BOSTON, Mass.—Junior Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) came through with a go-ahead RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning, to lift UMass Boston softball to a doubleheader split with rival UMass Dartmouth.
UMass Dartmouth 5, UMass Boston 3
UMass Boston 3, UMass Dartmouth 2
(UMass Boston 11-19, LEC 3-5)
(UMass Dartmouth 22-10, LEC 6-4)
HOW IT HAPPENED
After falling behind 5-0 through the first 4.5 innings, UMass Boston turned the tide in the bottom of the fifth inning of game one and played some of their best softball over the final 9.5 innings.
Despite some early struggles, sophomore junior Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) continued to be a tough out for the Corsairs to crack. Greenspan threw 8.2 innings on the day, including throwing 3.2 scoreless innings to earn the win in game two.
Sophomore Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) led the Beacons with four hits and two runs scored on the day.
The Corsairs raced out to a 5-0 lead thanks to some Beacons' defensive miscues and held on for a 5-3 game one win.
UMass Dartmouth senior pitcher threw the opening four innings and got the final four outs to earn the victory. In 5.1 innings pitched, Smith allowed six hits, three walks and no runs to earn her conference-leading 11thwin.
Kyle Fletcher led the Corsairs with two hits and two RBI, while Leah Major added a team-best two runs scored.
Greenspan took the loss in game one, after allowing seven hits, five runs (three earned) and walking six. Freshman Drew Washington (Bordentown, N.J.) pitched really well in relief, retiring all six batters she faced.
Freshman Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) went 2-3 with a huge two-out, two-run triple in the loss. Prusmack added two hits and two runs scored, while Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) registered two hits, one RBI and a walk.
UMass Dartmouth grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. With two on and two outs, Jill Richards hit a soft single that hit the grass in shallow left-center to plate Leah Major.
The Corsairs tacked on two more runs in the third. Fletcher deposited a fly ball just over the head of the Beacons' right fielder to bring in two runs with one out in the inning.
The visitors pushed their advantage to 5-0 in the fifth thanks to two errors. With two down and two on, a pinch hitter came through with a single through the left side. The Beacons had a chance to get the first runner at home, but the throw was up the line and skipped off the Beacons' catcher to allow not one, but two runs to score.
UMass Boston finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning. After leaving seven runners on base over the first four innings against Smith, the Beacons finally scored against UMass Dartmouth reliever Annika Evensen.
With two on and two outs, Braga laced a single to left center to score Prusmack.
The Beacons cut the deficit to 5-3 in the bottom of the sixth. Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) singled with two down and moved to third base on a Prusmack bunt single. Danahy followed with a triple into the right-field corner, but Smith came on in relief and recorded the third out.
In the seventh, the Beacons put the leadoff base runner aboard, but the Corsairs turned a double play to earn the win.
UMass Boston jumped out to an early lead and then used Pawlina's go-ahead sixth to snap a three-game conference losing streak.
Co-captains Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) and Pawlina both came up huge in the win. Vento finished 2-3 with two doubles and two runs scored, while Pawlina went 1-2 with a team-high two RBI. Prusmack and Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) added two hits apiece.
In the circle, Washington got the start and went 3.1 innings, allowing three hits, four walks and two runs (one earned). Greenspan came on in the midst of a jam in the fourth and allowed just two walks, while striking out three over 3.2 scoreless innings.
Smith went the distance in game two. She was charged with hits and three earned runs to fall to 11-5 on the year.
With Washington shutting down the Corsairs to start the game, UMass Boston took their first lead of the day in the second.
Vento led off the second with a double past the first baseman and easily scored on Dicenso's RBI double to the base of the wall in right. Braga followed with a sac bunt and Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) followed with a sacrifice fly to deep center to make it 2-0.
UMass Dartmouth tied the game up in the fourth inning. After not getting a hit against Washington through five innings of work, the Corsairs finally broke through in the top of the fourth.
The Corsairs opened the inning with three-straight singles to open the inning. Washington induced a grounder to get the first out, but Washington walked the next batter to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Greenspan came in at that point and would've got the Beacons out of the jam without any further damage, but a UMass Boston error tied the game at 2-2.
The Beacons took the lead for good in the sixth. Vento opened the inning with a double to left and moved up to third on a Dicenso single. After a groundball out got the first out, Pawlina followed with a bloop single to shallow right that bounced just in front of the diving right fielder.
Greenspan mowed down the Corsairs in order in the seventh to improve to 4-1 against UMass Dartmouth in five starts.
- Washington threw 5.1 innings on the day and allowed just three hits and one earned run.
- With the split, UMass Dartmouth now leads the all-time series 34-18. UMass Boston has won five of the past six meetings and 15 of the past 21 contests.
- Both teams finished with 14 runners left on base on the day.
- All five of Dicenso's extra-base hits have come in her last 13 games.
- Greenspan went over 100 innings on the season (103.2) and over 300 (301.0) for her career. She is the third pitcher in program history to have reached the 300-inning mark.
UMass Boston will travel to Western Connecticut State University for a conference doubleheader on Sunday at 1/3 p.m.