BOSTON, Mass.— The Western Connecticut State University softball team suffered a pair of Little East Conference losses at University of Massachusetts Boston, 7-0 and 6-1, on Saturday afternoon. The Colonials were coming off a two-week layoff since they played their final game in Floriday on March 15.
UMass Boston 7, Western Connecticut State 0
UMass Boston 6, Western Connecticut State 1
(UMass Boston 11-8, Little East 2-2)
(Western Connecticut State 8-6, Little East 0-2)
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Beacons played a complete pair of games in all three facets, to earn their first-ever, three-game winning streak over the Colonials. On the day, UMass Boston racked up 13 runs on 22 hits and added three extra-base knocks.
In the circle, Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) and Hayley Catania (Amesbury, Mass.) limited the Colonials to just one run and 10 total hits and struck out 11 against just three walks. The Beacons defense also was charged with just one error over 14 innings.
GAME ONE RECAP
Greenspan dominated the Colonials from start-to-finish and the Beacons broke out with five runs in the fifth inning to earn a blowout victory.
The Beacons junior ace set the program record for career shutouts with a dazzling outing. Greenspan allowed just five hits and no runs, while tying her season-high with six strikeouts.
Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) provided the big hit of the day, as the junior slapper delivered a 3-run, inside-the-park home run as part of the Beacons' five-run fifth.
Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) kept up her torrid pace by going 2-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) and Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) both added two hits and a run scored.
UMass Boston took the lead in the bottom of the third inning. Bonilla reached on an infield single and moved to third base on Vento's record-tying double. The Beacons made it 1-0 on Bilotta's RBI groundout and then 2-0, when Vento beat the throw home on a Kelly Danahy (Kingston, Mass.) fielder's choice.
The Beacons blew the game wide-open in the fifth. UMass Boston loaded the bases with one out, as Vento and Bilotta singled back-to-back and Danahy worked a walk. Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) followed with a bases-loaded walk to make it 3-0. Senior Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.) came on as a pinch-hitter and delivered a sac fly to center that scored Bilotta ahead of the throw.
With runners at first and second and two outs, Prusmack roped a line drive past the third baseman. The left fielder attempted to cut off the ball as it skipped past her but was unable to cut it off in time and by the time the relay throw came to the infield, Prusmack had already rounded third and raced home for her second career home run.
Greenspan allowed just one hit the rest of the way, to help the Beacons close out their first shutout win of the year.
GAME TWO RECAP
UMass Boston scored six-straight, two-out runs, to earn a comeback victory over the Colonials. After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, the Beacons scored runs in each of their final four at-bats to complete the sweep.
In the circle, Catania earned her first career home and conference victory. The freshman overcame a bumpy start to allow just five hits, three walks and one run in a complete-game win. She also struck out five batters to move to 3-3 on the year.
Bilotta put together her fourth-straight huge offensive game, as she went 4-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Tulley went 3-3 with a run scored and RBI of her own, while Bonilla tacked on three hits in four at-bats and a run scored.
Western Connecticut State pitcher Jacyln Smith took the loss after allowing 11 hits, five runs (four earned) over five innings of work.
The Colonials took their first and only lead of the day in the top of the first. After Catania retired the first two batters, she walked the next two batters to put two on with two outs. Bonanni came through with an RBI double to right-center that scored Rosa. Catania struck out the next batter to leave two runners in scoring position.
UMass Boston tied the game up in the bottom of the third inning. Prusmack started the inning off with a single but was replaced on the basepaths by Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.) on a fielder's choice. Pawlina stole second, moved to third on a groundout and then came in to score when Bonilla beat out an infield single with two outs.
The Beacons took the lead for good in the fourth. With two on and two outs, Prusmack roped a double over the left fielder's head to scored Danahy from second. Pawlina followed with a single up the middle that scored Tulley to make it 3-1.
The hosts would tack on two more insurance runs in the fifth. With Britney Perkett (Pittsfield, Mass.) on third base and Bilotta on second and two outs, Tulley recorded an infield single and Bilotta raced home from second when the infielder never elected to pick up the ball after recognizing that Tulley was going to be safe.
UMass Boston would close out the scoring in the sixth. The Beacons loaded the bases with two down and Bilotta delivered an RBI single to left field that plated Gigi Braga(Medford, Mass.).
BY THE NUMBERS
- UMass Boston earned their first-ever sweep, first-ever three-game winning streak and first-ever shutout win over the Colonials. With the pair of wins, UMass Boston improved to 8-41 all-time against Western Connecticut State.
- Greenspan improved to 3-1 all-time against the Colonials with the victory. She came into the contest with a career ERA of 6.00 in four career starts against Western.
- Bilotta finishes the week 15-18 (.833) with four runs scored and nine RBI. She had multiple hits in all five games the Beacons played.
- Vento's double in game one tied her with former teammate Gia Raczkowski ('17) for the program record for career doubles with 41.
- Greenspan's seventh shutout of her career broke a tie with Emily Wolf ('11) and Michelle Zullo ('15) for the program record for shutouts (7).
- Over their last three games, UMass Boston has scored 20 runs with two outs.