BOSTON, Mass.—Behind a huge game two from junior Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.), UMass Boston softball salvaged a split with Bridgewater State University Saturday afternoon at the UMB Softball Field.
Bridgewater State University 3, UMass Boston 1
UMass Boston 7, Bridgewater State 4
(UMass Boston 5-11)
(Bridgewater State 7-9)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After struggling to capitalize on their offensive chances in game one, UMass Boston struck for six runs in the first two innings of game two in a victory.
Pawlina broke out of a slump in a big way with four hits and four RBI in the doubleheader. Freshman Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) had a big day as well, as she finished with three runs, three RBI and was not retired on the day.
Bridgewater State struck for three runs in the top of the first and Mackenzie Holt kept the Beacons off balance just enough in a 3-1 Bears win.
Holt allowed five hits and one earned run to earn her second win as a Bear. She allowed five hits and walked four, while tacking on four strikeouts.
Sophomore first baseman Shannon Grindle provided all the offense Holt would need. The cleanup hitter crushed a three-run, line drive home run in the first, for the only runs Bridgewater State would score.
Sophomore Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) was really strong in the circle after giving up the home run. She allowed just four total hits and three runs, two earned, while striking out a season-high eight batters. After the first inning, Greenspan allowed just one hit and five total baserunners.
Junior Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) led the Beacons with two hits, while Dicenso worked three walks, including a base-loaded walk. Freshman Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) worked a walk and scored the Beacons' lone run in the loss.
With one out in the top of the first, Holt singled and Alexandra Ruprecht reached on an error. Grindle followed with a line-drive homer over the right-center field fence to make it 3-0 four batters in. Greenspan allowed a single to the next batter, before settling in.
Unfortunately the Beacons' offense couldn't come through behind her. Holt set down the side in order in the first two innings and did not allow a hit until the fourth.
The Beacons loaded the bases in the fourth thanks to two singles and a walk with one down. Bridgewater State got the second out by eliminating the lead runner on a fielder's choice, before Dicenso worked a bases-loaded walk. With the go-ahead runner on first base, Holt got a key strikeout to lead the bases loaded.
The Beacons loaded the bases again in the sixth with two down, but Holt induced a popup to the first baseman.
While the offense was sputtering, Greenspan was simply dominant. She struck out the side in the third, and set down five-straight batters by way of the K between the third and fourth.
UMass Boston struck for seven two-out runs, including six in the first two innings, to knock off the Bears.
Pawlina was the offensive hero in game two. She finished 3-3 with four RBI and a pair of huge doubles. Dicenso was just as tough, going 2-2 with three runs scored, two RBI, a walk and a double.
Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) was the final Beacon to finish with multiple hits, as she chipped in two hits and two runs scored.
Sophomore Megan Hoben (Bedford, Mass.) earned her second-straight win and improved to 3-2. Hoben allowed 13 hits and four earned runs, while striking out four batters.
Holt did not have nearly as much success in the circle in game two. The lefty was charged with six earned runs in two innings. Sophomore Deianeira Underhill came on in relief and allowed just four hits and one run in four innings of work.
Designated player Rebecca Uschmann paced the Bears with three hits in four at-bats, while Shannon Grindle chipped in a team-best two RBI. Holt and leadoff hitter Samantha Mulcahy tacked on two hits apiece.
After Hoben stranded a runner in the top of the first, UMass Boston jumped on Holt for three runs with two outs.
Holt retired the first two batters, before UMass Boston had the next seven batters reach base. With two on and two outs, Dicenso lofted a pop fly into shallow right-field that found the grass to score Vento and Bilotta. Pawlina followed with a double over the right fielder's head to score Dicenso and make it 3-0. The Beacons would load the bases up, but Holt was able to retire the final batter to leave the bases loaded for a third time.
UMass Boston tacked on three more runs in the second. Vento and Bilotta started the rally with back-to-back singles and Dicenso loaded the bases with a walk. Pawlina blasted a double to right-center field that cleared the bases and made it 6-0.
Bridgewater State cut the deficit in half in the third inning. Bridgewater State loaded the bases with two singles and a walk and Holt made it 6-1 with a single to left field. After an infield fly for the first out, Grindle looped a single to left field to score Kacie Carvalho and Mulcahy. With the bases loaded and one out, the Beacons retired the lead runner on a fielder's choice and Hoben induced a groundout to second.
UMass Boston added a key insurance run in the fourth. Dicenso drove a double down the third base line with two outs and scored on Pawlina's single up the middle.
Underhill cut the deficit to 7-4 in the sixth with an RBI groundout, but that's as close as the Bears would get.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Pawlina snapped an 0-16 streak in game number one. In the past two seasons against the Bears, Pawlina has gone 8-14 with five doubles, one home run and 10 RBI.
- Greenspan's eight strikeouts in game one are tied for her second-most in a single game. She struck out eight batters against MCLA and Rhode Island College as a freshman and nine batters against Lancaster Bible College.
- Dicenso reached base all six times she stepped to the plate. With the six trips on the bases, her on-base percentage is now third on the team (.357).
- With the doubleheader split, UMass Boston improves to 10-8 all-time against the Bears. The Bears snapped a five-game losing streak against the Beacons in game one.
- Sophomore Angelina Avitabile (Holbrook, Mass.) recorded her first collegiate extra-base hit, a double in game two.
UMass Boston will continue on in their 12-game homestand on Tuesday, when they host Salve Regina University for a 3/5 p.m. doubleheader. The Beacons and Seahawks played three times last year, including in the Springfield College Regional Semifinals.