Zullo Sets Program Record For Career Wins As Softball Splits With RIC

Zullo Sets Program Record For Career Wins As Softball Splits With RIC

BOSTON, Mass. – After nearly pulling out a come-from-behind win in game one, only to fall in extras, softball would rebound in game two to earn a Little East Conference split with Anchorwomen of Rhode Island College Saturday afternoon at UMB Softball Field.

With Saturday's results, the Beacons now stand at 4-12, 1-3 in the conference.  For Rhode Island College they now hold a record of 3-12, 1-3 in the LEC.

The Beacons would combine for 14 hits in the split, with Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) leading the Beacons with a combined three hits.  In the circle, senior Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) carried UMB to the game-two victory, and in doing so became the program's all-time leader in career wins with 26.  She would allow just two runs, both unearned, on seven hits, while also striking out eight to lead UMass to their first conference win of the year.

GAME ONE – UMass Boston 8, Rhode Island College 9 (8 inns.)

After a huge six-run bottom of the third which made it 6-4 UMass Boston, the Anchorwomen would tack on a pair in the top half of the fifth to tie the score at six runs a-piece.  Rhode Island College would strike first in the top half of the eighth to take a 9-6 lead over the Beacons.

UMass Boston would start off the bottom of the inning with a walk, followed by an RBI double to center by Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.), which cut the deficit to two (9-7).  Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) would then make it a one-run game on an RBI single to center with no outs on the board.

From there the Anchorwomen would record three straight outs to close out the victory, their first in conference play this season.

RIC wasted little time getting on the board in the first inning as they tacked on a pair, following a two-run double by Mary Sweeney.  They would then score two more in the fourth, thanks in part to an RBI double by Justina Thoma, and an RBI single by Tori Lussier. 

In the bottom half of the inning, the Beacons bats came alive in a big way, even with two outs on the scoreboard.  Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) would reach on a single and would move over to second on a stolen base.  Hailey Dutton (Milton, Mass.) would then drive in her teammate on a single through the right side.

Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) then moved her teammate over to second on a single down the left field line.  A walk to Hemstock would load the bases for Morrison.  The senior infielder would then drive in the Beacons second run of the afternoon on a fielder's choice.  Mitsiaris would keep things moving with a huge two-run single up the middle to tie it at 4-4. 

Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.)  would clear the bases on her second triple of the year to give the Beacons their first lead of the afternoon, as she plated Mitsiaris and Morrison. 

A Lussier double in the fifth would cut the Beacons lead to one, and nearly tied the game at 6-6, but a perfectly executed relay by UMass kept the tying run from scoring.  Unfortunately, a double by Sweeney would counter that great play as she drove in the then tying run.

Despite the loss, Kaera Wyse (Danvers, Mass.) had another strong outing as she went eight complete innings, in which she struck out 10.  She would all the nine runs on 11 hits, and walked six.  Lauren Duvall earned her first win of the year after coming on in relief in the fourth inning.  She would strike out seven and allowed just two runs on two hits. 

Sweeney led the Anchorwomen at the plate in game one with her 3-for-4 showing, which included three RBI, two doubles, one triple, and a run scored.  Mitsiaris and Morrison each drove in a pair of runs on their only hits of the day, as both players went 1-for-3.

GAME TWO – UMass Boston 5, Rhode Island College 2

Looking to rebound in the nightcap, the Beacons got on the board in the bottom half of the second, with Capra driving in the first run of the contest on a bunt single.  The Beacons would then take a 2-0 lead after they took advantage of an error by the Anchorwomen's catcher, which allowed Mitsiaris to score. 

In the top half of that inning the Beacons got out of a bases loaded jam, as Zullo got Katleyn McCaughey to foul out to Raczkowski to end the inning.

The Beacons would keep the Anchorwomen off the board in the third, but they would eventually tie the game at 2-2 in the top half of the fourth.  McCaughey would make up for the bases loaded foul out as she drove in two runs, both unearned, on a single up the middle. 

After a scoreless fourth, the Beacons regained control of the lead in the fifth on an RBI double down the left line by Raczkowski, which scored Morse.  Morse reached on a single through left side, and wasted little time moving into scoring position after stealing second.

The Beacons would then tack on their fourth run of the day on an RBI single by Morrison, before making it a three-run (5-2) affair thanks to a slew of Anchorwomen errors, which allowed Morrison to touch home.

With Zullo dealing in the circle, the righty had all the room she needed on the scoreboard.  She would retire the side in the sixth to keep the Beacons lead intact.  She would then take over as the program's all-time leader in career victories, with 26 following a shutdown top of the seventh.  The Everett native would strike out the first two batters, and would get the third and final out of the inning on a ground out to Morrison. 

Thoma would continue to dominate at the plate for the Anchorwomen with her 3-for-4 day, which included a pair of doubles.  Sarah Molin finished 2-for-3 with a run scored, while McCaughey, had the only two runs batted in for RIC.

Softball returns to action on Monday when they host MIT at 3:30 p.m.