CLERMONT, Fla.--UMass Boston softball scored all five of their runs in the first inning on Day 4 of the NTC Games, only to have their opponents outscore them by a combined 15 runs in the other six innings, as the Beacons (1-7) dropped a pair on the NTC Main Compex Field 5.
After going out to a 2-0 lead against Amherst College, the Beacons fell 11-2 to the Lord Jeffs (6-1) in their opener. In their final game of the trip, UMass Boston raced out to a 3-0 lead, only to watch Lancaster Bible College (2-3) record the final four runs of the day.
Sophomore catcher Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) led the Beacons with a pair of doubles on the day, while Samantha Hemstock (Northford, Conn.), Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) and Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, Mass.) all added two hits apiece as well.
In the circle, freshman Kaera Wyse (Danvers, Mass.) enjoyed her best performance of the season in game two. She came on in relief and pitched 3.2 scoreless innings with four strikeouts and just one walk and one hit allowed.
Game One: Amherst College 11, UMass Boston 2
In only the third all-time meeting between the two programs, UMass Boston got off to a good start with an early 2-0 lead, only to allow at least one run in five of the final six innings to fall 11-2 to Amherst College.
Idalia Friedson led the Lord Jeffs with a pair of hits and three RBIs, while third baseman Ally Kido went a perfect 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs.
In the circle, Gina Pagan picked up the victory by allowing two runs over four innings, with Nicolette Miranda going the final three innings to earn the save.
Raczkowski led the Beacons with her two hits, both doubles, and also added a run scored and an RBI. Mitsiaris added the Beacons' other RBI, while Capra scored the first of UMass Boston's two runs.
In the circle, starter Emily Gray and Wyse combined to allow 19 hits and 11 earned runs over seven innings.
With one out and Capra on first in the bottom of the first inning, Raczkowski gave the Beacons a brief lead, when she hit a double that took one hop to the wall, to easily plate Capra. With two down and Raczkowski on third, Mitsiaris beat out an infield single to the shortstop to give UMass Boston a 2-0 advantage.
Amherst responded with two runs in the top of the second to tie the game and were threatening to add some more, before Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) snatched a line drive and threw it across to first base for an inning-ending double play.
The Lord Jeffs tacked on two more runs in the third, another in the fourth, and two more in the fifth to grab a 7-2 lead through the first five frames.
After a scoreless sixth, the Lord Jeffs blew the game wide open in the final inning thanks to three hits, two walks, a hit by pitch and a pair of Beacons' errors. The inning could have been even worse, but right fielder Haley Dutton (Milton, Mass.) helped turn an inning-ending double play, when she caught a fly ball and threw a runner out at home to keep Amherst to four runs in the inning.
Game Two: Lancaster Bible College 4, UMass Boston 3
Game two would be more of the same for the Beacons, as they raced out to their largest lead since Day One of their Florida trip, only to have the Chargers come back and score the final four runs of the game.
Kelsey Collins was a difference maker in the circle for Lancaster Bible College, as she allowed just four hits and no earned runs over seven innings to move to 2-1 on the year.
Morse, Hemstock, Mitsiaris and Capra each recorded one hit apiece, with Hemstock registering the Beacons' lone RBI of the contest.
UMass Boston managed to scratch across three runs in the bottom of the first inning thanks to a pair of Chargers' miscues. With two outs and no one, Raczkowski sent a lazy fly ball to left-center that the left-fielder dropped to spark the inning. Hemstock followed with an RBI single to right-center to give the Beacons a 1-0 lead. After a pair of walks loaded the bases, Capra's grounder went through the legs of the second baseman for a two-run error to give UMass Boston a 3-0 advantage.
Senior pitcher Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) would cruise through the first two innings, before starting to slip in the third and fourth.
With a runner on first and two outs in the bottom of the third, Kellie Wallace crushed a double to left field to put Lancaster Bible College on the board at 3-1.
The Chargers would grab the lead in the fourth inning on two hits and three walks. After a pair of hits to start the inning, Lancaster Bible College scored runs on back-to-back bases loaded walks and a fielder's choice to grab a 4-3 edge. Wyse came in with the Beacons trailing 4-3 and struck out a pair with the bases loaded, to get out of the jam.
Neither team would generate much offense from there, as Collins and Wyse would match each other pitch for pitch. The Beacons recorded a hit in both the sixth and the seventh, but couldn't scratch across the game-tying run.
UMass Boston will return to Boston on Friday night and will look to return to action next Thursday, when they are scheduled to take on Bridgewater State University in a doubleheader starting at 3:00 p.m.