December 18, 2013

Top 13 of 2013: #13 Softball Clinches Playoff Spot With Senior Day Win Over Rhode Island College

This is the first in our Top 13 of 2013 series. Every day for the rest of 2013, we will count down the Top 13 moments/games of the year, with each program represented. With three Little East Conference Titles, several huge upsets over nationally ranked teams and some dramatic finishes-2013 was another step forward for UMass Boston Athletics.

For the second year in a row, head coach Natalia Ardagna's squad headed into the final conference doubleheader of the season needing a positive result-to ensure a trip to the Little East Conference Tournament.

After a slow start to the season, the Softball team had battled back from a 2-8 Little East Conference record, to be within one win of reaching the LEC Tournament for a program-record third-straight season.

But standing in the Beacons' way was Rhode Island College, a team that had won 40 of the past 41 games against UMB, with the 41st game ending in a 2-2 tie.

With the odds heavily against them, freshman pitcher Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) and her teammates turned in one of their most complete performances of the season in Game One.

Gray threw seven scoreless innings, scattering just nine base-runners for her second career shutout, to lift UMB to a 2-0 win. As good as Gray was though, the Beacons defense made several huge plays to keep the Anchorwomen off the board.

Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.), the Beacons' senior captain, threw out a Rhode Island College player at home trying to take two bases on an infield bunt single, while fellow captain Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) made a diving catch in left-center field to save the Beacons two runs.

At the plate, Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) and Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) each drove in a run, to ensure that the Beacons' three seniors (Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.), Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.) and Killilea) would get the chance to put on a UMass Boston uniform at least one last time.

Although the Beacons' eventually fell in game two of the doubleheader and had their season come to a close against the Anchorwomen in the LEC Tournament, their Senior Day, playoff-clinching victory provided a big bright spot during the 2013 season.

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