April 21, 2014

Softball Earns First Road Win In Split With Curry

MILTON, Mass.—UMass Boston softball (10-19) held off one of Curry College's (22-14) two comebacks, to earn their first road win of the season and a non-conference doubleheader split Monday afternoon at D. Will Forbes Field.

The Beacons took the first game 3-2 in nine innings, after the Colonels tied the game at 1-1in the sixth and 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth. Curry College responded with a 6-4 victory in game two, as the Colonels scored six-straight runs, after falling into an early 4-0 run.

Monday's first game was the Beacons' second extra-inning contest of the season and UMass Boston's longest game since April 14, 2009, when the Beacons defeated the University of Southern Maine 3-1 in nine innings. The Beacons' road victory marked their first victory in five tries, after UMass Boston was swept in the first two road doubleheaders.

Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) paced the Beacons with three hits and a pair of runs batted in, including the game-winning single in game one. Junior Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) added three hits, a run scored and a run batted in, while pitcher Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) recorded her sixth victory of the season in the longest performance of her career. 

Game One: UMass Boston 3, Curry College (9 Innings)

After giving up two one-run leads over the final three innings, Mitsiaris gave the Beacons' their final lead of the game with an RBI single to center field that plated Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.).

Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) led the Beacons with a pair of hits and a run scored, while Mitsiaris, Capra and Raczkowski each recorded an RBI. 

Zullo threw one of the best games of her season, as the Everett, Mass. native allowed just six hits and one earned run over nine complete innings. She finished one strike out off her career-high with seven strikeouts, and walked three batters.

After a scoreless opening three frames, UMass Boston got on the board first, against Curry ace Taylor Ahearn.  Morse opened the inning with a bunt single and moved over to third base on an Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) single to right field. Raczkowski followed with a sacrifice fly to right to give UMB a 1-0 lead.

The Colonels finally got to Zullo in the bottom of the sixth inning, as cleanup hitter Marissa Bruno hit a one-out home run to tie the game at 1-1.

UMass Boston took the lead back to start extra-innings, as Capra doubled to center field, to plate Jillian Shepherd (Norwood, Mass.) who started the inning at second base.

Curry managed to scratch across a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 2-2. With two runners on and two outs, Zullo unleashed a wild pitch to score the runner from third, before forcing a ground out to get out of the inning.

The Beacons took their third and final lead of the contest in the ninth. With two runners on and one out, Mitsiaris singled up the middle to score Raczkowski. Mitsiaris stole second to put two runners in scoring position, but Ahearn forced two groundouts, to keep the deficit at 3-2.

Zullo followed with a one, two, three bottom of the ninth inning to earn her 23rd career victory.

Game Two: Curry College 6, UMass Boston 4

Curry College turned the tables on the Beacons in the second contest, as the Colonels scored the final six runs of the game to earn a 6-4 comeback victory.

UMass Boston scored two runs in the second and one each in the fourth and fifth innings to leap out to a 4-0 lead. The Colonels answered back with four in the fifth and two in the sixth, to improve to 11-5 at home.

Capra and Mitsiaris each registered two hits in the loss, while Kelsey Svenson (Oxford, Conn.) came across to score on two occasions. Haley Dutton (Milton, Mass.), Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.), Vecchiet and Mitsiaris all posted one RBI.

Amy Nolan, Ariel LaRosa and Kaitlyn Maderios engineered the comeback for the Colonels, by finishing a combined 4-for-10 with two runs scored and six RBI.

The Beacons scratched across two runs in the second inning on one hit and a pair of Colonels' errors. With the bases loaded and one out, Gray helped herself by singling to right field to score Svenson. Dutton followed with an RBI groundout to give UMB an early 2-0 lead.

Mitsiaris pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth inning, when she plated Svenson with an RBI single, after Svenson led off the inning with a double.

UMass Boston added another run in the fifth thanks to Capra's team-leading sixth triple of the season. The junior center fielder came home to score one batter later, when Vecchiet reached on an error by the shortstop.

After struggling to get anything going against Gray in the first four frames, Curry College struck for four runs in the bottom of the fifth.

LaRosa and Madeiros hit back-to-back two-run base hits to chase Gray and tie the game at 4-4.

Gray threw 4.2 innings, while allowing four runs, one earned. She was replaced by Shepherd who was charged with the loss, after giving up three hits and two earned runs in 1.1 innings.

With two outs and two runners on in the bottom of the sixth, Nolan belted a two-run double off of Shepherd to give Curry their first lead of the day at 6-4.

The Beacons put two runners in scoring position with two down in the top of the seventh, but McKenna Barlow struck out Svenson swinging to end the game.

UMass Boston will be back in action Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. when they travel to the University of Southern Maine for a Little East Conference doubleheader.