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UMASS BOSTON STAYS HOT; RALLIES FOR TWINBILL SWEEP OVER SOFTBALL

UMASS BOSTON STAYS HOT; RALLIES FOR TWINBILL SWEEP OVER SOFTBALL

BOSTON, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Boston softball team rallied for a pair of non-conference wins over host Emmanuel College Saturday afternoon at Roberto Clemente Field. The Beacons erased a pair of two-run deficits in each game, posting a 14-3 win in six innings in the opener followed by an 8-7 win in the nightcap. UMB improves to 10-2 on the year for the best start in program history while the Saints fall to 3-9 overall.

GAME 1 – 14-3 (6 inn.), UMB

UMass Boston senior right fielder Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) went 4-for-5 with four RBI, three runs scored and a homer to power the Beacons to a 14-3 win. Raczkowski was a triple shy of the cycle and belted a three-run blast in a key seven-run six inning to power UMB to the win.

Emmanuel jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the second inning without collecting a hit. The Saints took advantage of three consecutive walks to open the frame and scored the first run of the afternoon on a wild pitch that plated senior outfielder Brenna Gilmore (San Carlos, Calif.). Freshman outfielder Sarah Hoisl (West Hartford, Conn.) drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly, driving in sophomore Megan Mieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) to account for the 2-0 score.

The Beacons responded with seven unanswered runs, plating three in the third and four in the fourth to open the game up. An RBI ground-rule double to left-center by Raczkowski plated senior second baseman Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) to cut the lead in half at 2-1 before UMass Boston pushed two unearned runs across later in the third to take a 3-2 lead.  In the fourth, UMB scored four runs to extend the lead to 7-2 with the big blow coming on a two-out two-RBI double to center by senior first baseman Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.).

EC looked to get back in the game in the fifth by loading the bases with one out. Sophomore catcher Casey Sheehan (Medway, Mass.) drove in Emmanuel's third run on an RBI ground out to pull the hosts to within 7-3 but UMass Boston freshman pitcher Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) stranded two runners in scoring position to get out of the jam with the four-run lead.

The Beacons blew the game open in the sixth sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs fueled by a three-run bomb by Raczkowski to deep left field.

Greenspan (5-1) earned the win in relief, tossing the final four innings allowing one run on three hits while striking out four. EC senior Jill Kilcoyne (Worcester, Mass.) suffered the loss to fall to 1-4 on the year by throwing 3.2 innings and allowing five runs (three earned) on just three hits but did surrender six walks.

GAME 2 – 8-7, UMB

The Saints got things started quickly with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to jump out to a 2-0 advantage. Sophomore designated player Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) singled to center to drive in freshman shortstop Sydney Rogers (Southwick, Mass.) to make it 1-0 before M. Kieselback helped her own cause in the pitching circle with an RBI single to bump the score to 2-0.

UMass Boston got one run back in the second as sophomore third baseman Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) scored on a wild pitch to cut the Saints lead to 2-1, working her way around the bases following a walk.

The score stayed at 2-1 until EC added what appeared to be an insurance run in the fourth to make it 3-1. Sophomore centerfield Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.) connected with an RBI double to centerfield but then failed to score on a single up the middle by Rogers which would have made it a three-run game at the time. Both Rogers and Burgos would be stranded on the base paths and the Beacons used the momentum at the plate, scoring five runs in the top of the fifth to build a 6-3 lead.

UMB freshman designated player Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.), Mitsiaris and Morse all delivered RBI doubles in the frame to help the visitors catapult ahead to the three-run, 6-3 lead. Mitsiaris stayed hot with a two-run blast in the sixth to bump the score to 8-3 and the homer proved to be crucial as the Saints plated four runs in the bottom half of the inning to make it a one-run game at 8-7. Skey, senior first baseman Susie Kieselback (Wethersfield, Conn.) and M. Kieselback all drove in runs in the inning before Emmanuel loaded the bases with only one out. Greenspan got out of the jam retiring the final two outs to preserve the one-run Beacon lead before mowing down the Saints in the seventh to pick up her second win of the day.

Mitsiaris finished the second game going 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored while Bilotta was the only other Beacon to collect a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5.

For the Saints, Rogers posted a 4-for-5 showing with two runs scored, Skey finished the game going 3-for-4 while two RBI and a run while S. Kieselback, Burgos and Sheehan all collected two hits.

Greenspan improves to 6-1 on the season going the distance scattering 14 hits and seven walks while allowing the seven runs (six earned). M. Kieselback falls to 1-3 on the year allowing six runs on seven hits while walking seven.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Emmanuel is now idle for the week before returning to Clemente Field next Saturday afternoon when it opens up Great Northeast Athletic Conference play against Rivier University for a doubleheader scheduled to begin at 12:00 PM. The Beacons are back in action on Tuesday, March 28 when they host Babson College at 3:00/5:00 PM for the squad's 2017 home-opener.