BOSTON, Mass.—Behind stellar pitching and defense all afternoon long, UMass Boston softball earned their first-ever doubleheader sweep over Keene State College on Senior Day.
UMass Boston 2, Keene State 1 (8 Innings)
UMass Boston 2, Keene State 1
(UMass Boston 17-12, Little East 5-5)
(Keene State 8-14, Little East 3-3)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Beacons seniors Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) and Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) had a hand in three of the four runs the Beacons scored, to make sure their senior class would go out on a high-note in their final Saturday doubleheader at the UMB Softball Field.
After the conclusion of game number two, UMass Boston honored Tulley, Pawlina and Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) with a Senior Day Ceremony.
Junior Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) locked the Owls offense down all afternoon. She finished the day 2-0 with just nine hits and two earned runs allowed over 13.1 innings. Freshman Hayley Catania (Amesbury, Mass.) recorded the final five outs, to earn her first collegiate save.
GAME ONE RECAP
UMass Boston rallied from an early deficit, to earn their first walk-off win of the season and fourth extra-inning victory.
Greenspan and Keene State pitcher Molly St. Germain both tossed four-hitters over seven-plus innings. Greenspan limited the Owls to four hits, two walks and one earned run, while striking out four. St. Germain gave up four hits, two runs (one earned) and one walk, while striking out six.
Keene State grabbed their only lead of the day in the top of the third. Cassie Woods led off with a double, took third on a groundout and and scampered home on a St. Germain RBI groundout.
The Beacons tied the game in the fifth. Tulley opened the inning with a leadoff triple that just fell over the outstretched glove of the right field. After back-to-back outs with no advancement, Tulley raced home on a wild pitch with two down.
The two teams would combine for just one base runner over the next two frames to force extra innings.
Greenspan walked the leadoff batter in the top of the eight and Woods moved up to third on a sac bunt and a passed ball. With the go-ahead run at third base and two outs, Greenspan induced a groundout to third to get the Beacons out of the jam.
Pawlina started the rally for the Beacons to win in the bottom of the inning. With two outs and no one on, Pawlina legged out a double to put the tying run at second base. Britney Perkett (Pittsfield, Mass.) came on to pinch run for her and took third on a Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) single. With runners at the corners and two outs, the catcher threw in behind Perkett at third base on an attempted pickoff, but the ball got away and Perkett raced home to win the game.
GAME TWO RECAP
UMass Boston scratched across two early runs and held on behind the strong right arms of Greenspan and Catania.
Greenspan scattered five hits, one walk and one earned run over 5.1 innings to earn her 12th win of the season. After Greenspan ran into some trouble in the sixth, Catania came on and recorded four groundouts and a strikeout to pick up the save.
Alexis Blanchette and Olivia McGrath each threw three innings for the visitors. The pair combined to allow just three hits and two runs, all of which were charged to Blanchette.
UMass Boston took control of the game in the bottom of the second. Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) singled with one out, stole second and easily scored on Kiera Prusmack's (Houston, Texas), two-out, RBI double.
The Beacons doubled their advantage in the third. Pawlina flared a fly ball to shallow right and beat the throw to second for a leadoff double. She took third on a sac bunt and scored on Giovanna Bonilla's (Queens, N.Y.) RBI groundout.
After recording just two hits and a walk in the first five innings against Greenspan, Keene State mounted a rally in the sixth. Woods and St. Germain opened the inning with back-to-back hits and Emma Pede made it 2-1 with an RBI fielder's choice to score Woods from third. Lauren Rousseau followed with a bloop single to put the tying run on second with one out.
Catania came on in relief and induced back-to-back groundouts to leave the tying run at third base. The freshman set the Owls down in order in the seventh to close out the sweep.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Beacons senior class, which was already the winningest class in program history, earned their 85th and 86th career wins on Saturday.
- Greenspan improved to 4-2 in Little East Conference play with a 2.08 earned run average in 40.1 innings pitched. She is just three strikeouts away from tying Michelle Zullo ('15) for the program record for career strikeouts (253).
- Head coach Natalia Ardagna is now one win shy of her 200th career victory at UMass Boston.
- With the sweep, UMass Boston improves to 7-39 all-time against the Owls. Five of the Beacons seven wins have come over the past seven meetings.
- UMass Boston evened their conference record at .500 (5-5) with the conference sweep. The Beacons end the night in fourth place in the Little East Standings.
UMass Boston will be off until Thursday, when they host Salem State University in a non-conference doubleheader at 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.