Softball Splits A Pair At NTC Spring Games

CLERMONT, Fla.—UMass Boston softball (2-5) snapped a five-game losing streak behind a strong performance from game two starter Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.), to earn a doubleheader split Tuesday morning at the NTC Spring Games Main Complex.

After dropping game one by an 8-1 score to Washington & Jefferson College, the Beacons took game two 1-0 over Trinity College (Conn.). Zullo scattered six hits and one walk over seven innings and threw out a runner to end the game to earn her first victory of her junior season. With the shutout victory, Zullo tied Emily Wolf ('11) for the program-record for career shutouts with six.

Freshman shortstop Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) finished 5-for-6 on the day and scored both of the Beacons runs. She also continued her strong transition to shortstop, as she recorded six assists and five putouts on 11 total chances.

Senior Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) added two hits and her first extra-base hit of the season, while freshman Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) registered her first collegiate hit.

Game One: Washington & Jefferson 8, UMass Boston 1

The Presidents (3-2) scored five runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back en route to an 8-1 victory.

Madison Rotto held the Beacons to seven hits and one earned run in six innings and finished 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored to extend the Beacons' losing streak to five. Jen Bahm added two hits and three RBI for Washington & Jefferson out of the seven-hole.

Morse finished 3-for-4 with a run scored for the Beacons, while Vecchiet earned her first two-hit game of the season with a single and a double. Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) added an RBI single to tie Vecchiet for the team lead with two RBI.

Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) pitched five innings in relief for the Beacons, allowing five hits and three unearned runs, after the Presidents scored five times off of Jillian Shepherd (Norwood, Mass.) in the first.

The Presidents opened up the game with a five-run bottom of the first behind five hits, two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch.

After finally getting out of the inning, the Beacons settled down and kept the game scoreless for the next four innings.

UMass Boston finally broke through against Rotto in the top of the fifth behind a pair of singles. Morse singled up the middle for her third hit of the game and moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs and Morse on second, Bove drilled a single down the right-field line to plate Morse and cut the deficit to 5-1.

Washington & Jefferson responded with two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth on a two-run single from Jen Bahm and tacked on another run in the sixth when Emily Watson tacked on an RBI single.

Game Two: UMass Boston 1, Trinity 0

The Beacons snapped their losing streak in game two by playing their cleanest defensive game of the season. UMass Boston recorded their first shutout of the year and did not record an error in a contest for the first time as well.

Zullo, who came into the game 0-2, earned her first win of the season by striking out two batters and retiring 13 of the final 15 batters she faced.

Morse once again led the Beacons with two hits and a run scored, while Raczkowski and Gray each added a hit apiece. Despite being out-hit 6-4, the Beacons worked a season-high four walks, with Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.) registering the lone RBI of the game with a bases-loaded walk.

Lily Jewell took the loss for the Bantams (1-5) after allowing four hits and one earned run over six innings. The freshman struck out three batters but allowed four walks as well.

After the two teams combined to leave five runners on through two innings, UMass Boston struck for the lone run of the contest in the bottom of the third. Raczkowski started the inning with a single to right field but was thrown out trying to take third base, on a Morse bunt single. With Morse on second base and two outs, Jewell proceeded to walk the next three batters, with Hemstock taking a 3-2 pitch to give the Beacons a 1-0 lead.

Zullo shut down the Bantams the rest of the way, putting Trinity down in order in the fourth and fifth and allowed just a two-out single in the sixth.

Trinity finally put together something in the top of the seventh when Erica Quinon singled to the mound to lead off the inning. Claire Prosp moved Quinon over to second with a sacrifice bunt, to put the game-tying run at second with one out. Christine Galese lined a hard shot to center field, but Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) made the catch and sent the ball back into second base, via Zullo, to catch the runner off second and turn a game-ending double play.