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UMASS BOSTON SWEEPS SOFTBALL IN NEW ENGLAND OPENER

UMASS BOSTON SWEEPS SOFTBALL IN NEW ENGLAND OPENER

THE BASICS 

Scores: UMass Boston, 13; Emmanuel College, 11 (8 innings)
             UMass Boston, 8; Emmanuel College, 0 (5 innings)
Records: UMass Boston Beacons (7-5); Emmanuel College Saints (4-8)
Location: Boston, Mass. – Roberto Clemente Field
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019

THE LEAD: The Emmanuel College softball team dropped a pair of decision to University of Massachusetts Boston on Wednesday evening in non-conference action at Roberto Clemente Field. The Beacons overcame an early deficit in Game 1 to pull out a 13-11 victory in eight innings before cruising to an 8-0 win in Game 2 in five innings.

HOW IT HAPPENED 

GAME ONE RECAP

UMass Boston won a topsy-turvy contest that saw both teams blow multiple run leads and the two teams combine for 24 runs and 26 hits.

After watching the Saints race back from an 11-6 deficit to force extras, Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) and Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) both delivered RBI singles in the eighth inning to capture the victory.

Gaeta put together the best game of her season, as she went 3-5, with a run scored, three RBI and the first home run of her sophomore campaign. Vento was just as good, as she went 2-4 with two runs scored, three RBI and a homer.

Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) tacked on three hits and three runs scored and Prusmack put together a line of two hits, one run and one RBI.

In the circle, Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) came on in relief of Hayley Catania (Amesbury, Mass.) and shut down the Saints batters. Greenspan allowed just two hits and one walk in 2.2 scoreless innings to earn the win.

Emmanuel's Grace Orcutt (Lexington, Mass.) led the Saints with two runs and three RBI. Olivia Burgos (Newington, Conn.)  took her second loss of the season after allowing five runs (two earned) over the final four innings.

After Emmanuel jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings behind a two-run homer by junior second baseman Kerry Sendrick (Medway, Mass.), but the Beacons tied the game on Roxy Vento's three-run homer in the top of the third.

Emmanuel answered back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, only for the Beacons to put together an 8-0 run.

Gaeta blasted a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 6-5 and Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) followed with an RBI groundout. Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) followed with a two-run single to give UMass Boston an 8-6 lead in the top of the fourth.

The Beacons struck for three more runs in the top of the fifth on a pair of Saints errors.

Emmanuel tied the game up thanks to five runs in the bottom of the sixth. After an RBI single and an error cut the deficit to three, Orcutt belted a three-run homer of her own to tie the score.

The Saints put two more runners on with one out, before Greenspan came on in relief. The junior righty recorded a pair of groundouts to keep the go-ahead run at third base.

After both teams stranded runners in scoring position in the seventh, UMass Boston took the lead for good in the top of the eighth.

Tulley recorded a one-out double and moved to third on Kelly Danahy's (Kingston, Mass.) single. Prusmack followed with an infield single and then Gaeta drove Danahy in with a single to center.

GAME TWO RECAP

UMass Boston scored runs in each of their first four innings and Greenspan silenced the Saints bats in the Beacons first mercy-rule win of the year.

Greenspan allowed just one hit and two walks to earn her fourth-straight victory. She struck out four over five scoreless innings and held the hosts without a hit until the bottom of the fifth.

Vento provided all the offense Greenspan would need. The senior catcher went a perfect 3-3 with a run scored, three RBI and a pair of doubles.

Fellow senior Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) added two RBI, while Braga (three runs) and Bonilla (two runs) combined to score five RBI.

Emmanuel's Mikaela Montemagni took the loss after allowing seven hits, eight runs (five earned) over 3.2 innings.

The Beacons took the lead just three batters in. Braga walked, stole second, took third on a Bonilla groundout and then raced home on a Vento double.

UMass Boston extended the lead to 3-0 in the second. This time it was Bonilla driving in Braga with an RBI single and Vento followed with an RBI double.

The Beacons tacked on another run in the third, before striking for four in the top of the fourth.

Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) opened the inning with a double and the Beacons loaded the bases with a walk and an error. Vento followed with her third-straight RBI hit, as she hit a laser off the pitcher to score Bilotta. Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) came through with a two-out, pinch-hit RBI single and then Pawlina blasted a two-run, ground-rule double to push the lead to 8-0.

In the bottom of the fifth, Emily Blanchard lifted a fly ball to right-center field that just barely fell between the Beacons two outfielders. Greenspan settled in and struck out the side to close out the contest.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Burgos, Sendrick and senior Ashley Skey (Brookline, N.H.) all collected two hits in the opening game for the Saints with Skey also reaching base twice via base on balls.
  • Skey also reached base safely in two at-bats in Game 2, drawing a walk while also getting hit by a pitch.
  • The Saints committed a season-high seven errors in the Game 1 loss, marking the most by an Emmanuel team in a game since March 6, 2011 when the Saints also made seven errors in their season-opener against Defiance.
  • On the day, UMass Boston recorded 21 runs on 23 hits. The Beacons registered at least one run in eight of their 13 at-bats.
  • With the doubleheader sweep, UMass Boston improves to 17-8 all-time against the Saints. The Beacons have now set their Boston foes in three of the past four years.
  • Vento has now recorded three RBI in each of her past three games. She is currently riding a four-game hitting streak, in which she has gone 10-14 (.714) with five runs scored, nine RBI and five extra-base hits.
  • Greenspan moved past Kara Willis ('12) for second-place in program history in career appearances with 72. Greenspan needs just eight more appearances to pass Michelle Zullo ('15) for first all-time.
  • Pawlina (game one) and Bilotta (game two) both earned their first starts of the season in the doubleheader.
  • Wednesday's doubleheader sweep marked the Beacons first sweep since Opening Day.
  • Braga led off game one with her first career triple. It marked the second extra-base hit of her career in 97 games. 

UP NEXT

The Saints are idle for 10 days and return to action on Saturday, March 30 when they take on Simmons University on the road in a non-conference twinbill slated for 2:00 and 4:00 PM.

UMass Boston will open conference play on Saturday afternoon, when they host Plymouth State University at 1 and 3 p.m. The Beacons have defeated the Panthers in each of the past two Little East Conference Championship Series.

*Release content courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information