CLERMONT, Fla.—UMass Boston softball erupted for 11 runs in the top of the first inning, en-route to an 18-2 mercy-rule win over Becker College Sunday night at Hancock Park.
UMass Boston 18, Becker College 2 (5 Innings)
(UMass Boston 2-2)
(Becker College 0-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After scoring just two runs in their first 19 innings, the Beacons erupted for a season-high 18 runs on 18 hits against the Hawks. All 11 Beacons to step to the plate reached base, and nine UMass Boston players recorded RBI in the win.
Sophomore Ari Bilotta (Leomister, Mass.) led the Beacons by going 3-4 with three runs scored, three RBI and three doubles. She also recorded one of the Beacons' five walks.
Sophomore catcher Angelina Avitabile (Holbrook, Mass.) had a big game as well in her first start of the season. She finished 2-for-3 with two runs scored, an RBI and a walk.
In the circle, Megan Hoben (Bedford, Mass.) cruised to her first season of the win. The sophomore struck out a career-high eight batters and allowed just two hits and two walks in five innings.
Samantha Buzgo provided all the offense for Becker in the season opener. The first baseman recorded one hit and both of the team's RBI.
In the circle, Samantha Lee took the loss after allowing 11 runs, seven earned, in two-thirds of an inning. Samantha Belanchia came on in relief and threw the final 4.1 innings.
UMass Boston did the bulk of their damage in the top of the first inning. The Beacons recorded seven hits, worked five walks and took advantage of two errors, to send 17 batters to the plate.
Pawlina started the scoring when she belted a double through the right side to score Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) from first base. Gaeta made it 2-0 with a bases-loaded walk and Danahy followed with an RBI single. Avitabile and Gianna Salemi (Windsor, Conn.) followed with back-to-back bases-loaded walks to push the lead to 6-0.
After the Hawks finally recorded the first out of the game, Braga reached on an error to score a run and Pawlina followed with her second RBI hit of the inning. Vento followed with a sacrifice fly and Braga came in to score on a double steal when the ball was thrown away.
UMass Boston capped off the scoring with back-to-back RBI doubles from Bilotta and Gaeta.
The Hawks scored their only runs in the bottom of the second. With two down and two runners in scoring position, Buzgo hit a grounder up the middle that Hoben slowed down. Salemi raced to the ball and threw to first, but the runner was ruled safe and the trail base runner never stopped, allowing the second run to score.
UMass Boston put the game away for good with a four-run fifth inning.
Freshman Drew Washington (Bordentown, N.J.) blasted an RBI single to score Avitabile with two outs. Vento tacked on an RBI single and Bilotta roped a double to the wall to tack on two more runs.
Hoben added two strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth to set a new career-high.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Salemi made her first career start in the win, while Avitabile earned her second career start.
- Hoben's previous career-high for strikeouts was six against Salem State University last season.
- Gaeta, Washington and Avitabile all recorded their first career hits in the victory. Washington and Gaeta each posted their first career RBI in the win as well.
- Braga and Bilotta led the team with three runs scored, while Bilotta and Gaeta each had a team-best three RBI.
- UMass Boston last scored 18 or more runs on April 11, 2012. The Beacons scored 18 and 21 runs in a sweep of Gordon College.
- Danahy went 5-5 with four RBI, a run scored on Sunday.
- The Beacons improved to 3-0 all-time against Becker with the win.
UMass Boston will have Monday off, before taking on SUNY Fredonia (4:30 p.m.) and RPI (7 p.m.) on Tuesday at Hancock Park.