DANBURY, Conn.—Western Connecticut State University limited UMass Boston softball to one scoring inning Sunday, as the Colonials picked up a Little East Conference sweep at Westfield Field.
WCSU 5, UMass Boston 3
WCSU 9, UMass Boston (5 Innings)
(UMass Boston 11-21, 3-7 Little East)
(Western Connecticut 12-21-1, 5-5 Little East)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Western Connecticut State jumped out to big leads in both games and held off a late rally in game one to earn the sweep.
Sophomore Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) led the Beacons on the day with four hits in five at-bats. Freshman Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) tacked on three hits, two of the team's three RBI and UMass Boston's only extra-base hit of the day.
For the second-straight day, UMass Boston fell into a 5-0 game one deficit and saw their late-inning rally fall just short.
Trailing 5-0 going into the seventh inning, UMass Boston sent eight players to the plate and put the tying run on second base with two down. Western pitcher Angelina Miller induced a groundout to second base to help the Colonials escape with the win.
Danahy and Braga combined for six of the Beacons' eight hits in game one. Danahy went 3-4 with a double and two RBI, while Braga finished 3-3.
In the circle, Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) took the loss after allowing seven hit and five runs scored over six innings.
Miller shut the Beacons down completely through six innings and held on for her seventh win of the season. The Colonials starter allowed eight hits and three runs over seven innings of work.
Western Connecticut State did all of their damage in the second and third innings. With two on and two outs in the second, Jenna Gaudioso tripled to right field to give the Colonials a 2-0 lead. The Colonials scored three more in the third, thanks to three singles and a triple.
After leaving five runners on through the first six innings, UMass Boston mounted a furious comeback in the seventh.
Braga opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a fielder's choice, where the Colonials failed to get an out. After Braga was wiped on a fielder's choice, Gaeta followed with an RBI single that plated Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.). Bilotta loaded the bases with a single, before Miller picked up the second out on a popup on the infield.
Danahy came through with her second two-run, two-out hit of the weekend, as she crushed a two-run double to right that scored Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) and Gaeta. With two on and two outs, Miller picked up the final out to snuff out the Beacons' chances.
Western raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and added to their lead in the third and fourth inning for a mercy-rule, game two victory.
The Colonials took the lead in the third at-bat of the game and never looked back. Kayla Nowak led the hosts with two hits, a run scored and three RBI and had the big hit of the game-a two-run homer in the first.
Sara Tenke earned her second win of the year for Western, as she limited the Beacons to five singles and one walk over five innings.
Freshman Drew Washington (Bordentown, N.J.) absorbed the loss after allowing five earned runs in three innings.
Western took the game by the horns in the first. Tori Dugan opened the first with a double and she and Tenke moved up to second and third after a walk and a wild pitch. The Colonials took the lead on a passed ball and made it 2-0 on a Natalia Hart infield single. Nowak, the next batter, gave the Colonials a 4-0 edge with her league-leading eighth homer of the year.
UMass Boston had their best chance to cut into the deficit in the top of the third. Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) opened the inning with a single and moved to second on a sac bunt. Bilotta took first after a hit by pitch and the Beacons loaded the bases on Kiera Prusmack's (Houston, Texas) single through the right side. With the bases loaded and one out, Tenke struck out back-to-back batters to get out of the jam.
The Colonials added two unearned runs in the third and three more in the fourth to extend their lead to 9-0.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Danahy and Braga continue to terrorize LEC pitching. Braga is hitting .481 (13-27), while Danahy is hitting .455 (15-33) with six RBI.
- UMass Boston is 3-3 at home in LEC games this season and 0-4 in LEC road games. With the two losses, the Beacons sit one game back of sixth-place Keene State College (4-6) and two games back of Western (5-5) with four games to play.
- Freshman Gianna Salemi (Windsor, Conn.) made her conference debut in game two and worked a pinch-hit walk.
- For the second-straight day, UMass Boston left 14 runners on base in a doubleheader.
- With the sweep, Western Connecticut State leads UMass Boston 41-5 all-time. The two teams have met in each of the past two LEC Tournaments, with each side earning a victory.
UMass Boston will travel to Keene State College on Tuesday for a key Little East Conference doubleheader.