Softball Slaughters Vikings, As Natalia Ardagna Wins 200th As a Beacon

Softball Slaughters Vikings, As Natalia Ardagna Wins 200th As a Beacon

BOSTON, Mass.—UMass Boston softball racked up 21 hits and 27 runs Thursday afternoon, as the Beacons sunk Salem State University in a pair of mercy-rule, five-inning victories. 

THE BASICS

UMass Boston 12, Salem State 4 (5 Innings)
UMass Boston 15, Salem State 1 (5 Innings) 
(UMass Boston 19-12) 
(Salem State 11-21) 

HOW IT HAPPENED

With their game one victory, 12th-year head coach Natalia Ardagna earned her 200th career victory at UMass Boston. 

Sophomore Tori Dicenso (Lynn, Mass.) provided the biggest highlights of the day offensively. The first baseman clubbed a pair of home runs and finished 4-5 with three runs scored, six RBI and three extra-base hits on the day. 

GAME ONE RECAP 

UMass Boston scored 12 runs over the first four innings and held off a late Vikings charge to secure the mercy-rule win.  

Junior pitcher Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) tied the program record for career complete games (60) as she rolled in the win. She was charged with six hits and four runs (zero earned) over five innings.  

Offensively, Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) paced the Beacons with three RBI. Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) tacked on two hits, two runs scored and two RBI. Freshman Jayla Blackmon (Cambridge, Mass.) added two RBI of her own, while Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) and Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) each scored twice. 

Salem State junior Dominique Del Vecchio took the loss after allowing 11 earned runs over 3.1 innings pitched. 

UMass Boston grabbed a 4-0 lead after the first inning. The Beacons scored two runs on two different wild pitches, Bilotta added a sac fly and Dicenso recorded her first extra-base hit of the game with a two-out RBI double. 

After Salem State scored a run in the top of the second, UMass Boston made it 7-1 with an RBI single from Vento and a two-run double from Bilotta in the bottom of the inning. 

The Beacons completely blew the game open in the fourth. Taylor Pawlina started the scoring with an RBI single that scored two runs, after an error by the Vikings. Blackmon added on a two-run single and Vento capped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly. 

Salem State answered with three two-out runs in the top of the fifth, but Greenspan induced a game-ending groundout to close out the win in five. 

GAME TWO RECAP 

UMass Boston's reserves came through in a huge way, as the Beacons struck for a season-high 15 runs in just five innings. 

Dicenso crushed her first two home runs of the season in the contest and finished 2-3 with two runs and five RBI. 

Bilotta added two hits, two runs and two RBI and freshman Gigi Diaute (Braintree, Mass.) finished with two runs scored and an RBI. Gigi Braga (Medford, Mass.) and Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) tacked on two runs apiece. 

In the circle, freshman Hayley Catania (Amesbury, Mass.) allowed just six hits and one earned run over five innings. 

Salem State freshman Gracie Hogan took the loss after allowing three hits and seven runs (three earned) over two innings of work. 

The Beacons were all over the Vikings from the opening pitch of game two. After Catania set the down side in order in the top of the first, UMass Boston struck for six runs in the bottom of the inning. 

The first four runs of the inning came on errors, before Dicenso cleared the left-field fence for a two-run homer that also scored G. Diaute. 

UMass Boston extended their lead to 7-0 in the second, when Bilotta plated Braga with a two-out RBI single. 

The Beacons registered their biggest inning of the season in the third. Geicy Peña (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) kicked off the rally with her first collegiate hit, an RBI triple to the wall in right that scored Drew Washington (Bordentown, N.J.). 

Bonilla followed with an RBI single and Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) made it 10-1 with an RBI single of her own. After a wild pitch scored Gaeta, Blackmond blasted an RBI double and Dicenso followed with a no-doubter over the left-field fence to score the final three Beacons runs of the day. 

Salem State scored the lone run of game two in the top of the fourth, when Mikayla Porcaro recorded an RBI double. 

BY THE NUMBERS

  • Dicenso came into Thursday's doubleheader with one career home run in 52 games. She is the first Beacons to hit multiple home runs in the same game since April 17, 2015, when Sam Hemstock ('15) hit two home runs in a game one win over Brandeis University. 
  • Ardagna, the winningest coach in program history, is the first softball coach at UMass Boston to won 200 career games (200-248). She joins Terry Condon, the former UMass Boston volleyball coach, as the only female coaches in school history with 200 or more wins.  
  • Dicenso's two home runs tied Hemstock and five other Beacons for the single-game record for most home runs in a game. 
  • Every available player on the Beacons roster appeared in Thursday's doubleheader. 
  • Greenspan needs just one strikeout to tie Michelle Zullo ('15) for the program record for career strikeouts (252). 
  • UMass Boston finished a perfect 8-8 in stolen bases. 
  • Bilotta finished 3-5 with three runs, five RBI, two doubles and stolen bases on the day. 
  • With the sweep, UMass Boston extended their winning streak to four in a row against the Vikings and improved to 12-35 in the all-time series. 

WHO'S NEXT  

UMass Boston will travel to Rhode Island College for a Little East Conference doubleheader. The contests will now be played on FRIDAY at 4 and 6 p.m.