Softball Earns Conference Split With Southern Maine

Softball Earns Conference Split With Southern Maine

 

BOSTON, Mass. – After suffering a heartbreaking extra inning game one loss, softball battled back and the darkness to earn a 1-0 victory in the nightcap as the Beacons earned a Little East Conference sweep with the University of Southern Maine Tuesday afternoon at UMB Softball Field.

THE BASICS

GM1: UMass Boston 5, University of Southern Maine 6 (8 inns.)
GM2: UMass Boston 1, University of Southern Maine 0

UMass Boston (10-18, 2-4 Little East Conference)
University of Southern Maine (15-13, 5-3 Little East Conference)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Sophomore infielder Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) led the Beacons in the split as she combined for five hits, while make multiple highlight real defensive plays.  In the circle Jessica Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) went all 15 innings and tallied six strikeouts respectively, and collected her second shutout win of 2018.

GAME ONE

After a two-run homer by the Huskies tied the game at 3-3, they would then strike first in the extra innings as they scored three runs to take a 6-3 lead.  The Beacons responded in the bottom half of the inning as they took advantage of a pair of Husky errors.  Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) would make it a 6-4 ball game on an RBI ground out to the second baseman.  The Beacons would then score their fifth run of the day and second in the inning with Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) sprinting home.  With Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) sitting on first, pinch hitter Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) would move the tying run into scoring position on a single down the left line.

USM would then collect the second out of the inning on a fly-out.  However, the Beacons would move the tying run to third and the game-winning run to second on a wild pitch.  With junior hitter Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) at the plate, the Beacons were ready to explode as they looked to Vento to end the ball game with one swing of the bat.  On 2-1 count, Vento would rip the ball to left field, where it was unfortunately met by the Huskies defense ending the opener.

Braga finished 3-for-4 in the opening loss, while Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) drove in a pair of runs on two hits.  Bilotta finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and was walked twice.

Hannah Kenney led the Huskies with a 2-for-2 showing which included two RBI, two runs scored, a double, the game-tying home run, and a pair of walks.  Amber Kelly improved to 8-6 on the year after allowing five runs, two earned, on 11 hits while also striking out six and walking two.

GAME TWO

In the nightcap the Huskies were held to just four hits by Greenspan.  The Beacons offense managed just five, with the game's lone run coming in the bottom of the second.  With bases loaded, Bilotta knocked-in Bonilla on an infield single.  The Beacons looked to do more damage but were held to the lone score, as the pace of the game kicked into overdrive.  With the sun setting lower and lower, Greenspan and her defense did their jobs as they held the Huskies off the scoreboard.

The Connecticut native would close out the seventh with a pair of strikeouts and a ground out to end the Beacons four-game skid.

Braga was the only Beacon to record multiple hits in the win, while Bilotta was walked three times.  Brooke Cross recorded the Huskies only extra base hit, a double, in the top of the seventh inning.

Greenspan struck out five in the nightcap and walked just two, while Alexis Brown allowed the lone run on five hits, while striking out four and walking seven.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • The Beacons have now won two of their last three meetings with the Huskies
  • Greenspan now sits with a 5-10 record overall and sits sixth in the LEC in total strikeouts with 49
  • With the split the Beacons are now tied for fifth in the conference standings with the 2-4 record
  • Since 2011 the Beacons are 9-7 against USM, which included a five-game win-streak from 2012-2014
  • Head coach Natalia Ardagna now sits with 175 wins as the Beacons skipper

WHO'S NEXT

The Beacons will travel to Salem State University on Thursday for a 4 p.m. non-conference doubleheader.