NAPLES, Fla. – UMass Dartmouth softball used quality pitching from both senior Shannon Orton (Swansea, Mass.) and sophomore Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) and consistent production from its bats to register another 2-0 day at the Gene Cusic Classic in Naples on Sunday morning.
Corsairs 11, Pitt.-Bradford 3 – 5 innings
Orton tossed all five innings, fanning seven and driving in two RBI at the plate to power the Corsairs to an 11-3 win over the Pittsburgh-Bradford Panthers to open the day.
As a unit, UMass Dartmouth connected on 13 hits including seven in the third inning with six players registering at least one RBI. Senior outfielder Rachel Carey (Holbrook, Mass.) and Orton each went 3-for-4, with Carey blasting a triple and scoring two runs. Freshman Jill Miller (Acushnet, Mass.) and junior Gracie Trudeau (New Bedford, Mass.) each added a pair of hits and combined for three RBI.
The Corsairs registered all of their runs in the first three frames. After Miller reached second on the game's first hit she crossed home off the bat of Orton who singled to right in the next at-bat. Orton and the infield then sat the first three Panther batters to close the first inning.
In the second, sophomore Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) launched a sacrifice fly-out to center field to drive in Trudeau and two other Corsairs scored on throwing errors, upping the lead to 4-0. Pitt.-Bradford's Liz Dzurisin (Parma, Ohio) made her way around the bases in the bottom of the inning, scoring on a sacrifice grounder from Taylor Collins (Macedonia, Ohio) to gain a run back.
UMass Dartmouth turned up the heat offensively to a new level in its next series at bat. Carey led off with her triple and was promptly scored on a double from Trudeau. Three batters later, Field was driven in by Miller after reaching base on a ground-rule double. The next five batters then put hits on the board, as Orton, Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.), Abby Tremblay (New Bedford, Mass.) and Trudeau all generated RBIs before the Panthers were able to get out of the inning.
The Panthers added two more in the bottom of the third, but Orton and the defense allowed only one hit in the last two innings to end the game early.
Six Pitt.-Bradford players registered a hit in the contest, but only Amber Fox (Warren, Pa.) and Summer Andrews (Washington, N.J.) recorded RBI. Dzurisin and Andrews combined in the circle for eight earned runs and no strikeouts.
Corsairs 3, Augsburg 0
Smith pitched the best game of her Corsair career in the second contest, allowing only two hits, walking just one and striking out five in a full seven shutout innings. She was backed up by the bat of Miller, who unloaded for her first career home run in the bottom of the sixth to produce enough offense to hold off Augsburg.
The game was a pitcher's duel in early action, as both Smith and the Auggies' Courtney Larsen (Little Canada, Minn.) producing three-and-outs in the first inning. Augsburg's Amanda Niznik (Columbia Heights, Minn.) and Trudeau scattered hits in the second and third, respectively, before UMass Dartmouth was able to base batters in the fourth.With two outs, the Corsairs received back-to-back doubles to left field from Miller and Orton. Miller scored to give Orton the RBI before the Auggies got out of the inning.
Smith and the defense again sat the first three Augsburg batters in the next two innings, setting the stage for Miller to pound out another power shot in the bottom of the sixth. Colton singled to center field for her only hit of the day, and two batters later Miller stepped in to knock out the first home run of the UMass Dartmouth season and extend the lead.
After Smith walked one and struck out the next Auggie batter in the top of the seventh, Colton turned the 6-3 double play to close the game on a strong note.
Niznik and Haley Larson (Shakopee, Minn.) registered the lone Auggie hits on the game, with Larsen tossing all six innings with six hits and two strikeouts. All three runs were earned.
The Corsairs are back at the Century Link Sports Complex in Fort Myers on Monday for contests against Alfred State and Curry at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively.