Freshman shortstop Emily Pontes
NEWPORT, RI-Junior right-hander Ashley Felaccio (Acushnet, MA/Fairhaven HS/Massasoit CC) pitched a four-hit shutout in the opener as the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team blanked host Salve Regina, 3-0, in the first game of their non-conference doubleheader at Toppa Field Friday. The Seahawks won the nightcap, 4-3, and earned a split of their doubleheader.
Felaccio walked two and struck out seven in the opener. Junior designated hitter Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) singled home the only run she would need in the top of the first inning. Freshman shortstop Emily Pontes (Tewksbury, MA/Essex Agricultural Tech HS) singled home an insurance run in the fifth inning, and the third run scored on an error. Pontes, Eldridge and junior catcher Diane Barry (Norwood, MA/Norwood HS) each had two hits for the Corsairs. Felaccio improved to 2-3, while SRU's Jen Cruver took the loss and fell to 8-16.
The Seahawks grabbed a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning of the nightcap. Shortstop Ali Muehlbronner tripled with the bases loaded to make it 3-0, and center fielder Christina Walsh singled her home. UMass Dartmouth scored three times in the top of the fifth inning, getting two runs on an error and another on an RBI single by Pontes. The Corsairs were not able to get the tying run across. Marissa Simpson went all the way for SRU and earned the win, improving to 7-9. Felaccio took the loss and dropped to 2-4.
"Ashley pitched really well, she came back strong today," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amy Sasin. "Our defense played well, and we went out and got some runs. Ashley was hitting her spots and letting the defense do their work. We had runners in scoring position a couple of times, and we couldn't bring them in. We played well overall, and it helps to build confidence, which comes with success."
The Corsairs are now 10-23, while the Seahawks are now 15-25. UMass Dartmouth will return to action when they visit Southern Maine Saturday.