This is the third in our Top 10 of 2014 series. Every day for the rest of 2014, we will count down the Top 10 moments/games of the year, with each program represented. With six All-Americans, several landmark individual accomplishments and some dramatic finishes on the biggest stage-2014 was a banner year for UMass Boston Athletics.
The 2014 season wasn't the best in program history for UMass Boston softball and head coach Natalia Ardagna. After graduating two of the best players at their respective positions in back-to-back years, the Beacons sported a roster with eight underclassmen and a starting lineup with seven players with one or fewer years of starting experience.
Despite their extreme youth, the Beacons continuously fought to stay in every game and it began to pay off on April 1st. In perhaps the biggest upset for any Beacon team in 2014, the Beacons knocked off #25 Wheaton College for the program's first-ever win over a nationally-ranked program.
After being swept to start conference play, the Beacons returned to the UMB Softball Field sporting a 3-8 record to take on red-hot Wheaton College (20-2).
Sophomore Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) gave up an unearned run in the top of the first inning but the Beacons struck back for four runs in the bottom of the first against the Lyons senior All-Conference ace Allison Baker.
Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) and Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) both singled with one out and freshman catcher Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) doubled to the wall in center to give UMass Boston a 2-1 lead. Rackzowski came in to score a batter later on a Lyons error and the Beacons pushed the lead to 4-1 when Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.) drove in Kelsey Svenson (Oxford, Conn.) with a two-out single to left-center.
The Lyons would quickly get back into the game though, as they scored two runs in the third and two more in the fourth to grab a 5-4 lead.
UMass Boston answered right back in the bottom half of the inning, thanks to Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.). Capra opened the rally with a booming triple and scampered home on a Morse single with one out. After an error moved Morse over to third, the freshman beat a throw home from the first baseman to make it 6-5 in favor of the hosts.
Gray would go to work from there, as she worked her way in and out trouble over the next two innings. The Beacons gave her a bit more breathing room in the sixth, as Morse doubled home Capra to push the lead to two at 7-5.
In the top of the seventh Wheaton brought the game-tying run to the plate, but Gray recorded the second out with a pop-out and then struck out the final batter to help the Beacons earn their fourth win of the season.