FORT MYERS, FL - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team split a doubleheader on its first day of action at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic Sunday. UMass Dartmouth dropped its opener to the University of New England, 9-1, then came back to defeat Nichols 9-3 in game two at the Lee County Sports Complex.
In the nightcap, the Corsairs came from behind to take the lead, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth on a run-scoring fielder's choice by sophomore second baseman Samantha Gregoire (Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth HS), and an RBI single by freshman left fielder Rachel Carey (Holbrook, MA/Cardinal Spellman HS).
UMass Dartmouth put the game away with five runs in the sixth. Junior shortstop Emily Pontes (Tewksbury, MA/Essex Agricultural Tech HS) and sophomore right fielder Olivia Kenyon (Canton, MA/Canton HS) each drove in a run with a single. Kenyon and Carey each had two hits, freshman Shannon Orton (Swansea, MA/Case HS) made her UMD debut a successful one, pitching a complete game victory.
In the opener, Gregoire's sacrifice fly in the third inning drove in the Corsairs' only run. UNE's Lauren Doneski limited UMD to four hits, while freshman Amanda McHugh (North Kingstown, RI/North Kingstown HS) started and took the loss.
"We came out stronger in game two with lively bats and a strong rally in the sixth inning," said UMass Dartmouth Assistant Coach Jessica McCaughey. "We made some great defensive plays that led to some double plays. In the opener, we struggled at the plate and we were unable to either capitalize on walks or take advantage of our chances. UNE took advantage of their opportunities."
UMass Dartmouth is now 1-1, while Nichols is 1-5 and UNE is 1-2. The Corsairs will play Smith and Wisconsin-Superior Monday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH SOFTBALL