Junior Katie Hogan
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team lost the first game, 5-0, and won the second game, 8-7 in nine innings, against visiting Johnson & Wales, in a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex.
With the first game scoreless in the top of the second inning, the Wildcats scored three runs, all on walks issued by Corsairs junior pitcher Ashley Felaccio (Acushnet, MA/Fairhaven HS). UMD had a runner in scoring position in the third inning, but junior Elizabeth Mulready (Rockland, MA/Rockland HS) was thrown out trying to steal third base. A home run by Wildcats freshman Robyn Ziegler (Doylestown, PA/Central Bucks East HS) gave them a 4-0 lead in the top of the sixth inning. An RBI double by freshman Alyssa Babineau (Princeton, MA/Monty Tech HS) scored the final run of the game for the Wildcats, securing the 5-0 victory. Felaccio (1-3) took the loss, allowing five runs on six hits with eight strikeouts. Wildcats freshman pitcher Taylor Cwalinski (7-8; Jackson, NJ/Jackson Liberty HS) earned the win, pitching seven shutout inning, giving up four hits with ten strikeouts.
Johnson & Wales continued their offensive surge into the nightcap, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. With two runners on base, Ziegler doubled to left field, scoring both runners. Ziegler came around to score on a double by Cwalinski, putting the Wildcats up 3-0. After a lead off double, Wildcats junior Lauren Lomonaco (Southampton, NJ/Seneca HS) scored on an RBI single by junior Korissa Bailey (Pelham, NH/Pelham HS), increasing their lead to 4-0. In the bottom of the third, the Corsairs finally dented the scoreboard. After an RBI ground out by junior Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgwater-Raynham HS), junior Hannah Rounds (Lincoln, RI/Lincoln HS) drilled a base-clearing triple, pulling the Corsairs within a run, 4-3. The Wildcats added another run in the top of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, Mulready homered to left center field, and then freshman Emily Pontes (Tewksbury, MA/Essex Agricultural Tech HS) scored on a passed ball, tying the game at 5-5. The score remained tied through seven innings, forcing the teams to play extra innings. Both teams scored in the eighth inning and Johnson & Wales scored again in the top of the ninth on a fielder's choice groundout. Trailing 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, and with runners on second and third, junior Katie Hogan (Tewksbury, MA/Shawsheen HS) hit the game-winning single to the gap in right centerfield, scoring Pontes and Mulready, giving the Corsairs an 8-7 win. Felaccio earned the win in relief, throwing five innings, giving up two runs on three hits with four strikeouts. Cwalinski took the loss in relief, allowing three runs on four hits with six strikeouts in five innings of work.
"We didn't show up for the first game," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amy Sasin. "We came out flat offensively and defensively. The team found their intensity and came out aggressive in the second game. We were able to get some runs on the board, our defense played well and our pitching buckled down. We were looking at too many pitches in the first game but we jumped on the first pitch in the second game and got some nice line drives. It was a nice balance of offense and defense in the second game. Hopefully we can take our aggressiveness at the plate and clean defense into our next game against Salem State."
UMass Dartmouth is now 8-17, while Johnson & Wales is now 15-18. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Salem State Thursday. The Wildcats will visit Simmons Friday.