Softball Shuts Out Curry, Downs Wilmington in Extras to Rise to 6-0

Softball Shuts Out Curry, Downs Wilmington in Extras to Rise to 6-0

NAPLES, Fla. – Senior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) and freshman Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.) both went 4-of-6 at the dish over two games, as UMass Dartmouth pulled out another eight-inning victory following a shutout on Sunday, rising to 6-0 on spring training.

The Basics
Scores: UMass Dartmouth 3, Curry 0 | UMass Dartmouth 7, Wilmington 5 (8 inn.)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (6-0) | Curry (0-2) | Wilmington (0-2)

How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 3, Curry 0
Junior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) collected her first complete-game shutout of the season in game  one, striking out seven while allowing only five hits from the Colonels. She received offensive support from freshman Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.), who drove in two runs on 2-for-3 batting and Spinuzzi's RBI single as part of a 2-for-3 outing.

Curry had its bats early, knocking two quick hits with a walk in the top of the first to load the bases with one out. Smith was able to get out the jam and keep the board clean with a foul-out and a fly ball to left field.

The Corsairs then made the most of their first chance in their at-bat. With two outs, freshman Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, Calif.) singled and Sheerin, the next Corsair batter, dropped a perfectly-placed bunt down the third base line to reach base. Spinuzzi then sent a ball through the left side to plate Evensen's pinch-runner McKenzie Joyce (Marblehead, Mass.).

Smith settled in for the remainder of the game, sitting eight of the next nine batters she faced. In the bottom of the fourth, Sheerin led off with a single and Spinuzzi followed with a double, setting the scene for Polk to send a hit deep enough to plate both teammates.

UMass Dartmouth dug out of a Curry challenge in the fifth, when catcher Gracie Trudeau (Dartmouth, Mass.) caught the Colonel runner diving back to second. In the sixth, Smith struck out the last two batters with a runner on third and forced two straight Colonels to pop-up to close the seventh, preserving the shutout.

Curry pitcher Mikayla Lambert (Blackstone, Mass.) permitted nine hits with all three runs earned, fanning just one. She helped her own cause offensively, as both she and teammate Marissa Bruno (Milford, Conn.) went 2-for-4 at the dish.

UMass Dartmouth 7, Wilmington 5
Evensen pitched to her first career win in clutch fasion, tossing the final three innings to keep the persistent Wilmington bats at bay with the Corsairs tallying two runs in the top of the eighth to persevere over the Quakers.

Junior Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) drove in the game's final run as part of her 3-for-5 performance, while Evensen earned two RBI in a 2-for-5 game. Sheerin and Spinuzzi continued their productivity, both going 2-for-3 with RBIs.

Both teams' bats were quiet until UMass Dartmouth broke through in a big way to start the third. The first three Corsair batters reached base, and Evensen did the honors in her plate appearance, singling to right center to plate Colton and sophomore Maddie O'Gryzek (Norfolk, Mass.). Two batters later, Spinuzzi drove another ball deep for a triple, rounding Joyce, before scoring herself on a Quaker error.

Wilmington responded with two runs on three hits in the bottom of the frame, and tied the score at 4-all in the fourth when Grace Yoder (Springboro, Ohio) doubled to right center with the bases loaded for a pair of RBI.

With the innings winding down, Sheerin bumped UMass Dartmouth back ahead when she sent a sacrifice fly to right field with two outs. Wilmington put two runners in scoring position in the bottom half of the inning, and after Evensen fanned a Quaker for the second out, forced extra innings when KenDahl Bowles (Middletown, Ohio) placed a hit right on the third base line to send Sawyer Hooper (Leesburg, Ohio) home from third.

Smart base-running then sealed the deal for the Corsairs offensively. O'Gryzek beat out the throw with two outs to send placed runner Trudeau to third, who scored on a passed ball in the next at-bat. Colton drove in O'Gryzek for an insurance run with a hard-hit ball to shortshop before the Quakers clinched the final out. In Wilmington's at-bat, Spinuzzi snatched a line drive at second base and Evensen put the exclamation point on the game with a swinging strikeout.

Freshman Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) pitched the first 3.2 innings for UMass Dartmouth before Gabby DeLeon (Hanson, Mass.) came in for an inning of relief, with the duo combining for 11 hits, three earned runs and a strikeout.

Inside the Numbers

  • In her last two decisions, Smith has totaled 15 strikeouts in 15 innings while allowing only three runs on just five hits.
  • Through six games, UMass Dartmouth is hitting a strong .435 with two outs and is advancing runners on over half (.531) of its opportunities.
  • The Corsairs are now just three wins shy of last season's nine-game win streak during spring training; UMass Dartmouth started last season 5-1 through the first three days.

Up Next
Another pair of 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. games are in store for the Corsairs tomorrow when they meet Brockport and Nazareth at North Collier Park.