Softball Sweeps Framingham State To Earn First Three-Game Winning Streak

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.—After snapping a long losing streak Tuesday, the UMass Boston softball team pieced together their first three-game winning streak of the season with a doubleheader sweep of host Framingham State University Thursday afternoon at Farley Field.

With the pair of wins, UMass Boston moved to 8-18 on the season, while Framingham State fell to 5-19 and stayed winless at home.

The Beacons grabbed game one with a 3-2 victory behind an RBI triple from Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) that scored Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.) in the top of the seventh inning. UMass Boston had an even easier time of it in game two, cruising to a 5-0 victory behind Emily Gray's (New Bedford, Mass.) first career complete-game shutout.

Killilea sparked the Beacons offense all afternoon, finishing 4-for-7 with four runs and an RBI. 

Game One: UMass Boston 3, Framingham State 2

After falling behind 2-0 through three innings, UMass Boston raced back to tie it in the top of the fifth and earned the victory behind Killilea's 29th career three-bagger.

With Scola on second with one out-after a walk and a passed ball, Killilea sent a long blast to center field that put the Beacons ahead for the first time all day.

Sophomore starter Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) easily put the Rams away in the seventh, to move to 4-9 on the year. The right-hander scattered six hits and two runs (one earned) over seven innings, while striking out five, to earn her second consecutive win. 

Samanatha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) and Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) finished tied with Killilea for the team-high in hits with two apiece.

Framingham State took a 1-0 lead on the bottom of the second on a two-out error and pushed the lead to 2-0 in the third. With two runners on and no outs, Tiffany Agostini singled to center field to score one run and put runners at first and third with no outs. Zullo procceded to strike out the next batter and leave the bases loaded with one out, to end the Rams scoring for both games. 

The Beacons cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth, when Kelsey Cruse (Worcester, Mass.) reached on a single and got caught in a run down at second base, to allow Hemstock enough time to come home from third with UMB's first run of the game.

UMass Boston evened the game at 2-2 in the fifth, when Killilea came home from second base on a two-base error from Rams pitcher Adrianna Faria. 

After a scoreless sixth inning, the Beacons took their first lead of the game in the top of the seventh. Scola walked with one out and moved over to second base on a passed ball, only to easily cross the plate on Killilea's RBI triple.

Game Two: UMass Boston 5, Framingham State 0

Behind a strong pitching performance from Gray and two RBI apiece from Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) and Hemstock, the Beacons earned a 5-0 victory in the nightcap.

Gray allowed just seven hits and one walk, while striking out a career-high five batters to snap her personal six-game losing streak. The freshman picked up her fourth career victory by stranding 11 Rams runners in seven innings, including leaving three Framingham State players at third base. 

Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) and Killilea led the Beacons with two hits each, while Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.), Vecchiet and Capra each picked up one base hit.

The Beacons took a 1-0 lead in the top half of the first inning behind a leadoff single from Killilea. The senior moved over to second on a passed ball, took third on an error by the Rams pitcher, and scampered home on an RBI groundout from Hemstock.

UMass Boston tacked on another run in the second thanks to more fielding miscues by the Rams. Capra singled to lead off the inning and stole second with no outs, before coming in to score on a two-out error by the Framingham State third baseman. 

After a pair of scoreless innings, UMB extended their lead to 3-0 behind another leadoff single from Killilea. Killilea and Asta singled back-to-back to open the inning and moved up 60 feet on a Vecchiet groundout, before Killilea came home to score on a Hemstock sacrifice fly to right field.

The Beacons put the game away in the seventh on a two-run RBI single from Vecchiet. With pinch runner Haley Dutton (Milton, Mass.) on third and Killilea on second, Vecchiet lined a single to center field to score both runners and give the Beacons a 5-0 lead.  

Gray gave up a pair of hits in the bottom half of the inning, but induced a harmless flyout to right to end the game.

UMass Boston returns to action Saturday when they host UMass Dartmouth for a Little East Conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.