PLYMOUTH, N.H.—Sophomore Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) held the top-seeded Panthers to just five hits, to help #6 UMass Boston softball earn an upset win in the first game of the 2018 LEC Tournament.
#6 UMass Boston 1, #1 Plymouth State University 0
(UMass Boston 14-23)
(Plymouth State 23-14)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Greenspan and the Beacons continued to be a thorn in the Panthers' side, as UMass Boston earned their third-straight LEC Tournament win over PSU at D&M Park. Thursday's opener was a rematch of last year's LEC Championship Series, in which the Beacons defeated the top-seeded Panthers in two games.
The Beacons' sophomore ace allowed just five hits and one walk to improve to 4-0 all-time in LEC Tournament play. Greenspan also struck out one batter to improve to 9-14 on the season.
Junior Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) came up with the key hit for UMass Boston. Her RBI infield single in the top of the second gave the Beacons the lead for good.
Junior Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) was one of four Beacons to finish with two hits in the win. She went 2-3 with a double and the lone run scored. Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.), Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) and Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) also added two hits in the win.
Plymouth State ace Caitlyn Miller took the loss after allowing 10 hits and one run over seven innings of work.
Nina Murray went a perfect 2-2 with a walk for Plymouth State, but the rest of the team combined to go 3-23.
UMass Boston took the lead in the top of the second. Vento opened the inning with a double to left-center. She moved to third on a Pawlina single and raced home on Tulley's RBI single to third base.
From that point on, Greenspan and the Beacons' defense would hold off any Panthers rally.
With a runner on first and one out in the third, Braga turned an inning-ending 6-3 double play.
In the fifth innings, Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) and Pawlina both made diving catches to keep the Panthers off the basepaths.
Plymouth State put two runners on in the sixth inning with one out, but Greenspan induced a foul out to left and a groundout to third.
The Panthers mounted one last rally in the seventh. Nora Butler singled to center with one out but was erased on a near 4-6-3 double play, in which the umpire called the runner safe at first base. After a lengthy delay with the rain picking up, Greenspan recorded one final groundout to secure the win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston softball improved to 5-3 against Plymouth State over the past two seasons. The Beacons are the only LEC team to have beaten the Panthers more than twice in the past two years.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 10-11 all-time in LEC Tournament play. The Beacons have now won back-to-back LEC Tournament openers.
- For the first time all season, UMass Boston has not committed an error in three-straight games.
- Vento has hit lefties well all season long. With her 2-3 performance, she is now hitting .471 (8-17) against left-handed pitchers.
- Head coach Natalia Ardagna is within two victories of her 200thcareer overall win.
- Vento is sitting just two hits shy of tying former teammates Kaitlyn Morse ('17) and Gia Raczkowski ('17) for second-place all-time in career hits (141).
- UMass Boston left 10 runners on, including the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh innings.
Weather permitting, #6 UMass Boston softball will await the winner of #3 University of Southern Maine and #4 Western Connecticut State University on Friday at 10 a.m.