April 2, 2013

Wheaton College's Late Rally Earns Lyons Sweep Over Softball

NORTON, Mass.—Wheaton College (12-8) used a dramatic late-game comeback in the nightcap to earn a doubleheader sweep of UMass Boston (5-13) Tuesday evening at Clark Field.

After trailing 8-2 through five-and-a-half, Wheaton College turned three Beacons errors into seven unanswered runs, to grab a 9-8 walk-off victory in Game Two. The Lyons had a much easier time of it in the first game, jumping out to a 3-0 lead, before eventually winning 5-3. 

Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) and Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Mass.) paced the Beacons with a team-high four hits and two RBI on the day. Senior catcher Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.) chipped in with three hits and two RBI for the Beacons.

Game One: Wheaton College 5, UMass Boston 3

Sophomore pitcher Allison Baker threw seven innings of three-run ball and shortstop Jenna Rocha added three hits and two RBI to lead the Lyons to a 5-3 victory.

Bouyea enjoyed the best game of her junior season, leading four Beacons with multiple hits, by finishing the contest 3-for-3 with two RBI. Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.) added two hits and an RBI for a Beacons squad that fell to 1-7 in their past eight games.

Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) fell to 3-6 on the season, by allowing five runs on 11 hits in six innings of work.

Wheaton grabbed a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second behind run-scoring hits from Amanda Drury and Rocha. Drury put the Lyons ahead 1-0 with an RBI single to left field and came in to score with two outs on a 2-run double from Rocha.

Trailing 3-0 in the top of the fourth, UMB finally got on the scoreboard on Bouyea's first triple of the year. With runners on first and second and e out, Bouyea lined a ball to center field that tipped off the center fielder's glove, to easily score Hemstock and Vecchiet. Bouyea would be left at third base though with one out, as UMB continued to struggle with runners in scoring position, finishing 2-for-9. 

The Lyons got a run back in the bottom of the fourth, when Emma Hart doubled to left-center to easily plate Rocha from second. Wheaton pushed the lead back to three runs in the sixth inning with another two-out hit, when Megan Roy doubled to left field to score Alanna Monahan.

UMass Boston mounted a mini-comeback in the seventh, but left the tying runs on base. With two down and two on, Vecchiet singled through the left side to score Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.) and put runners on first and third with two down. But with the tying run on first base, Baker induced Hemstock to fly out to right field for the final out.

Game Two: Wheaton College 9, UMass Boston 8

Erin Deneen proved to be the Lyons hero in Game Two, driving in three runs, including the game-winning sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh, to help the Lyons earn the 9-8 win. Deneen finished the contest 2-for-3 with a run, to help Wheaton move to 6-1 over their past seven games.

Killilea and Hemstock led the Beacons with two hits and two RBI apiece, while Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) chipped in with a pair of hits and an RBI.

Freshman pitcher Jillian Rocha earned the win for Wheaton in relief, allowing one run in two innings, to earn her first collegiate decision. Sophomore Emily Zullo (Everett, Mass.) took the loss for UMB, giving up nine runs (two earned) over the course of 6.1 innings. 

The Beacons turned the tables on the Lyons to start the game, taking a 3-0 lead after the top of the first, behind a pair of doubles and four total hits. Killilea put UMB ahead 1-0 with an RBI single up the middle and easily scampered home on Hemstock's 2-run double to left field.

After Wheaton cut the deficit to 3-1 in the bottom half of the inning, UMB responded with their second straight three run inning. Souza put the Beacons on the board with an RBI groundout to score Kelsey Svenson (Oxford, Conn.) and Asta made it 5-1 with a double to right that easily score Toni Scola (Worcester, Mass.). Killilea capped off the rally with another run-scoring single, to make it 6-1 UMB.

UMass Boston pushed the lead to 7-1when Vecchiet came across to score on a Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) sacrifice fly to center and made it 8-1 in the sixth when Souza reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a wild pitch.

That's when things came undone for the Beacons. Wheaton tied the game at 8-8 scoring six runs on six hits, one error and three runners left on base in the bottom of the sixth. Deneen had an RBI single to left field and Madeline Hatch drove in a pair of runs on a double down the left field line to decrease the Beacons lead to 8-5.

Hart legged out an infield single to drive in a run and Roy sliced a single up the middle to cut into the deficit at 8-7. Freshman Sara Morrow who led off the inning as a pinch hitter, knocked in the game-tying run with a base knock through the right side of the infield.

The Beacons threatened in the seventh with runners on second and third and one out but Rocha held the visitors scoreless with a strikeout swinging and a fly out to center field. In the bottom half, Ji. Rocha scored the game-winning run on a sac fly to left field from Deneen, after she dislodged the ball from UMass Boston's catcher on a collision at home plate. Ji. Rocha reached third on two consecutive fielding errors to lead off the frame and set up the scoring. 

UMass Boston will return to action Thursday afternoon at Brandeis University at 3:30 p.m. 

Information used in this release courtesy of Wheaton College Sports Information Department.