BOSTON, Mass. – Down by one with a 3-2 count, two outs, and bases loaded freshman Amanda Perry (Worcester, Mass.) crushed what became the game winning single into left field to lead softball to a 3-2 come-from-behind win in game two of the final regular season non-conference doubleheader with Brandeis University Sunday afternoon at the UMass Boston Softball Field.
With the two RBI, Perry set her third program record in less than a month as she became the single-season RBI leader with 37, following her two-run single in the seventh. The nightcap victory improved the Beacons overall record to 17-19, while Brandeis closed out their 2012 campaign with 23-16 mark. The Judges defeated UMass in game one by the final of 10-4.
Now that their regular season has come to a close, the Beacons will now look to this Thursday and the first game of the 2012 Little East Conference tournament. Despite the conference sweep yesterday afternoon by Western Connecticut State University, UMass clinched the sixth seed in this year's tournament after Western swept Southern Maine in their final conference twinbill of the regular season.
The Beacons are now slated to face defending conference champions and the number one seed Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors. The two teams will face each other on Thursday at noon at the Eastern Connecticut State University Softball Complex in Mansfield, Connecticut. Thursday's appearance will mark the first time in program history that the Beacons have qualified for the Little East Conference tournament in back-to-back seasons.
In game one of Sunday's doubleheader Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) led the Beacons at the plate with 2-for-3 showing, which included two RBI and a run scored. Perry notched her seventh triple of the season in the top of the sixth, and then reached home plate in that same inning on an RBI single from Jaci Goodwin (Melrose, Mass.). Proving to be the downfall of UMass in game one were their six errors, which allowed the Judges to jump out to an early 5-0 lead through the third. They would score one more run in the fourth, before the Beacons started to mount their first comeback of the day.
UMass got on to the scoreboard in the fifth with three runs, then they added one more in the sixth to make it just a two-run ball game. Unfortunately, the Judges would score four runs in the top half of the seventh to retake control of the game and seal the game one victory.
Game two saw Brandeis jump out to an early 1-0 lead in the top of the first. However unlike game one the Beacons defense was solid all afternoon, not allowing a single error in the contest. After a scoreless second and top of the third, UMass got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third when Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) stole home, after Perry distracted the Judges at first base.
The 1-1 draw would last just one inning as the Judges retook the lead in the top of the fifth on an RBI single. Freshman pitcher Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.), who had four strikeouts on the afternoon, would not allow another run and would get out of two jams in the sixth and seventh innings, giving the Beacons the window they needed to for the walk-off win in the bottom of the final inning.
The inning got off to a great start for UMass as Lauren Perra (Taunton, Mass.) reached first on an error by the shortstop. She would then move to second after Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.) laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt. Goodwin's first single of the game moved Perra to third, while she represented the game winning run. The Beacons then loaded the bases after Maria Nasta (Andover, Mass.) walked after a very long 3-2 battle with pitcher Melissa Nolan.
Now with Perry at the plate the Beacons knew all she had to do was make contact and that would at-least score the tying run. However they got more than they asked for as the freshman crushed a line drive in the left field gap which scored both Perra and Scola.
The victory was extra special as the win marked the final victory at the UMass Boston Softball Field for the four senior members, who were honored following the conclusion of game two. Making-up the class of 2012 was Goodwin, Nasta, Kara Willis (Burrillville, R.I.), and Lisa Polsonetti (Revere, Mass.).