Corsairs Sweep Beacons In Little East Opener

Corsairs Sweep Beacons In Little East Opener

NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. -- The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team swept intra-state rival University of Massachusetts Boston, 8-0 and 3-2, this afternoon to open the 2014 Little East Conference schedule.

The doubleheader sweep raises the Corsairs overall record to 6-10 and 2-0 in the conference circuit, while the Beacons slipped to 5-12 and 0-4.

Freshman Ally Santerre (Swansea, Mass./Joseph Case) went a combined 4-for-6 with three runs scored as UMass Dartmouth combined for 15 total hits.  Classmate Alea Martinelli (Everett, Mass.) was 2-for-3 from the plate with double and four runs driven in. 

In the pitching circle, sophomore Shannon Orton (Swansea, Mass./Joseph Case) recorded a pair of victories for the Corsairs.  She limited UMass Boston to a total of nine hits and two earned runs over the course of 12 innings of work. 

UMass Dartmouth 8  UMass Boston 0 -- 5 innings

UMass Dartmouth jumped out to an early 2-0 advantage with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first.  Santerre led off with an infield single and moved to second on a ground out.  Freshman Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) looped a single into centerfield and classmate Chelsea Correia (Bridgewater, Mass./Bridgewater-Raynham) followed suit with an RBI single.  With two outs, Martinelli delivered a run-scoring single to cap the first inning scoring.

The Corsairs broke the game wide open in the second frame, when the hosts batted around and produced six runs.  UMass Dartmouth capitalized on a bases loaded opportunity with one out, recording three consecutive RBI singles.  Martinelli provided the key hit for the hosts, clearing the bases with a three-run double into the left centerfield gap to stake the Corsairs to an 8-0 advantage.

Orton was in complete control in the pitching circle, limiting the Beacons to just three singles.  She retired the final eight batters she faced to seal the victory.   

UMass Dartmouth 3  UMass Boston 2

UMass Dartmouth broke a scoreless tie in the third inning, when Santerre led off with a bunt single to first base and Correia drew a two-out walk.  Senior Emily Pontes (Tewksbury, Mass./Essex Agricultural and Technical) laced a bases-clearing double to the base of the centerfield wall to give the hosts a lead they would not relinquish.

Sophomore Kayla Kirby (Westport, Mass.) provided the Corsairs with an insurance run in the fourth inning, when she recorded her first home run of the season over the left field fence.

UMass Boston was finally able to solve Orton in the sixth inning.  Junior Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) opened the frame with a leadoff double to break up a string of five retired batters in a row by Orton.  Freshman Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) also stroked a double to centerfield, but Bove was only able to advance to second.  With two outs, junior Kelsey Svenson (Oxford, Conn.) hit a soft liner that appeared to be caught by the UMD second baseman that allowed Bove and Raczkowski to score, cutting the Beacons' deficit to 3-2.      

Orton regained her form in the final inning, setting UMass Boston down in order to earn her second victory of the afternoon and raising her individual record to 4-5. 

Santerre and Pontes accounted for four of UMass Dartmouth's five hits, while Kirby reached safely in two of her three plate appearances with a home run and a walk.

Junior Michelle Zullo (Everett, Mass.) was the tough-luck loser in Game 2, throwing six quality innings.  Zullo surrendered just five hits and two walks, while striking out six batters.

UMass Dartmouth will return to action tomorrow at noon, when the Corsairs host Little East Conference rival University of Southern Maine (7-9, 1-1) in a doubleheader.  The Huskies split their conference doubleheader against Western Connecticut State University.