QUINCY, Mass.—Freshman pitcher Annie Thomas (Lunenburg, Mass.) allowed just two hits and no runs in game one, to set the UMass Boston softball program-record with her fourth shutout of the season.
GAME ONE: UMass Boston 1, Eastern Nazarene 0
GAME TWO: Eastern Nazarene 8, UMass Boston 0
(UMass Boston 14-8)
(Eastern Nazarene 11-13)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Thomas put together another dominant display on the mound, to help the Beacons salvage a split, on a day that the Beacons' bats were dormant.
Thomas scattered two hits and two walks over seven innings, while striking out six. With the shutout, Thomas passed three former Beacons greats to earn sole possession for the program mark for shutouts in a single-season.
In just 11 career starts, Thomas is already tied for fourth in career shutouts, two behind Emily Wolf ('11) and Michelle Zullo ('15).
She needed every out on the afternoon, as the Beacons mustered just seven hits and one run against the Lions pitching in game one.
Heidi Gomez and Lauren Weidler held the Beacons to seven hits and three walks, while striking out six. Gomez was charged with her eighth loss of the year, after giving up the lone run in five innings of work.
Eastern Nazarene had the lone hit in the first inning, but Lauren Clements was erased as she trotted into second base on a presumed double. After belting the ball to the wall, Clements was thrown out from the warning track, on a rope from right fielder Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.).
The Beacons took the lead in the next half-inning. Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) and Mitsiaris put together back-to-back singles and Alexa St. Angelo (Cranston, R.I.) reached on an error. After Gomez got the first out, Bove worked a walk to score Vento from third. Gomez would settle down from there and get the final two outs without any further damage.
Eastern Nazarene would only threaten once more in the game.
In the fifth inning, Thomas walked the lead-off runner to put the Lions in business. The Lions then put down a sacrifice bunt to move the pinch-runner over and Gomez followed with a single. With runners at the corners and one down, Meghan Stanley hit a hard hit ball to Morse at second. Morse fielded the ball and took it to second, before swinging around and trying to complete the double play. Her throw went off the hand of the runner coming from first and the umpires initially ruled the batter safe at first. After a long review, the umpired changed the call to runner interference, and the Lions' run was waived off.
Thomas would settle in from there, as she retired the Lions in order in the sixth and seventh to secure the Beacons' third-straight win.
Things went from bad to worse for the Beacons bats in game two, as they managed just four hits, in an 8-0 mercy-rule loss.
Weidler, who went two-scoreless innings in game one, allowed four singles, no walks and struck out five, in her fifth win of the season.
For the Beacons, Zechello was charged with nine hits, eight runs, four earned, and one walk over 4.2 innings. The freshman pitcher struck out four in her outing.
Eastern Nazarene struck for four runs on four hits and an error in the bottom of the second. Viviana Coix opened the scoring with an RBI double and then Meghan Stanley and Beckey Bahr quickly followed with RBI singles of their own. The Lions tacked on a fourth run on a Beacons' error.
The Lions reproduced their success in the bottom of the fifth, as they scored four runs with two outs. Coix again opened the scoring, as she knocked in Clements with an RBI single. Gomez followed with an RBI fielder's choice and Bahr closed out the game with a two-run RBI single to center field.
UMass Boston left runners in scoring position in the first, second and fourth, as they suffered their sixth shutout loss of the season.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Thomas has allowed one run or fewer in eight of her 13 appearances. She leads the LEC in earned run average (0.78), ranks tied for first in complete games (11) and second in strikeouts (76) and innings pitched (81.0).
- Tuesday's games marked the first meeting between the Beacons and Lions since April 22, 1999. UMass Boston improved to 17-8 all-time against the Lions and snapped a three-game losing streak with their game one win.
- On the day, UMass Boston left 14 runners on base.
- Mitsiaris (three), Morse and St. Angelo were the lone Beacons to finish with multiple hits on the day.
UMass Boston will look to get the bats back in gear on Thursday, as they travel to Curry College for a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m.