FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—UMass Boston softball extended their winning streak to 10 games in a row against Framingham State University Thursday afternoon, thanks to a pair of very different victories.
UMass Boston 7, Framingham State 6
UMass Boston 10, Framingham State 0 (6 Innings)
(UMass Boston 7-11)
(Framingham State 8-10)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Neither side held the upper hand for long in game one, as the two teams traded the lead three times and were tied going into the seventh inning. Game two would be a much more relaxing affair for the Beacons, as they rushed out to an early lead and Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) cruised to her first shutout of the season.
Three different Beacons came up with clutch two-run hits and freshman Drew Washington (Bordentown, N.J.) pitched well in her first collegiate win.
Washington overcame four Beacons' errors to earn her first win of the year. The freshman allowed six hits and six runs, just three earned, over seven innings. She also struck out three and walked three batters.
Sophomore Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) led UMass Boston with three hits and added one run and one RBI. Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) finished 1-1 with three runs scored, two RBI and two walks and Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) tacked on two hits and a run scored.
Framingham State shortstop Megan Downing provided the majority of the damage for the Rams. The three-hole hitter went 3-3 with a run scored and four RBI.
Grace Caughey, the Rams third pitcher of the day, allowed two runs over 2.1 innings to fall to 3-2 on the year.
After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, UMass Boston grabbed the lead back in the third. Bilotta reached on a one-out single and Vento followed with a two-out, two-run blast to left-center field to make it 2-1 Beacons.
Framingham State took the lead in the fourth (3-2), but UMass Boston answered back with three runs in the top of the fifth.
Bilotta drove in Braga from second with an RBI single to tie the game for a third time (3-3). With two on and two out, Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) crushed a double to center field to score Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) and Vento.
Downing evened the game in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run double with two outs in the frame.
UMass Boston took the lead for good in the seventh. The Beacons loaded the bases with no outs, but Caughey induced a fielder's choice that erased the lead runner for the first out. Freshman Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) followed with her second game-winning hit in eight days, when she crushed a double to right-center that plated Vento and Danahy.
Downing cut the deficit to 7-6 with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the seventh, but Washington retired the next batter on a groundout back to the circle.
UMass Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first and cruised to their second mercy-rule win of the season.
Every Beacon in the lineup recorded a hit or a run, as the Beacons struck for three runs in three separate innings.
Pawlina paced the team with two hits, three runs scored, an RBI and a triple in the win. Freshman Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) chipped in three hits, a run scored, an RBI and a double, while Danahy added two hits and two runs scored.
In the circle, Greenspan allowed just three hits and four walks in her first shutout of the year. The sophomore struck out six to improve to 3-6 on the season.
Marissa Vellucci (0-3) and Grace Caughey each were charged with five runs in the loss for the Rams.
UMass Boston took a 3-0 lead in the first inning on just one RBI hit. They loaded the bases with no outs and took a 1-0 advantage on a Pawlina bases-loaded walk. Dicenso followed with an RBI groundout and Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) tacked on a two-out RBI single.
The Beacons pushed their lead to 7-0 in the fifth. With a 4-0 lead going into the frame, Pawlina led off with a triple and scampered home on Dicenso's RBI single. Braga reached on a fielder's choice, moved to third on Gaeta's single and then scored on a throwing error. Gaeta crossed the plate with two down on a passed ball.
UMass Boston pushed their lead to 10-0 in the sixth. With the bases loaded, Angelina Avitabile's (Holbrook, Mass.) pop up to short was deep enough to score Danahy, and Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) followed with an RBI groundout. With two down, Gaeta lined a double to center to score Pawlina.
Greenspan had to work with a runner on in all but one frame, but worked herself out of trouble thanks to some help from her defense. The Beacons turned a pair of double plays and Pawlina ended the first inning by throwing out a runner at home plate.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston improved to 20-16 all-time against the Rams and earned their ninth and tenth-straight wins against Framingham State. The Beacons have won 15 of the past 17 matchups-dating back to 2009.
- Thursday's games were originally supposed to be played in Boston, but the UMB Softball Field was unplayable.
- Dicenso led the Beacons with four RBI on the day, while Danahy and Vento each had four runs scored.
- Washington had a day of firsts as a collegiate player. She picked up her first career win in game one and belted her first career extra-base hit (a double) in game two.
- Greenspan moved into a tie for sixth in program history with her third career shutout. She has struck out 14 batters over her last 13 innings (two games) and has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five-straight starts.
- UMass Boston belted six doubles, one triple and one home run on the day.
- The Beacons have won five of their past six games and five of eight since returning to New England.
- Pawlina played in her 99th and 100th career games in the doubleheader. She sits two games played behind Vento, who played in her 100th career game on Saturday.
UMass Boston will open Little East Conference play on Saturday against Plymouth State University at 1 p.m. The two teams met in last year's LEC Championship Games, with the Beacons earning back-to-back wins over the Panthers to win the LEC Title.