Softball Celebrates Senior Day With Split Against Colonials

Softball Celebrates Senior Day With Split Against Colonials

BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston earned a key Little East Conference split on Senior Day, to set the program record for LEC wins in a single-season.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 5, Western Connecticut State 1

Western Connecticut State 2, UMass Boston 1

(UMass Boston 23-10, Little East 8-6)

(Western Connecticut State 18-17, Little East 8-4)

HOW IT HAPPENED 

The Beacons snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Colonials in game one, to record their program record eighth LEC victory. Despite the Colonials holding off a late game two rally by the Beacons, UMass Boston closes out the schedule with their best-ever LEC record at 8-6.

UMass Boston will await their first-round playoff opponent and location on Tuesday. The Beacons are still in play for a home game on Tuesday, but will likely need UMass Dartmouth to sweep Southern Maine and Western Connecticut State takes at least one game from Eastern Connecticut State University.

After the conclusion of game two, UMass Boston honored their three seniors: Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.), Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) and Kaitlyn "KMO" Morse (Arlington, Mass.)

GAME ONE

The Beacons' battery of Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) and Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) teamed up to help the Beacons' earn their first win over the Colonials since April 22, 2011.

Vento was a one-woman wrecking offensively, as the sophomore went 3-for-4 with three doubles and three RBI. Her RBI double in the first set the single-season program record with 15 doubles in a year, breaking Andrea Ciarletta's ('07) record that has stood since 2006. She then pushed her total to 18 by the end of the day. 

Freshman Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) scored twice, while Morse added a run scored and a hit.

Greenspan was just as dominant in the circle. The freshman improved to 16-7 by allowing just six hits and one earned run in the complete game. Greenspan struck out four and issued two free passes.

Angelina Miller took the loss for the Colonials, after allowing six hits and four runs (two earned), in four-plus innings.

Lead-off hitter Tori Dugan was the lone Colonial to record multiple hits: with two hits and a stolen base. 

The Beacons needed just three batters to take the lead in the bottom of the first. Prusmack reached on a throwing error by the third baseman, moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and cruised home on Vento's RBI double to left-center.

After leaving six runners on through the first four innings, UMass Boston broke through with three key insurance runs in the fifth. Morse was hit by a pitch to lead off the fifth, and came all the way home on Vento's third double of the game. Vento's pinch runner, Kayla Harris (Cumberland, Maine), took third on a wild pitch and raced home on a perfectly-executed double steal. The Beacons tacked on a third run, when Raczkowski scored on a Colonials' error with two down.

The Colonials struck for their lone run in the top of the sixth. Charline Plasczynski led off with a double, and easily scored on Sofia Palacios' sacrifice fly.

The Beacons got the run back in the bottom of the inning. With two runners in scoring position and one out, Prusmack beat the throw home from second on a fielder's choice-to push the lead to 5-1.

Western put two runners on with two outs in the seventh, only to have Greenspan strike out Michaela Damore to end it.

GAME TWO

Game two was a pitcher's duel, with Kayla Nowak providing just enough offense to lift the Colonials to a 2-1 win. 

The junior first baseman went 2-3 with a pair of RBI, to give freshman lefty Sara Tenke all the offense she would need. 

Tenke who pitched the final two innings in game one, threw a complete-game five hitter in game two. The freshman allowed an unearned run and one walk, while striking out one. On the day, Tenke allowed just seven hits and two unearned runs in nine innings.

Sophomore Annie Thomas (Lunenburg, Mass.) was a tough-luck loser. In one of her best starts of the year, Thomas went 5.1 innings and allowed four hits and two runs (one earned), while striking out five. Freshman Megan Hoben (Bedford, Mass.) came on and allowed one hit in the final 1.2 innings. 

Vento once again led the Beacons offensively with a pair of hits, including a double, and a run scored. Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) recorded UMass Boston's lone RBI, while Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) belted a double.

Western took their first lead of the day in the top of the first inning. Dugan reached on a bunt single and then stole second and third. Plasczynski worked a two-out walk and then swiped second to put both runners in scoring position. Nowak deposited a soft single into right to score Dugan, but Morse rifled a throw to the plate from shallow right field to get Plasczynski at home, to keep the score 1-0.

Nowak doubled the Colonials lead in the fourth. After a leadoff error and a walk put runners on the corners, the Beacons got the leadoff runner on a failed suicide squeeze. Nowak would make the Beacons pay though, as her soft double to right field scored Plascyznski from second with one down.

UMass Boston cut the deficit in half in the sixth. Vento doubled with one out and advanced to third on an error that put runners at the corners with one out. Pawlina ripped a grounder at the second baseman, who booted the ball allowing Vento to score. Tenke got out of the jam with the next batter, as she induced an inning-ending double play.

The Colonials tried to push the lead back to two in the seventh, but Morse threw out Jenna Gaudioso, who was trying to score from second on a dropped fly ball in the outfield. 

UMass Boston mounted one final rally in the bottom of the seventh. Mitsiaris led off with a line drive single and her pinchrunner Chaislyn Burgio (Quincy, Mass.) moved to third base with just one down. With runners at the corners and one down, Tenke induced back-to-back ground outs to preserve the win. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • With their game one victory, UMass Boston snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Colonials, and improved to 4-39 all-time against Western Connecticut State.
  • Morse became just the fourth player in program history to play in 140+ games on Saturday. Her 141 games rank fourth, just six behind Sue Killilea's ('13) record 147 games played.
  • The Beacons 23 wins in the regular-season are tied for the most in program history. The 2011 team added one LEC Tournament victory to set the program record for wins at 24-15. 
  • Vento went 5-for-6 on the day with four doubles, a run scored and three RBI. She is tied for second in program history with her 51 hits in a single-season, just six behind Killilea's 2010 season. Vento also needs just four hits to become the 14th player in program history to reach 100 career hits.
  • With her seven innings of work in game one, Greenspan became the third pitcher in program history to throw over 140 innings in a season (144.2). 

WHO'S NEXT

The Beacons will learn their first-round opponent and final seeding on Sunday. Check out @UMassBeacons on twitter and beaconsathletics.com for updates.