April 6, 2013

Western Connecticut State Sweeps Softball In LEC Doubleheader

BOSTON, Mass.—Western Connecticut State belted nine doubles and cruised by UMass Boston in a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the UMB Softball Field.

The Colonials (4-11, 2-0 Little East) stayed perfect in games played in New England and moved to 2-0 in Little East Conference play, with an 8-0, five-inning win in the opener and an 8-1 win in the second contest. With the losses, UMass Boston (5-17, 0-4 Little East) dropped their ninth and 10th consecutive contests, after starting the season 5-7.

Western Connecticut State's Stephanie Moss and Alexandra Sabith held the Beacons to nine hits and one run in 14 innings, as the Beacons fell to 0-4 at the UMB Softball Field this season.

Game One: Western Connecticut State 8, UMass Boston 0 (5 Innings)

The Colonials earned a commanding 8-0 victory in the opener, behind a solid performance from their entire lineup. Seven Western Connecticut State hitters recorded hits and six players recorded RBI, as the Colonials won their LEC opener.

Second baseman Jessica Caturano led the Colonials by finishing 2-for-2 with one run and two RBI.

Senior Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) was the only Beacon to finish with multiple-hits, going 2-for-2 with an intentional walk in the contest. 

Moss earned her first victory of the season with a dominating performance on the mound. The sophomore allowed six hits and one walk over five innings, to move to 1-2 on the year. Sophomore Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) allowed nine hits and eight earned runs for UMB, to fall to 2-9 on the year.

Western Connecticut State scored one run in the first, three in third and one more in the fourth to grab a 5-0 lead. The Colonials put the game away in the fifth inning, when they sent nine batters to the plate and recorded three hits and two bases-loaded walks.

The three-run inning was enough to put the game away, as UMB stranded a runner on first in the bottom half of the inning, to end the five-inning contest.

GAME TWO: Western Connecticut State University 8, UMass Boston 1

Western Connecticut State breezed by the Beacons in game two, behind a three RBI performance from first baseman Julia Bocek.

Bocek and leadoff hitter Ashlie Morris combined to finish 4-for-8 with two runs and five RBI for the Colonials, as they earned their fourth-straight win.

On the mound, Alexandra Sabith picked up her first collegiate victory, allowing three hits and one run in seven innings of work. The freshman pitcher retired 12 batters in a row at one point during the middle innings and struck out six batters on the day.

Sabith outdueled fellow freshman Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.), who went pitch for pitch with Sabith through the first six innings. Gray allowed eight runs (four earned) on 10 hits, after being victimized for six runs (three earned) in the Colonials six-run top of the seventh. 

The Beacons freshman right-hander couldn't overcome six Colonials doubles in the nightcap, including a bases-clearing double from Bocek in the seventh.

UMass Boston took their only lead of the game in inning number one, when Killilea walked to lead off the inning, stole second and moved over to third on an infield single from Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.). On the next pitch, Souza took off for second as part of a double steal and drew the Colonials' attention away from Killilea, just long enough to allow Killilea to cross the plate to make it 1-0 UMass Boston.

Western Connecticut State responded in the third inning to even the score at 1-1. Christine Bighinatti doubled with one out and came in to score on an error from Souza, on a groundout that should have been the third out of the inning. Bighinatti had a huge game, finishing 3-for-3 with two runs and an RBI from the eight-hole.

The Colonials took the lead for good in the top of the sixth, when Morris led off with a double and scampered home on a wild pitch with one out. UMass Boston kept the deficit at one, thanks to a strong defensive play from Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.). Nina Wojtkiewicz took off from third on a suicide squeeze and after retreating toward third, broke for home and beat the throw, only to have no angle because of a terrific blocking of the plate by Hemstock.

After a scoreless bottom half of the inning, the Colonials blew the game wide-open with a six-run top of the seventh.

UMass Boston will look to snap their 10-game skid Tuesday afternoon when they host MIT at 3 p.m.