CLERMONT, Fla.—Despite a pair of tremendous pitching performances, UMass Boston softball couldn't find a way to snap their losing streak on their fifth and final day of games in Florida.
Endicott College 3, UMass Boston 0
University of Scranton 4, UMass Boston 1
(UMass Boston 2-8)
(Endicott College 6-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sophomore Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and freshman Drew Washington (Bordentown, N.J.) combined to allow just one earned run over 14 innings on the day. The two pitchers kept the Beacons in the game in both contests, before eventually becoming tough-luck losers.
Freshman Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) provided the lone offensive highlight for the Beacons, with an RBI triple in game two. Danahy had an extra-base hit in both games and went 2-7 with a walk and an RBI.
While the Beacons defense continued to commit too many errors, the Beacons' four outfielders combined for several highlight reel plays behind their pitchers.
Endicott College scored three unearned runs in the bottom of the first and held on behind a three-hit shutout from Michaela Hamill.
Hamill allowed just three hits and struck out three in the victory. The sophomore also issued seven free passes.
Hayley Arduini provided the brunt of the Gulls offense, as she finished 2-3 with two RBI.
Greenspan had one of her best outings of the season for UMass Boston. The sophomore allowed seven hits and three unearned runs, while striking out one.
Endicott took a 1-0 lead four batters into the bottom of the first. After an error, a bunt single and a walk loaded the bases, Emily Sharpe delivered a sacrifice fly to right to make it 1-0. Greenspan walked a batter to load the bases, but got the next batter to ground to third and the Beacons' got the lead runner at home plate.
Arduini followed with a single up the middle that scored two runners, but catcher Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) was able to scoop up the relay throw home and tag the third runner out to keep the score 3-0.
UMass Boston put runners on in every inning, but couldn't find a way to scratch across a run.
The Beacons had their best chance to score in the fifth inning. Dicenso led off with a single and moved to third after the Gulls threw the ball into the Beacons' dugout with one out. Danahy and Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) walked to load the bases, but Alyssa Tulley's (Lowell, Mass.) hard grounder was right at the third baseman-who stepped on the bag to end the inning.
Washington kept UMass Boston tight with the Royals throughout the first four innings, before three late runs allowed Scranton to escape with the victory.
The Beacons' freshman pitcher had a career outing in her second career start. After lasting just 4.1 innings in her first two career outings, Washington went the full seven innings and allowed eight hits, four runs, one earned. She also struck out a career-high four batters, while issuing just one free pass.
Danahy, Pawlina and Tulley combined to record the Beacons three hits in the loss.
Scranton's Jessica Sweeney struck out eight batters and allowed just three hits and one unearned run in the win.
Anna Price led Scranton with three hits in four at-bats, while Mackenzie Duffy went 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Scranton grabbed the lead in the top of the first inning. Duffy led off with a single, moved to second on a sac bunt and came in to score when the Beacons tried to get Duffy at third base, but the Beacons threw the ball away.
Neither side could get anything going over the next few innings, in part because of the sun. With the sun setting directly in the hitters' eyes, both team's lineups were struggling to see the ball, much less make contact.
UMass Boston had their best early chance to score in the third inning. Pawlina reached on a bunt single and moved to second when the Royals threw the ball away on a fielder's choice. The umpired elected to take a "sun delay" at that point-as no one behind the plate could pick up the ball.
Play resumed 10 minutes later. The Beacons couldn't come through, as they left both base runners in scoring position after a groundout and a strikeout.
UMass Boston put a runner at third base in the fourth inning with one out, but Sweeney again got a big strikeout to get out of the jam.
The Royal extended their lead to 2-0 with an RBI double in the fifth inning and then scored two runs in the sixth inning on an error and a wild pitch.
UMass Boston finally broke their scoring drought in the bottom of the seventh inning. Washington reached on an error and then dashed around the bases on Danahy's two-out triple to left-center.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Greenspan has not allowed an earned run in her last two starts (13 innings). She saw her earned run average drop to 2.50 after today's game.
- Danahy has hit safely in four of her last six games and leads the team with her .360 batting average.
- Vento worked four walks on the day, including three times against Endicott. Vento leads the team with six walks and has a team-best .469 on-base percentage.
- UMass Boston fell to 1-1 all-time against Endicott College and 0-2 against University of Scranton.
UMass Boston will play again at some point when they get back to New England. The Beacons' first scheduled game is Thursday March 22 at home against Bridgewater State University.