Freshmen Help Softball Earn Split With Curry College

MILTON, Mass. -- After dropping a tight game one by a 7-6 score, UMass Boston (15-13) captured the split against Curry College behind a dominating 10-0 performance in game two against Curry College (18-15) at D. Forbes Will Field.

Senior first baseman Lisa Polsonetti (Revere, Mass.) had a huge day for the Beacons going 5-for-9 with four runs and four RBI. Junior Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) knocked out three hits and added four runs and two RBI, while Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) chipped in with three hits as well.

Freshmen catcher Amanda Perry (Worcester, Mass.) set the program record for home runs in a single season with her ninth home run of the year in the second game of the doubleheader.

While her battery mate, freshmen pitcher Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) overcame a game one loss, with a dominating near no-hit performance in game two to tie the program record for single season shutouts with three.

In the first game, UMass Boston raced out to a 4-0 lead, before the Colonels scored six in a row to squeak out a 7-6 win. 

Polsonetti led the Beacons in game one with three hits in four at bats, including her first home run of the season. She also recorded three RBI and two runs in the opener. 

Senior Jaci Goodwin (Melrose, Mass.), freshmen Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) and Killilea all recorded two hits each for UMass Boston. Senior third baseman Maria Nasta (Andover, Mass.) added two hits of her own and an RBI.

On the mound, senior pitcher Kara Willis (Burrillville, R.I.) got the start and went four innings allowing six earned runs. Zullo pitched the final two frames allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk to take the loss.

The Beacons grabbed the lead right away, as Killilea walked to lead off the game and Polsonetti followed with a blast to center field. The pair doubled the lead in the top of the second, when Killilea drove in Goodwin with a double to center and Polsonetti followed with a run scoring single to make it 4-0 after two innings.

Willis breezed through the first inning but ran into some difficulties in the bottom of the third. After two of the first three batters reached base to begin the inning, Chelsey Munsey crushed a three-run homer to bring Curry within one. Three batters later, the Colonels evened the score on a fielders choice.

UMass Boston grabbed the lead right back in the top of the fourth when Polsonetti recorded her third straight hit to start the game with a double to left center. Nasta followed with a single to left field to drive in Polsonetti, as the Beacons took a 5-4 lead.

The lead would be extremely shortlived, as Curry recorded four hits in the bottom of the fourth to grab a 6-5 edge.

In the top of the sixth, UMass Boston evened the game up once more. Killilea knocked a double to left center and came around to score when Nasta's grounder to third resulted in an error and allowed Killilea to scamper home.

The Colonels loaded up the bases in the bottom of the sixth with one out and scored the game winning run on a sacrifice fly. UMass Boston failed to put a runner on in the seventh, as the Beacons fell 7-6 in game one.

Game two was a far different story, as Zullo completely shut down the Colonels offense and the Beacons offense put on a show with 10 runs.

Zullo was the star of game two, as she pitched a complete game shutout and only allowed one hit and one walk to move to 9-5 in her freshman campaign. She was within one out of a no-hitter before a Curry batter singled to right center field to break it up. Zullo also tied her career-high with eight strikeouts. 

Bouyea was the offensive leader in game two with three hits, while Goodwin and Nasta each added a hit and two RBI. 

The Beacons broke open a scoreless game in the top of the third with a four-run outburst. Killilea and Polsonetti put together back-to-back singles and were stationed at second and third as Nasta stepped to the plate. The Beacons third baseman proceeded to record her twelfth and thirteenth RBI of the season with a single up the middle to score both runners. Nasta went all the way to third on the throw and scored shortly afterwards on a wild pitch. Perry capped off the scoring with a strike to center field to pass Siobhan Lynch's 2003 season for most home runs in a season.

Polsonetti made it 5-0 in the top of the fourth, when she singled, stole second base, advanced to third on a flyout from Perry and scampered home on a wild pitch. The run would be the final tally until the last frame of the day.

UMass Boston saved their biggest output for last, as the Beacons struck for five runs in the top of the seventh. Aided by back-to-back errors to begin the inning, the Beacons loaded the bases with no outs for sophomore Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) who was hit by a pitch to give UMass Boston a 6-0 lead. Goodwin followed with a two-RBI double and Killilea and Polsonetti added on RBI groundouts to make it a 10-0 Beacons lead.

With a 10-run lead Zullo stepped out on the mound looking for her first collegiate no-hitter. She got the first batter to fly out to right field and struck out the second batter for her fourth strikeout in five batters. But the no-hitter bid would fall just short, as Briana Smith singled to right field. It didn't throw the freshman off though, as she ended the game by getting the next batter to fly out to left.

UMass Boston will be back in action Saturday when they host Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader. Game one has been moved up to noon Saturday because of weather forecasts.