Softball Knocked Out of Little East Tournament With Pair Of Losses

Softball Knocked Out of Little East Tournament With Pair Of Losses

MANSFIELD, Conn.—Despite two tremendous pitching performances, UMass Boston was eliminated from the Little East Conference Tournament Thursday afternoon, after a 5-1 loss to top-seed Eastern Connecticut State and a 2-0 loss to fifth-seed Rhode Island College at the ECSU Softball Complex.

The Beacons closed out their season with a 15-27 record, after earning their record third-consecutive trip to the Little East Conference Tournament.

The two losses mark the end of seniors Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.),Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) and Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.) careers. All three players leave UMB with at least one program record, with Killilea rewriting the entire offensive record books. In game one, Killilea set her final program record, appearing in her school record 146th game in Beacons Blue and her sixth and seventh career postseason games.

UMass Boston pitchers Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) and Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) combined to allow just 12 hits over 14 innings in the pair of losses.

Kelsey Svenson (Oxford, Conn.), Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Killilea led the Beacons with two hits apiece on the day.

Game One: Eastern Connecticut State 5, UMass Boston 1

Erin Miller allowed four hits and one run over 6.2 innings and top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University downed UMass Boston 5-1.

Miller was dominant in the contest, no-hitting UMB for the first 4.1 innings and allowing just five baserunners on the day. Shannon Martin came on to pick up the save, allowing a single, before retiring Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) on a groundout to end the game.

Zullo took the loss for UMass Boston despite allowing just six hits over six innings. She was charged with all five runs, four of which were earned, and the sophomore added two strikeouts.

Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) led UMass Boston with an RBI double to plate the Beacons only run of the game in the seventh inning. 

Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.), Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.), Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.) and Bouyea picked up UMass Boston's final fours hits, with three of the singles going up the middle.

After a scoreless first inning, UMass Boston threatened to take the lead in the second. Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass) reached second on a dropped fly ball to left field, moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt with two outs, but was stranded when Erin Miller struck out Capra. 

Eastern Connecticut responded with a run in the second inning to take a 1-0 lead. 

Freshman Alyssa Hancock singled in Martin from second base with two outs, but the damage could have been much worse. With two runners on and one out, Hancock attempted to put down a safety squeeze, only to miss the bunt and Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) threw down to third to pick off Kelly Patterson for the second out.

The Warriors tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the third on a pair of seeing-eye singles.

Stephanie Johnson led off with a single into shallow right that fell just in front of Capra and Zullo proceeded to put two runners on with no outs when she walked Arielle Cooper. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners up 60 feet, Sam Rosetti pushed the lead to 2-0 with an RBI groundout down the first-base line. Megan Godwin made it 3-0, when she hit a seeing-eye single through the right-side to plate Cooper, before Zullo got out of the inning with a fly-out to right.

Cooper put the game out of reach in the fifth inning when she sent a triple off the right-field wall that scored Stephanie Johnson from first base with no outs.  With Cooper camped out on third and no outs, Mattie Brett made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly to right.  

UMass Boston got on the board in the top of the seventh with a two-out rally. Hemstock reached first on a single to the shortstop but was wiped out at second, when Bouyea grounded into a fielder's choice. With two down and Bouyea on first, Capra sent a double to wall in left-center to score Bouyea just in front of the throw home. Scola added a pinch-hit single through the left side to put runners on the corners with two down, but Bove grounded out to shortstop to end the contest. 

Game Two: Rhode Island College 2, UMass Boston 0 

Michelle Sylvestre was the story in game two, as the junior outdueled Gray to keep the fifth-seeded Anchorwomen alive in the double-elimination tournament.

After losing game one, first-year head coach Nicole Riley turned to Sylvestre for the second time in six days against UMB. Slyvestre allowed just six hits and no runs, while stranding six, to move to 5-6 on the season.

Gray was nearly as good, allowing two earned runs on six hits, while stranding seven Rhode Island College batters.

Rhode Island College did all of their damage in the fifth inning when they scored a pair of runs on two hits and a walk.

Abigail Francis led off the inning with a single and moved up to second base on a walk to Jessica Borden. With two on and no outs, Katelyn Sykora hit a ground ball to Asta at shortstop who erased Borden at second base. But with the Beacons not paying attention, Sykora moved up to second, to put two runners in scoring position with one down. The mistake would cost UMB, as Marisa Jandreau followed with an RBI single and Stacy Pokora added an RBI groundout to second base that scored Sykora.

The Beacons would put together their best rally of the contest in the following inning. Killilea singled through the right side to lead off, before being wiped out on a fielder's choice off the bat of Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.). Souza followed with a single to right field to put two runners on with two outs, but Hemstock lined out to first base to end the inning.