Softball Reaches 300 Wins, In Doubleheader Sweep of Bridgewater State

Softball Reaches 300 Wins, In Doubleheader Sweep of Bridgewater State

BRIDGEWATER, Mass.—UMass Boston softball used three huge innings to earn a sweep of Bridgewater State University and the program's 300th win Thursday afternoon at Alumni Park.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 15, Bridgewater State 1 (5 Innings)

UMass Boston 8, Bridgewater State 3

(UMass Boston 12-2)

(Bridgewater State 4-10)

HOW IT HAPPENED

The Beacons scored 13 of their 15 runs across two innings in the first game and then scored five in the top of the seventh of game two, to secure the sweep.

With their game one victory, the Beacons reached 300 wins as a program in their 36th season as a collegiate program.

Sophomore Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) paced the Beacons with six RBI on the day and the team's lone home run. As a team, the Beacons racked up 29 hits on the day, including eight extra-base hits. 

In the circle, freshman Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) improved to 8-1 by throwing a pair of complete games. She allowed just ten hits and three earned runs over 12 innings.

GAME ONE

After a scoreless first two frames, UMass Boston scored five in the third, eight in the fourth and two more in the fifth, to dominate their intra-state rivals. 

All nine starters had hits in the win, led by Pawlina who went 2-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBI. Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) and Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) each chipped in with two hits and two RBI, while Raczkowski and Kaitlyn "KMO" Morse (Arlington, Mass.) each finished with two runs scored.

Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) and Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) were the final two Beacons to register two hits in the win.

Greenspan was dominant in the opener, limiting Bridgewater State to five hits and one run. She held the Bears scoreless through the first four innings, before they scratched across a run in the fifth. 

The Beacons opened the scoring in the third inning. Braga singled and stole second, before racing home on a Morse RBI double. Morse would come home on a passed ball to make it 2-0, and then the Beacons would put two runners on with one out. Pawlina put the game out of reach from there, as she clocked a fastball over the left-field fence for her first home run of 2017. 

Already leading 5-0, UMass Boston struck for eight runs in the fourth, courtesy of eight hits, one walk and one Bears error. With the bases loaded and no outs, Raczkowski drilled a double into the left-field corner to easily score Braga and Morse. Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) followed with a sacrifice fly to score Vento, which made it 8-0 Beacons.

A Bears error pushed the lead to 9-0 and then Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) and Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) registered back-to-back RBI singles to push the lead to 11. Vento capped off the inning with her second hit of the frame, a two-run RBI double which scored Braga and Prusmack.

The Beacons tacked on two more runs in the fifth, highlighted by Jessie Tenaglia's (Braintree, Mass.) first career hit. The freshman catcher laced an RBI single to left field in her first career at-bat.

GAME TWO RECAP

The nightcap was a pitcher's duel, with the two teams tied at three through the first six innings. UMass Boston answered the call in the seventh, as the first five runners reached and the Beacons scored five runs, to easily earn their second-straight sweep.

Pawlina provided all of the offense early on, as she was credited with RBI on each of the Beacons' first three runs. Vento and Tulley added two hits, one run and one RBI apiece. Prusmack and Kayla Harris (Cumberland, Maine) were the final two Beacons to record two hits. 

Greenspan cruised through the first five innings, before Bridgewater State struck for two runs in the sixth. Overall, the freshman limited the Bears to five hits and two earned runs.

Bridgewater State's Kathleen Bailey fell to 2-8, after allowing 13 hits and five earned runs. 

UMass Boston needed just five batters to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Morse walked and Vento reached on a fielder's choice error, to put two runners in scoring position. After Bailey got the second out, Pawlina ripped a double to right-center field to easily score Morse and Bilotta-who was pinch-running.

The Bears took advantage of a Beacons' miscue to cut the deficit in half in the bottom half of the inning. Shannon Grindle lined a triple with two down and then scored on an error to make it 2-1.

Pawlina pushed the lead back to 3-1 in the top of the third. With Raczkowski on second after a walk and a passed ball, Pawlina blasted a double to left to push the advantage back to two runs. 

The score would stay at 3-1 until the bottom of the sixth. With a runner on third and two down, Kristyna Flaherty and Tabitha Domeji delivered back-to-back RBI hits to knot the game up at 3-3. 

UMass Boston responded back immediately, as they scored five runs on six hits-to snuff out the Bears comeback hopes. 

Prusmack laid down a perfect bunt single to start the inning and raced over to third on a bunt single from Braga. Morse followed with a soft grounder to second and when the second baseman threw home, Prusmack slid under the tag to score the go-ahead run. Vento pushed the lead to 5-3 with an RBI single and Raczkowski added an RBI single of her own to double the advantage.

After the Bears got the first out of the inning, Tulley and Mitsiaris cracked back-to-back RBI singles to open the game to an 8-3 lead. 

With all of the pressure off, Greenspan set the Bears down in order in the seventh, to lock down the Beacons' fifth-straight win.

BY THE NUMBERS 

  • With the sweep, head coach Natalia Ardagna and the Beacons improved to 9-7 all-time against Ardagna's alma mater. The Beacons have earned back-to-back sweeps and wins in six of their last eight against Bridgewater State.
  • Mitsiaris became the 13th player in program history to reach 100 career hits in today's doubleheader. Her RBI single in the seventh marked her 15th hit of the season and 100th of her career.
  • Greenspan did not walk a batter in 12 innings of work, while striking out four.
  • Tenaglia made her Beacons' softball debut in the opener. The freshman finished 1-for-1, with an RBI single and a run scored.
  • Harris earned her first start of the season in game two. She went 2-for-4 with a double.
  • Sophomore Chaislyn Burgio (Quincy, Mass.) also picked up her first collegiate hit in game one. The pinch-hitter delivered a hard-hit single to right and came around to score.
  • UMass Boston received votes in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association National Poll for the first time in Wednesday's poll. The Beacons picked up eight votes to be ranked 33rd.

WHO'S NEXT

UMass Boston will open Little East Conference play on Sunday at home against Plymouth State University. The first game is scheduled to start 1 p.m.