April 13, 2013

Hit Parade Lifts Softball To Doubleheader Sweep of UMass Dartmouth

BOSTON, Mass.—Softball pieced together 32 hits and 26 runs in a pair of mercy-rule victory over UMass Dartmouth, as the Beacons extended their winning streak to five games and earned their first Little East Conference victories of the season Saturday afternoon at the UMB Softball Field.

With the victories, UMass Boston moved to 10-18 and 2-4 in Little East play, while the Corsairs fell to 9-19 and 1-5 in conference action. 

Every Beacon recorded a hit in a 12-3, five-inning game one victory, while eight UMB players tallied at least on hit in their 14-6, six-inning game two win.

Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) highlighted the Beacons day finishing 7-for-7 with three runs and two RBI for UMB, to break out of a 3-for-18 skid. Senior Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.) added a team-high four RBI and crushed her first collegiate home run, as UMB moved to 7-1 in their past eight matchups with the Corsairs.  

Game One: UMass Boston 12, UMass Dartmouth 3, 5-Innings

After a scoreless first inning, UMass Boston erupted for 12 runs over the next three, including a seven-run bottom of the fourth, to demolish UMass Dartmouth 12-3.

Senior shortstop Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) and Bove led the Beacons with three hits apiece, while Souza, Bove, Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) and Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) all finished with two RBI.

Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) took advantage of some rare run support, as she cruised through seven innings of work to move to 5-9. The freshman right-hander scattered seven hits and three runs, two earned, while striking out one Corsair hitter.

Kelsey Souza smashed her first career home run in game one against the Corsairs (photo by Tori Pizzuto '14)

On the other side, Amy Sasin went through three different pitchers, as Shannon Orton, Becky Williams and Amanda McHugh combined to give up 15 hits and 12 runs-eight of which were earned.

UMass Boston took a 2-0 lead after two innings of play, behind two UMass Dartmouth errors and an RBI line drive single from Bove, that tipped off the top of Samantha Gregoire's glove at second base. 

After UMD score a run in the third inning on a wild pitch, UMass Boston struck for three more in the bottom half of the inning. Bouyea singled through the right side with the bases loaded to make it 3-1 and Capra added a two-run, two-out double to right center to push the lead to 5-1.

UMass Dartmouth responded with two runs of their own in the top of the fourth behind three singles and a walk. Gregoire picked up her third of the day and first RBI, with a single through the left side and the Corsairs tacked on another run when Souza couldn't handle a grounder off the bat of Olivia Kenyon.

But the back-and-forth action would end in the bottom half of the fourth inning, as UMB provided a knockout blow with eight hits and seven runs coming across to score.

Bove led off the inning with her fourth triple of the season and scampered home on Sue Killilea's (Abington, Mass.) RBI single with no outs. With the bases loaded and one out, Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) came in to score on a wild pitch out of the hand of Wiliams to push the lead to 7-1. The Beacons tacked on two more runs on a error by Katie McEachern and put the game out of reach when Souza belted her first career home run over the left-center field fence to make it 11-3. Bove capped off the scoring, with an RBI single through the right side to score Kelsey Svenson (Oxford, Conn.) to make it 12-3.  

Game Two: UMass Boston 14, UMass Dartmouth 6 (6 Innings)

Game Two would follow a similar script to the first contest, as UMass Boston used a seven-run first inning to take control and pounded out 17 hits over five plus innings.

Killilea led the Beacons with three hits and three runs in four trips to the plate and ended the game with her walk-off triple in the bottom of the sixth inning. Bove finished 4-for-4 with two runs scored and made one of UMB's several highlight reel defensive plays, with a sliding catch in left field to rob Emily Pontes in the second inning.

Souza and Asta added two RBI apiece, while Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) finished tied with Svenson, Souza and Bouyea with two hits in the victory.

Sophomore Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) earned the victory in the circle, allowing six runs, three earned, over six innings. Zullo struck out three and avoided giving up a free pass for just the fourth time in 14 starts this season. 

The Corsairs jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning behind two doubles and two Beacons errors. Becky Williams pounded a two-out, two-run RBI double to left center to make it 2-0 and trotted home when Rachel Carey followed her with a double of her own. 

UMass Dartmouth's three run lead would quickly disappear though, as UMB put up seven runs for the second consecutive inning, in the bottom of the first.

Twelve Beacons stepped to the plate in the inning, as UMass Boston turned seven hits and two UMD errors into a seven-spot on the scoreboard. 

After loading the bases to start off the inning, UMB got on the board on a fielder's choice gone wrong, as Pontes' throw home, hit off the back off Killilea to allow the senior to score. With one down and the bases full of Beacons, Souza sent a soft popup just out the reach of Gregoire at second that scored three runs, when Kenyon's throw from right field found its way into the Corsairs dugout for a two-base error. 

Souza walked home one pitch later, when Amanda McHugh was called for an illegal pitch with Souza on third base. Capra followed with her second double of the day to end McHugh's outing after a third of an inning.  

UMass Boston pushed the lead to 6-3 with an RBI single from Svenson that scored Capra and Asta made it 7-3 with a sacrifice fly to score Svenson from third base. 

Zullo took over from their, as she retired seven in a row at one point and three hits over the next three innings.

After a scoreless second inning, UMass Boston reached double digits in the third inning, behind a huge RBI double from Bouyea with two outs.

The Beacons pushed the lead to 11-3 in the fourth, when Asta cracked a two-out RBI single to right field to bring home Bove from second base. 

Orton produced one of the few highlights of the day for UMD in the top of the fifth, when she rocketed a three-run home run to left center with two outs to give the Corsairs new life at 11-6.

The Beacons pushed the lead back to six in the bottom half of the inning, when Souza singled to center field to score Bouyea from second.

After a scoreless top of the sixth, UMB earned their third mercy-rule victory of the season, with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Bove led off with a single up the middle and came home to score on Killilea's 30th career triple. Killilea ripped the ball out to left field and as she was racing in to third, Pontes' throw went over the head of the third baseman and into the dugout, allowing Killilea to trot the final 60 feet home.

UMass Boston will look to continue their success Tuesday when they travel to Keene State College for a Little East Conference doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m.