BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston senior catcher Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) and junior pitcher Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) set the career program records for games played, as UMass Boston softball earned a doubleheader split with Lesley University.
Lesley University 5, UMass Boston 4
UMass Boston 6, Lesley University 4 (6 Innings)
(UMass Boston 15-12)
(Lesley University 16-10)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons battery mates both set their respective program record for games played in game one of Thursday's doubleheader. Vento broke a tie with former high school and college teammate Kaitlyn Morse ('17), by playing in her 152nd collegiate contest. Greenspan set the program mark for games pitched, by passing Michelle Zullo ('15) with her 80th time toeing the rubber.
After seeing the Lynx come back from an early deficit to take game one, the Beacons rebounded by scoring six runs in game two to earn the doubleheader split.
GAME ONE RECAP
Ally Murphy's three-run home run capped a four-run sixth inning for Lesley University, as the Lynx stormed back for a 5-4 win over the Beacons.
Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) and Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) each finished 1-3 with two RBI for the Beacons. Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) and Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) each tacked on two hits and a run scored for the hosts.
In the circle, Greenspan was charged with the loss after allowing seven hits and five earned runs, while striking out five.
Murphy and Kristin DiCicco each hit home runs for the visitors, while Mahlia Medina finished with a team-high two hits and a run scored.
Jordan Day earned the win after allowing nine hits, two walks and four runs (two earned) over seven innings.
UMass Boston broke the scoreless tie with two outs in the bottom of the third. After back-to-back singles by Bonilla and Vento with one out, Danahy blasted a double off the wall in right to easily plate both runners.
The Lynx got one of the runs back in the fifth, when DiCicco roped a liner over the right field fence for her first collegiate homer.
Lesley grabbed control of the game with four more runs in the next frame. After loading the bases with no outs, Ashleigh Acker tied the game for the visitors with a sacrifice fly. The Beacons got the second out, when Greenspan snuffed out an attempted squeeze play by getting the runner coming home. Lesley responded right back though, as Murphy's three-run blast over the left-center field fence gave the Lynx the lead for good.
UMass Boston attempted to tie the game up in the seventh. Prusmack and Britney Perkett (Pittsfield, Mass.) reached on a hit by pitch and an error to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. Pawlina followed with a two-run single up the middle to tie cut the deficit to 5-4. Lesley got out of the jam though, as Day induced a popped-up bunt that led to a double play and a strikeout to close out the game.
GAME TWO RECAP
UMass Boston sent 11 batters to the plate in a six-run second inning and held on as the sun steadily set to earn the doubleheader split.
Senior Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) finished with a team-high two hits and added a run scored for the Beacons. Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) added a pair of RBI and Pawlina notched a hit, a run scored and an RBI.
Freshman Hayley Catania (Amesbury, Mass.) evened her record at 5-5, by limiting the high-powered Lynx offense to eight hits and four earned runs. Catania added five strikeouts against just one walk in six innings pitched.
Day, the Division III leader in batting average, finished 2-2 with a run scored and three RBI. Riley Pickett added two hits and a run scored and Mahlia Medina finished with a hit and two runs.
Jen Thorburn took the loss for the visitors, after allowing five hits and six earned runs over 1.2 innings pitched. Kara Haga came on in relief and held the Beacons to two hits and one walk over the final 3.1 innings.
UMass Boston had a huge second inning overall, as the Beacons used a big defensive play to keep the Lynx off the board in the top of the inning. With runners at the corners and one out, Lelsey attempted a double steal, but Vento's throw to second was cut off by Braga and Vento was able to get the tag on the runner coming down the line from third. Catania struck out the batter at the plate to get the Beacons out of the jam.
The Beacons made the Lynx pay in the bottom of the inning, as the Beacons had six-straight batters reach at one point.
With two on and one out, Prusmack put down a bunt single and Danahy came in to score from second base after a throwing error by the pitcher. After a walk to Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) loaded the bases, Pawlina smacked a single through the left side to score Tulley to make it 2-0.
Braga followed with a two-run single up the middle to make it 4-0, as Prusmack and Gaeta both raced home. The Beacons made it 5-0 moments later, when Bonilla and Pawlina executed a delayed double steal to bring home Pawlina. Vento capped off the inning with an RBI single to right that scored Bonilla.
Lesley began their comeback bid in the top of the third, as Medina led off with a double to right-center and scampered home on Day's sacrifice fly to right.
The Lynx added three more runs in the fifth inning. With two outs and no one on, Catania hit Medina and Pickett followed with a single through the right side. Day made Catania pay as she ripped a double to the wall in right to score both runners. Acker followed with an RBI single to make it 6-4, but Catania struck out Murphy to end the threat.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Greenspan now holds the program career record for wins (43), saves (three), shutouts (eight), innings pitched (466.1) and appearances (80). She is also two complete games shy of tying Zullo's record for complete games (60) and is eight strikeouts shy of tying Zullo for the program mark for punchouts (253).
- UMass Boston did not commit an error at home for the fourth and fifth straight-games in a row. Overall, the Beacons have committed just five errors in eight home games.
- The Beacons and Lynx have now split a doubleheader at the UMB Softball Field in back-to-back seasons. UMass Boston trails the all-time series 6-4.
- Head coach Natalia Ardgana is now just three wins away from reaching 200 wins as head coach of the Beacons. She reached 200 career wins in the LEC Tournament last spring.
UMass Boston will host Keene State College on Saturday at 1 and 3 p.m. in a Little East Conference doubleheader. After the conclusion of game two, UMass Boston will honor Vento, Tulley and Pawlina with a Senior Day Ceremony.