Softball Crushes Gordon College In Sweep

WENHAM, Mass. -- After a tough weekend sweep against Rhode Island College that saw the Beacons score just one run in 14 innings, UMass Boston (13-9) erupted for their biggest offensive output of the season Wednesday afternoon at the Gordon Softball Field in Wenham, Massachusetts. The Beacons earned consecutive five-inning mercy rule victories with an 18-7 and 21-0 win over Gordon College (4-17).

Sophomore Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.) erupted for eight RBI on the day on three hits, including her first career home run. Scola's six RBI in the second game tied a program record for most RBI in a game, last reached by Kasey O'Connell in 2011. Scola also added three runs and a walk on her career day.

Freshman catcher Amanda Perry (Worcester, Mass.) added six RBI of her own, including her team-leading eighth home run of the season. Every Beacon who saw action recorded at least one hit or one run for UMass Boston.

In the first game, UMass Boston posted four or more runs in each of the first three innings to take command against Gordon College. Perry and freshman Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) both drove in four runs for the Beacons and sophomore Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and senior Lisa Polsonetti (Revere, Mass.) both connected for multiple hits and three RBIs.

In the circle, senior Kara Willis (Burrillville, R.I.) moved back over .500 (6-5) with five earned runs over five innings.

The Beacons opened the game with five runs in the first inning off four hits and three walks. Perry got the scoring started with a bases-loaded walk and Hemstock added two more runs with a two-run single. Sophomore Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) added one of her three hits on the day, with an RBI single to bring in Perry.  Hemstock scored on a double steal on the next at-bat to add to the Beacons lead.

After Gordon College scored two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first, Perry and Hemstock got the runs right back in the second inning. Perry doubled with the bases loaded to make it a 7-2 game and scored on a Scots error. Bouyea capped off the inning with another double to score Vecchiet which put the Beacons up 9-2.

Gordon would then get two more runs in the bottom of the second, but that would not slow down the Beacons as they continued to add distance on the scoreboard in the third. Polsonetti drove in Maria Nasta (Andover, Mass.) and Jaci Goodwin (Melrose, Mass) to bring the lead back to seven, before Hemstock and Bouyea both recorded RBI hits. In the end, Polsonetti slapped another RBI single to make it a 16-4 game and cap the seven-run inning.

Scola finished the scoring outburst in the first game with her first hit of the day, an RBI double, in the fourth inning to drive in Vecchiet and Hemstock and make it an 18-7 game midway through the fourth inning. Willis would put down six of the next seven batters to finish off the Scots in game one.

The second game resulted in an even bigger offensive output from the Beacons, as they recorded their highest run total of the season with 21.

Scola, Nasta and junior shortstop Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass) all had three or more runs batted in for the Beacons. Perry and Hemstock each added three more hits and sophomore Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) went a perfect 4-for-4 with two RBIs.

Freshmen pitcher Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) shut down the Scots with eight strikeouts over five scoreless innings. Zullo allowed just eight hits to move to 7-3 on the year.

After a scoreless first inning, UMass Boston scored 10 runs in the top of the second on 12 hits and two errors. Perry led off the inning with a home run and the Beacons were off and running after that. Scola recorded her second two-run single of the day and Nasta added a two-run RBI double after the Beacons stole three bases and scored a run off an error by the catcher. Killilea drove in Nasta with an RBI triple and later scored on a passed ball by the catcher, before Bouyea and Capra added run-scoring singles to finish off the inning.

In all, the Beacons sent 15 runners to the plate in the inning and every Beacon but Polsonetti recorded at least one hit in the frame.

The Beacons added eight more runs in the third, with the key hit coming on a grand slam from Scola with two outs in the inning. UMass Boston finished the scoring with a three-run fourth inning, when Goodwin recorded the ninth extra-base hit of the second game and 13th of the day for the Beacons, to drive in freshman pitcher Amber O'Brien (Cumberland, R.I.).

UMass Boston will be back in action on Thursday when they host Simmons College in a non-conference doubleheader starting at 3 p.m. at the UMass Boston Softball Field.