PLYMOUTH, N.H.—#1 seed and host Plymouth State University used a pair of two-run innings to knock of #4 UMass Boston 5-2 in the winner's bracket of the Little East Conference Tournament on Thursday evening.
#1 Plymouth State University 5, #4 UMass Boston 2
(UMass Boston 25-11)
(Plymouth State 23-15-1)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Debra Morrill pounded out a pair of RBI hits and sophomore pitcher Hannah Seidner limited the Beacons to seven hits and two runs. With the win, #1 Plymouth State will play in the LEC Championship Series for the first time in program history.
#4 UMass Boston will play #2 Eastern Connecticut State University on Friday at 10 a.m. for a chance to meet the Panthers in the LEC Championship Series. The Warriors were the lone team to sweep UMass Boston during the LEC Regular season.
After earning comeback wins in their first two LEC Tournament games, UMass Boston fell just short of a third-straight comeback.
Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas), Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.), Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) and Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) all added one hit and Braga and pinch runner Chaislyn Burgio (Quincy, Mass.) scored the Beacons two runs.
Plymouth State opened the scoring in the bottom of the second. After a walk and an illegal pitch pushed Mel Goss to second base, Goss came in on a single and a throwing error. The Panthers threatened to tack on more runs, but Thomas threw out a runner at the plate trying to score on a squeeze play.
The Beacons threatened to score in the third and the fourth, but left three runners on in the two frames.
Plymouth State would make UMass Boston pay in the bottom of the fourth. With Goss on third after a double and a groundout, Nina Murray drove her in with an RBI double. Murray raced home to make it 3-0 on Morrill's infield RBI single.
Plymouth State intentionally walked Vento to load the bases and Seidner got a called strike three call to get out of the jam.
The hosts added two more runs in the sixth. After they loaded the bases with no outs, Thomas got the first out on a fielder's choice, in which Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) threw out the lead runner at home.
Morrill followed with an RBI single up the middle and Katie Kennard tacked on an RBI groundout to make it 5-1.
UMass Boston mounted a furious comeback in the top of the seventh. Braga walked to leadoff and Prusmack reached on a fielder's choice. After Plymouth State got the first out at second to put runners at the corners, Vento blasted a fly ball to the gap, that Plymouth State tracked down for a huge second out. Braga did come in to score on the sacrifice fly, but it put UMass Boston's back against the wall. Raczkowski lined a hard hit to left field, but right at the outfielder, for the final out.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Plymouth State moves to 2-1 against the Beacons this season, after splitting a pair of games at the UMB Softball Field on April 4.
- With their two doubles in game two of the day, UMass Boston set the single-season record for doubles in a season with 61. The Beacons broke the prior record of 59, set by last year's team.
- If Morse plays in tomorrow's game, she will tie Lisa Polsonetti ('12) for second place in program history in games played (145).
- UMass Boston left eight runners on base in the loss.
- Prusmack, Morse, Vento and Braga have all reached base in all three tournament games. Braga is riding a six-game hitting streak and three-game run scoring streak.
#4 UMass Boston will look to end #2 Eastern Connecticut's season for a second-straight year. Last season in the LEC Tournament, UMass Boston defeated the Warriors 3-1 in an elimination game.