Softball's Game Two Rally Fall Short, In Sweep At The Hands of Western Conn.

Softball's Game Two Rally Fall Short, In Sweep At The Hands of Western Conn.

BOSTON, Mass.—Despite a late seventh-inning rally in game number two, UMass Boston softball (4-22, 1-9 Little East) fell just short Sunday afternoon, as Little East Conference leading Western Connecticut State University (18-10, 9-1 Little East) earned their fourth-straight conference doubleheader sweep.

The Colonials earned their third-straight shutout win in game one with an 8-0 victory, before Western held off the Beacons' comeback bid with an 8-7 victory in the second contest.

Senior second baseman Samantha Hemstock (North Branford, Conn.) led the Beacons with four hits in seven at-bats, to go along with three runs scored and an RBI. Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) each chipped in with three hits on the day, while Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) and Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) each added two RBI.

 Game One: Western Connecticut State 8, UMass Boston 0

Game one was a carry over from Saturday, as the Colonials earned their third-straight shutout victory, and the Beacons were blanked for a third-straight game as well. 

Emily Cintorino and Alle Sabith combined to allow six hits, three walks and zero runs over seven innings, with Cintorino picking up her seventh win.

Seniors Nina Wojtkiewicz and Erin Biskup each finished with three RBI for the Colonials, who are now tied with Eastern Connecticut State University atop the conference standings at 9-1.

In the circle for the Beacons, freshman Kaera Wyse (Danvers, Mass.) allowed eight earned runs on 12 hits and six walks, as the freshman threw 150 pitches over seven innings.

After a scoreless first, Western struck for the first three of their five two-out runs, in the top of the second.

The Colonials tacked on two more two-out runs in the fifth, as Biskup drove in a pair with an RBI single through the left-side.

Western capped off the scoring in the seventh inning, as Biskup reached on an error to plate one runner and Wojtkiewicz followed with a two-run single for the final 8-0 scoreline.

Game Two: Western Connecticut State 8, UMass Boston 7

UMass Boston would be in game two the whole way, as the Beacons rebounded from an early 4-0 deficit to grab a lead and never went away.

The top five hitters in the Beacons' order combined to go 9-for-15 with seven runs and six RBI, as the Beacons recorded their second-most runs in a conference game this spring.

Hemstock paced the offense with her three hits in four at-bats, to go along with three RBI and a run scored.

In the circle, Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) allowed 11 hits and seven earned runs over seven innings of work. 

Kristen Sliman came on in relief for the Colonials and earned her first win of the season, after the Beacons roughed up Alle Sabith. Sabith allowed five runs on five hits and a walk through three innings, a day after she threw a no-hitter against UMass Dartmouth. 

Western grabbed a 4-0 lead just seven batters into the contest behind four hits and a wild pitch. With two runners in scoring position and no outs, Wojtkiewicz just beat the tag at home, on a grounder by Christine Bighinatti. Cleanup-hitter Julia Bocek followed with an RBI double and Kayla Nowak pushed the lead out to 3-0 with a sacrifice fly. The Colonials made it 4-0 two batters later, as Samantha Anthony drove in Bocek with a two-out RBI single.

UMass Boston showed they wouldn't go down with a fight though, as the Beacons needed just two batters to snap a 20-inning scoreless streak.

Morse led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single and took second on a wild pitch. On the next pitch, Hemstock blasted an RBI double to the foot of the wall in center field to get the Beacons on the board. Hemstock would come in to score two batters later, as Raczkowski hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field to score Hemstock.

The Beacons would take their first and only lead of the day in the bottom of the third with some two-out hitting of their own. Hemstock started the rally with a single and moved over to second base after a Morrison walk. UMass Boston cut the deficit to 4-3 moments later, as Raczkowski hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to score Hemstock. Mitsiaris followed with a two-run, line-drive double that just got past the left fielder to give UMass Boston a 5-4 edge.

Western would answer right back in the top of the fourth though, as they used three singles, a walk and a passed ball to grab a 7-5 lead. With the bases loaded and one out, the Colonials tied the game and took the lead on successive pitches, after a passed ball and a wild pitch. Maegan Rodriguez made it a two-run game two pitches later, as she singled to plate Wojtkiewicz. 

The Colonials tacked on an important insurance run in the fifth, as Brittany Virgulto hit an RBI single up the middle to plate Michaela Roche, before Virgulto was thrown out trying to take second base.

Sliman shut down the Beacons in her first three innings of work, as the junior allowed just one hit to the first 10 batters she faced.

After retiring the first two batters in the bottom of the seventh, UMass Boston finally got to Sliman. Morse started the rally with a single and Hemstock followed with a single of her own to bring the tying run to the plate. Morrison ripped a single off the glove of Wojtkiewicz as third base to score Morse and make it an 8-6 game. Raczkowski followed with a soft grounder that went off the glove of the second baseman to score Hemstock and make it 8-7. Sliman finally got out of the jam with the go-ahead run on first base, as she got the final out with a grounder to third base. 

UMass Boston will return to action Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. as they host the University of Southern Maine in a key Little East Conference doubleheader.