BRIDGEWATER, Mass—Junior Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) recorded five RBI, to lead UMass Boston softball to a marathon, 14-12, eight-inning victory over host Bridgewater State University.
UMass Boston 14, Bridgewater State 12
(UMass Boston 9-8)
(Bridgewater State 3-12)
HOW IT HAPPENED
UMass Boston rallied from an early 8-3 deficit, blew a three-run lead in the seventh and then held on in the eighth, to secure a victory in the three-hour contest.
The first game went so long, that the second contest was called due to darkness after 3.5 innings. Since the game had not reached regulation length, the contest officially goes down as cancelled game (Bridgewater State was leading 5-4 in the bottom of the fourth).
Bilotta was one of five Beacons to put together huge numbers in the high-scoring affair. The Beacons third baseman finished 3-5 with a career-high five RBI, including the game-winning hit in the eighth inning.
Fellow junior Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) finished with a career-high four hits in five at-bats and also set a new career-high with three RBI and tied her career-high with three runs scored.
Freshman Jayla Blackmon (Cambridge, Mass.) earned her first collegiate start in the lineup and made the most of it. The designated player went 2-3 with three runs scored, three RBI and a walk.
In the circle, Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) persevered through one of the toughest outings of her career to earn her 40th career win. Greenspan was charged with 17 hits, 12 runs (10 earned) and five walks on a windy afternoon. She added a season-high six strikeouts, to move into second-place in program history in career strikeouts.
Bridgewater State designated player Megan Sharon led six Bears with multiple hits with two hits, two runs scored and five RBI. Samantha Mulcahy added three runs scored and Alexandra Ruprecht tacked on three hits, two runs and an RBI.
In the circle, three Bridgewater State pitchers failed to slow down the Beacons offense. Kelley Reichert got the start and allowed 11 hits and 10 runs (seven earned) over six innings. Laura Hatch gave up two runs in the seventh and Natalie Sorrenti was charged with the loss after allowing two unearned runs in the eighth.
Sharon and the Bears opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning, when she belted a one-out, two-run home run.
The Beacons took the lead right back in the top of the second with a two-out rally. With two on and two outs, Blackmon delivered a two-run single to right in her first collegiate at-bat. After Blackmon took second on the throw and third on a passed ball, she raced home on Bilotta's RBI single.
Bridgewater State came right back with six runs in the second inning to grab an 8-3 edge. Nine of the first 10 batters in the inning reached, with Sharon delivering the big hit: a three-run, bases-clearing triple.
UMass Boston began to cut into the deficit in the fourth. With Prusmack on second and no outs, Blackmon recorded an RBI single up the middle to make it 8-4. Bonilla brought Blackmon home with a two-out RBI single and Vento drove Bonilla home with an RBI single of her own to make it 8-6.
The Bears pushed the lead back to three in the bottom of the inning, as Ruprecht hit a solo home run.
Bilotta kept the Beacons two-out hitting going in the fifth inning. After the first two Beacons in the inning were retired, Prusmack singled and Blackmon was hit by a pitch. Bilotta followed with a two-out, two-run double to left center to cut the Beacons deficit to 9-8.
Bridgewater State loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with one out, but Greenspan induced a pair of fielder's choices to keep the Bears off the scoreboard.
UMass Boston tied the game with a single run in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one out, Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) drove a ball to center field that was easily deep enough to score Bonilla who tagged up at third base.
The Beacons pushed their run to 9-1 with a three-run top of the seventh.
Blackmon walked to open the frame and was replaced by pinch runner Sarah Harlinski (Sturbridge, Mass.). Harlinski stole second and moved to third on a Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) single. After Braga stole second, Bonilla blasted a double down the left-field line to score both runners and give the Beacons the lead at 11-9. Vento followed with an RBI single to give the Beacons a three-run advantage.
Unfortunately the Beacons couldn't hold on to the lead in regulation. With one out and a runner on second, the Beacons dropped a popup on the infield to put runners on the corners. Jenny Heller followed with an RBI single and Ruprecht added an single of her own that scored both runners when the Beacons outfield committed a miscue. With the game-winning run on second and still one out, Greenspan recorded a strikeout and groundout to force extra innings.
With Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) on second to start the extra-frame, Gaeta reached on a bunt after the Bears tried to get Danahy at third base. Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) came on as a pinch runner for Gaeta and stole second. Sorrenti struck out the next two batters, but Bilotta followed with a single up the middle to score both runners and give the Beacons a 14-12 lead.
Bridgewater State put two runners in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the inning, but Greenspan recorded a fly out and a shortstop to end the game after exactly three hours.
BY THE NUMBERS
- The two teams combined for 26 runs, 32 hits and five errors in the contest. UMass Boston recorded a season-high 14 runs and 14 RBI, tied their season-high with 15 hits and finished 6-6 on the basepaths.
- Over her last three games, Bilotta has gone 9-11 with two runs, seven RBI, two doubles and two stolen bases.
- Ten of the Beacons 14 runs came with two outs.
- Greenspan has now recorded 226 strikeouts in her career. She needs 27 more strikeouts to tie Michelle Zullo ('15) for the program record.
- With the win, UMass Boston improved to 11-8 all-time against the Bears. The Beacons have won seven of the past eight meetings.
- UMass Boston is now 3-0 in extra-inning games this season.
The Beacons will return to conference play on Saturday, when they host Western Connecticut State University at 1 and 3 p.m.