BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston salvaged a doubleheader split, with a walk-off win on an error in game two, to close out their home schedule Wednesday afternoon.
Castleton 3, UMass Boston 1
UMass Boston 3, Castleton 2 (8 Innings)
(UMass Boston 21-14, Little East 7-7)
(Castleton 14-17, Little East 4-10)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After a frustrating day at the plate all afternoon long, UMass Boston loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eight inning and Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) raced home with the winning run, after the Spartans' third baseman couldn't handle Taylor Pawlina's (Woonsocket, R.I.) grounder.
Both games were extremely close, as neither team led by more than two runs all afternoon.
Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) led the Beacons offensively by reaching six times in eight at-bats. She recorded four hits, two walks, a run scored and a stolen base on the day.
GAME ONE RECAP
Castleton University scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead and held on for their first-ever win over the Beacons.
In the circle, Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) was the tough-luck loser, after allowing seven hits and three earned runs over seven innings. She also struck out three in the loss.
Castleton freshman Machaila Arjavich led the Spartans by going 3-3 with a run scored, an RBI and a double. Jamie Boyle added two hits and the game-winning run and Kayla Fac went 1-3 with an RBI.
Spartans ace Kylie Wright limited the Beacons to eight hits, two walks and five strikeouts. Wright tacked on five strikeouts in the victory.
After being shutout their last time out, UMass Boston scored a run in the bottom of the first. Braga singled, Bonilla walked and Bilotta singled with one out to load the bases. Pawlina came through with a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0 UMass Boston.
Castleton answered back in the top of the second. With two on and one out, Arjavich singled to right-center field to score Devin Millerick. Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) snuffed out the rally on the next at-bat, as she tagged third base and threw across the diamond for an inning-ending double play.
The two teams would stay tied until the top of the seventh, as neither side could come through with a big hit. UMass Boston put five runners on from the second through the fourth innings, but went 0-5 with runners in scoring position.
Castleton grabbed the lead in the top of the seventh. Boyle started the rally with a single to center and raced to third base on Arjavich's double into the right-field corner. Wright helped herself with a sacrifice fly and Fac followed with a two-out, RBI single to give the Spartans a two-run cushion.
UMass Boston attempted a two-out rally in the bottom of the inning. Braga singled with two outs and Bonilla followed with a walk, but Wright induced a groundout to short to end the contest.
GAME TWO RECAP
UMass Boston rallied from a one-run deficit in the sixth to force extras and earned their third walk-off win in four meetings with the Spartans-with a run in extra innings.
Bonilla recorded four of the Beacons nine hits, as the sophomore went 4-4 with a run scored and a stolen base. Braga tacked on two hits and two steals of her own, while Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) notched a hit and a run scored.
Freshman Hayley Catania (Amesbury, Mass.) picked up her seventh win of the season by throwing all eight innings. Catania scattered 10 hits, one walk and two earned runs over the eight innings and added five strikeouts.
Arjavich finished a perfect 2-2 with an RBI, while Tori Swaine recorded two hits and an RBI for the visitors.
Wright took the loss for Castleton, after allowing five hits and two unearned runs over 4.2 innings. Emily Harvey (1.1 innings) and Olivia Bowen (1.2 innings) combined to allow four hits and one unearned run over the first three innings.
UMass Boston once again took an early lead, this time in the second. Prusmack led off with a single to center and raced all the way to third base on a sac bunt. She came home to score on a passed ball to the next batter. The Beacons loaded the bases later in the inning, but Roxanne Vento's (Arlington, Mass.) blast to center field was caught on the warning track for the final out.
Castleton nearly tied the game in the fourth. After Devin Millerick doubled with two outs, Boyle followed with a single up the middle, but Bonilla charged the ball and threw a strike to home plate to get Millerick by two steps.
The Spartans scored both of their runs in the sixth. Calli Van Gorden opened the inning with a triple to right-center and scored on Swaine's RBI single to left. With two on and no outs, the Beacons got back-to-back groundouts on the left-side, where they retired the lead runner. Arjavich though came up in the clutch, as she singled to center to plate Millerick for a 2-1 lead.
UMass Boston tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Bonilla singled with one out and took second on a wild pitch and third on a fly ball. With two outs and two runners in scoring position, Braga grounded the ball up and off of the third baseman for a run-scoring error. The Spartans would walk Vento to load the bases, but Wright induced a groundout to leave the bases loaded.
After both teams went 1-2-3 in the seventh, both sides had great chances to score in the eighth.
Castleton loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth, before Catania struck out Jayna Ryan to leave the bases loaded.
UMass Boston was able to score in a bases loaded situation of their own. Bonilla opened the frame with a bunt single, but was erased on a fielder's choice. Danahy moved to second on a groundout, before Braga singled and Vento walked to load the bases. Pawlina dribbled a grounder to the third baseman, who bobbled it and then tried to tag third, but Braga beat her to the bag to help the Beacons' walk-off.
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston is 3-1 all-time against the Spartans with three walk-off victories.
- The Beacons did not record an RBI hit on the day and left 19 runners on base.
- Arjavich finished 5-5 and was also hit by two pitches for the Spartans.
- UMass Boston finishes their home schedule 10-4 with a 5-3 record in Little East games. Overall, UMass Boston posted a 1.94 team earned run average in 14 home games.
- Bilotta finished with four putouts and seven assists in game one. She finished the day with seven putouts, nine assists and one error.
- With their game two win, UMass Boston is tied for their second-most ever conference wins. The Beacons went 7-7 in 2011 and set the program record for conference wins in 2017 (8-6).
- The Beacons are tied for the fourth-most wins in a single-season with 21. UMass Boston needs one win to move into a tie for third (2016) and three more wins for a tie for second (2011). The program record is 30 wins, set by the 2017 team.
- Both of the Beacons' walk-off wins this year have come on errors in the eight inning.
UMass Boston will close out their Little East schedule on Thursday, when they travel to the University of Southern Maine for games at 3 and 5 p.m.