Freshmen Pitchers Lead The Way In Softball's Sweep of Salem State

Freshmen Pitchers Lead The Way In Softball's Sweep of Salem State

BOSTON, Mass.—Freshmen pitchers Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and Megan Hoben (Bedford, Mass.) combined to allow eight hits and no runs in a doubleheader sweep of visiting Salem State University Thursday afternoon.

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 8, Salem State 0 (8 Innings)

UMass Boston 5, Salem State 0

(UMass Boston 19-8)

(Salem State 17-13)

HOW IT HAPPENED

Greenspan limited the Vikings to just two hits in the opener, en-route to her program-record setting 14th win of the season. Hoben was nearly as good in game two, as she struck out a career-high six batters, and allowed six hits, to complete her first career collegiate shutout.

At the plate, Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) set a program record of her own. The senior catcher belted an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth in game one to record her program-record setting 38th career double. She finished 3-for-4 for with three runs scored, three RBI and a pair of walks on the day.

GAME ONE 

Greenspan faced just one over the minimum and UMass Boston took advantage of six Salem State errors, to earn their first mercy-rule win in April. 

Greenspan allowed two infield singles to Marisa Sanchez and struck out three to improve to 14-6 on the season. The win broke a three-way tie with Annie Thomas (Lunenburg, Mass.) and Emily Wolf ('11) for most wins in a season. 

Senior Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) finished with two doubles and three runs scored, while Raczkowski and Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) each added two RBI.

Junior Kayla Harris (Cumberland, R.I.) tacked on two hits and a run scored, while Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) added two hits, one run scored and an RBI.

Ileish Burney took the loss for Salem State, after allowing 11 hits and eight runs, five earned, in 4.2 innings pitched.

UMass Boston took the lead in the bottom of the first. Morse doubled with one out, moved to third on a Vento groundout and scored when Raczkowski's high pop-up to shallow center-fell in front of three fielders for an RBI single. 

The Beacons blew the game open in the second inning. UMass Boston scored four runs on three hits, three Salem State errors, and a wild pitch. 

Mitsiaris opened the inning with a single and moved to third base on an errant throw by the Vikings, that put two runners in scoring position. Mitsiaris and Harris both scored on a wild pitch, when the catcher overthrew the plate, allowing Harris to come in from second base. 

With runners on the corners and two down, Vento hit a hard single off the glove of the second baseman to plate Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) and Morse.

UMass Boston put the game to bed in the bottom of the fifth. Needing just three runs to earn the mercy-rule victory, UMass Boston scored three runs on four hits and two more Salem State errors. Morse opened the inning with another double and scampered home on Raczkowski's record-setting double with one down.

Raczkowski advanced to third on a groundout and then walked home on Mitsiaris' RBI single. A throwing error allowed Mitsiaris to move to second and her pinch runner, Angelina Avitabile (Holbrook, Mass.), scored the game-winning run when the left fielder overran Harris' single, allowing Avitabile to easily score from second.

Greenspan was helped out by strong defense-including two tremendous diving catches. Prusmack robbed Jess Raymond of a hit in shallow right center in the second and Harris made a diving catch in left field to end the third.

GAME TWO

Hoben no-hit the Vikings through the first 3.1 innings and UMass Boston struck for five runs in the first three innings, as the Beacons easily cruised towards a sweep.

Hoben earned her first collegiate shutout and her first win since March 15, by limiting the Vikings to eight baserunners in seven innings. She struck out a career-high six and allowed just one walk, to improve to 3-2.

Mitsiaris was the lone Beacon to record multiple hits, as she chipped in with two hits and an RBI. Raczkowski finished 1-for-1 with two runs scored, an RBI and a pair of walks.

Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) tacked on the final RBI, while Morse, Vento and Prusmack each crossed the plate once. 

Junior Meghan Black took the loss for Salem State. She gave up seven hits and five runs, three earned, in six innings of work. 

April Adams paced Salem State with a pair of singles and two stolen bases.

UMass Boston grabbed the lead in the bottom of the first thanks to another key Salem State error. Prusmack led off the inning with a single and scored from third on a two-out walk, where the pitch got past the catcher for a wild pitch. Raczkowski, who worked the walk, raced all the way to second on the play and then scored on the following play, as she motored home from second on a poor throw from the third baseman.

The Beacons put the game away in the third inning. Morse and Vento hit back-to-back singles and then Raczkowski drove in Morse with a hard-hit single back up the middle. Mitsiaris drove in Vento with an RBI single of her own and Tulley followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.

Salem State put together their best inning of the day in the top of the fourth. With one out, Salem State recorded their first three hits of the game against Hoben. Hoben got the next batter to pop up a bunt and then left the bases loaded when Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) made a phenomenal diving catch on a hard-hit ball to shallow center. 

The Vikings put runners on the corners in the fifth and seventh as well, but Hoben got a fly out, and a line out, to keep the shutout bid intact.

BY THE NUMBERS 

  • UMass Boston recorded back-to-back shutouts for the first time since March 24, 2016, when the Beacons shutout Bridgewater State University 3-0 and 8-0 (6 Innings). The Beacons had only recorded one shutout prior to today, a 6-0 shutout over UMass Dartmouth on Saturday.
  • With the sweep, UMass Boston improved to 10-35 all-time against the Vikings and earned their second-ever sweep (2011).
  • Every Beacons started had a hit on the day, including eight out of nine starters in game one.
  • UMass Boston did not commit an error on the day, while Salem State posted 10 errors.
  • The Vikings stole three bases in game two to improve to 88-100 on the season. Raczkowski threw out Sanchez in game one, who came in to the day 20-21 in stolen base attempts.

WHO'S NEXT

UMass Boston will travel to Rhode Island College on Saturday, for a Little East Conference doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.