To Earn Split With Southern Maine

GORHAM, Maine -- After dropping Game One 2-1 behind a pair of defensive miscues, UMass Boston (16-16, 3-9) stormed back to grab the nightcap 11-6 over Southern Maine (4-30, 2-8) in a Little East Conference doubleheader at Towers Field.

The afternoon was highlighted by freshmen designated player Amanda Perry's (Worcester, Mass.) pair of home runs. Her home run in the third inning of Game One tied her with Siobhan Lynch (03-04) for the program mark and she earned sole possesion of the record with her 11th career home run in the top of the sixth of Game Two. 

Junior Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) tied a program mark of her own in Game Two when she tripled to right field early in the top of the first inning. The triple was her tenth of the season, matching her total from the 2010 season. Killilea also owns the Beacons record for career triples with 24 and counting.

In Game One, Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) went toe-to-toe with Stefanie Stockwell but the Beacons lost the pitchers duel on a pair of Huskies runs that were aided by UMass Boston miscues.

Zullo (8-7) had another strong start for the Beacons going six innings allowing two runs, one earned. She also scattered six hits and four walks while striking out three Huskies. Stockwell was slightly better, allowing just one run and five hits over seven innings.

Perry had the big hit for the Beacons, as she crushed a home run to right field for the lone UMass Boston run of the game. 

Southern Maine jumped out to a 1-0 lead after two innings behind a Beacons error. After Annie Mitchell walked to start off the bottom of the second, Caitlin LeBorgne followed with a sacrifice bunt to third base. The Beacons recorded the out but first baseman Lisa Polsonetti (Revere, Mass.) threw the ball away trying to retire the runner as well and Mitchell came all the way around to score.

The lead wouldn't last very long, as Perry answered with her home run in the next half inning to tie the game at one. After several innings of nearly scratching a run across, the Huskies got on the board again in the bottom of the sixth. LeBorgne led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a passed ball. Two batters later, Kayla Kennedy drove LeBorgne in with a sacrifice fly to provide the final margin. 

Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) knotched the Beacons first hit since the top of the third with a leadoff single in the top of the seventh. But UMass Boston would record three straight outs to put down any chance of a rally.

UMass Boston's bats came alive in Game Two, as the Beacons pounded out six extra-base hits, fifteen hits and eleven runs. 

Polsonetti was the offensive star of the nightcap with a 3-for-5 game with three runs, four RBI and her third career home run. Killilea added three hits, three runs and two RBI of her own, while Perry went 2-for-5 with a run and three RBI.

Senior third baseman Maria Nasta (Andover, Mass.) connected for three hits and Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) was the fifth Beacon with multiple hits, as she finished with two.

Pitcher Kara Willis (Burrillville, R.I.) got back to .500 (7-7) with a complete game victory. Willis allowed just three earned runs and struck out six Southern Maine batters.

UMass Boston got off to a quick start right away, as the Beacons jumped on the Huskies for two runs in the top of the first. Nasta tripled to right center to lead off the game and scored shortly afterward on an RBI groundout from Polsonetti. Killilea followed with her record-tying triple to right field and scampered home on a throwing error by the right fielder.

The Beacons continued to pound Stockwell in the second inning with two more runs to make it a 4-1game. Hemstock led off with a single and later scored when Polsonetti smashed a home run to left field with two outs.

Two innings later, the Beacons made it a 6-0 game and knocked Stockwell out of the game with a two-run fourth inning. Nasta started the inning with a single and Polsonetti followed with a single and both runners advanced on the throw. Killilea added a single to score Nasta to make it 5-0 and Polsonetti came around to score on a wild pitch with two outs to put the Beacons up 6-2 after four.

Southern Maine got back into the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth but the Beacons had another quick response. Killilea reached base to lead off the sixth on an error and walked home when Perry hit her record-setting home run to left field to give UMass Boston an 8-5 edge.

The Beacons put the game out of reach in the top of the seventh with four straight hits with two outs. Nasta started with a single to center field and Polsonetti added her fourth RBI of the day with a double to. Killilea singled up the middle to bring Polsonetti home and Perry added her third extra-base hit of the day with a triple to score Killilea. 

The Huskies tacked on an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh but Willis struck out the final two hitters to give the Beacons a split.

UMass Boston will finish off the conference slate when they travel to Western Connecticut Saturday for a doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.