April 17, 2013

Walk-off Win Propels Softball To Doubleheader Split With Curry College

BOSTON, Mass.—After falling just short in game one, UMass Boston avoided being swept on back-to-back days-with a six-run rally,, capped off by a three-run walkoff seventh inning, to earn a doubleheader split with Curry College Wednesday afternoon at the UMB Softball Field.

The Colonels took game one by a 2-1 margin behind a complete-game five hitter from sophomore Taylor Ahearn, but couldn't put the Beacons away in game two. UMass Boston fell behind 6-0 through 2.5 innings, but the Beacons scored the final seven runs of the game and earned the walk-off win behind a three-run seventh.

With the Beacons' victory, UMass Boston moved to 11-21 on the year, while Curry College fell to 18-13.  

UMass Boston's three seniors, Sue Killilea (Abington, Mass.), Taryn Asta (Marshfield, Mass.) and Kelsey Souza (Braintree, Mass.), all finished with a team-high three hits on the day. Killilea tied the UMB program record for career doubles in game two, when she bashed a double to left field in the bottom of the fifth, to tie Andrea Ciarletta ('07) with 32 career two-baggers.

Game One: Curry College 2, UMass Boston 1

Curry College took game one behind the bat of sophomore Ariel LaRosa and the arm of Ahearn. 

LaRosa finished 4-for-4 with a home run and two RBI, while Ahearn picked up her team-leading seventh win of the season, by limiting the Beacons to five hits and one earned run in seven innings.

Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) picked up the only UMB RBI, as she singled home Souza in the fifth inning, after the senior third baseman had tripled with one out.

UMass Boston sophomore Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) picked up the tough loss, allowing 10 hits and two earned runs in seven innings. The right-hander struck out three and allowed one walk. 

After a scoreless first two innings, LaRosa put the Colonels ahead 1-0 in the top of the third, when she rocketed the first pitch she saw from Zullo over the left field fence. 

Curry tacked on another run in the top of the fifth inning, when leadoff hitter Megan Flaherty walked, moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt and scampered home on a LaRosa single to left field.

The Beacons countered in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own. With one out and no one on, Souza belted a triple into the left-center gap and raced around to third with her second triple of the year. Capra followed with a bloop single that fell just in front of center fielder Amy Nolan, to cut the Curry lead to 2-1.

UMass Boston threatened in the top of the sixth when Killilea reached with no outs, but Curry College turned their third double play of the contest to erase any comeback hopes.

Game Two: UMass Boston 7, Curry College 6 

A day after watching their own 6-4 seventh inning lead fall short, UMass Boston turned the tables, scoring three runs in the bottom of the seventh on four hits.

After Curry jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the third, UMass Boston chipped away at the lead with a run in the third, three more in the fifth and the final three in the bottom of the seventh. 

With the bases loaded and one out and the Beacons trailing 6-5, Capra sent a hard ground ball to third that bounced off of LaRosa and into left field-to allow Haley Dutton (Milton, Mass.) and Souza to come into score and give UMB a 7-6 win.

Killilea paced the Beacons with three hits and two runs in the contest, while Asta added three hits, a run and two RBI out of the two-hole. Souza chipped in with two hits and two RBI, while sophomore left fielder Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) stayed red-hot with two hits in three at-bats.

Freshman starter Emily Gray (New Bedford, Mass.) earned the victory by allowing five hits and six runs, four earned, in seven innings. After giving up six runs on four hits in the first three innings, Gray limited the Colonels to just one hit and no runs over the final four frames. 

Melissa Donoghue took the loss for Curry, by allowing seven runs, four earned, on 14 hits in 6.1 innings.

Curry College took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning on two hits and a costly UMB error. With two on and no outs, LaRosa picked up where she ended in game one, with an RBI single to left to put Curry up 1-0. Kaitlyn Maderios and Donoghue followed with RBI groundouts to push the lead to 3-0 through just five batters.

Maderios would be back at it again in the third inning, as she cleared the bases with a three-run RBI double to the wall in right-center field, that put the Colonels up 6-0 with no outs in the inning.

The Beacons began to chip into the deficit in the bottom of the third, when Killilea and Asta opened the frame with back-to-back singles, moved up 60 feet on a groundout, and Killilea came in to score on Samantha Hemstock 's (Northford, Conn.) RBI groundout.

UMass Boston cut the Curry lead to 6-4 in the fifth, behind some more clutch hitting from their seniors. After back-to-back hits from Bove and Killilea put two runners in scoring position with no outs, Asta hit an RBI double just inside the left-field line to plate both runners and make it 6-3. After a double play wiped out Asta and put two outs on the board, Souza plated Erika Vecchiet (Pequannock, N.J.), who had reached on a single, with an RBI single to center field. 

Two more scoreless Curry at-bats set the Beacons up for their first come-from-behind walk-off win of the season, after winning two mercy-rule games via walkoffs earlier this year.

Asta started the Beacons off with a single to center and moved to second on a wild pitch, before Vecchiet was retired on a hard grounder to second base. Hemstock followed with her second hit of the day to put runners on the corners and then was pinch run for by Dutton.  

UMass Boston made it 6-5 with another RBI single to center from Souza and Natalia Bouyea (East Longmeadow, Mass.) loaded the bases when Paige Smigiel couldn't handle Bouyea's grounder to second.

With the bases loaded and the tying run at second, Capra sent a shot that deflected off LaRosa and scored two, sending the Beacons bench pouring out of the dugout to mob Souza at home plate. 

UMass Boston will take to the road Saturday afternoon when they take on Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.