KEENE, N.H. – Senior Marissa Spinuzzi's (Fair Lawn, N.J.) three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning capped the second baseman's 4-for-5 outing in the nightcap, keeping the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Little East Conference playoff hopes alive in Saturday's doubleheader split at Keene State.
Scores: Keene State 2, UMass Dartmouth 1 | UMass Dartmouth 8, Keene State 5 (9 inn.)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (19-17, 5-7 LEC) | Keene State (16-18, 7-7 LEC)
How it Happened
Keene State 2, UMass Dartmouth 1
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Keene State senior Kayla Votto (Durham, Conn.) sent a walk-off solo shot to center field, breaking the one-all tie for the Owls.
The home run gave the win to Keene State pitcher Molly St. Germain (Dover, N.H.), whose complete game included seven strikeouts while permitting just five Corsair hits.
St. Germain helped her own efforts with homer in the bottom of the first inning, giving the Owls the early lead. Junior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) quieted the host's bats until the Corsairs gained the run back in the fifth.
Freshman Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, Mass.) led off the frame with a double to right field, and advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt by classmate Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) in the next at-bat. Pereira's pinch-runner, McKenzie Joyce (Marblehead, Mass.), would then score on a wild pitch.
Spinuzzi reached second in the top of the seventh for the Corsairs, but St. Germain sat the next two batters. With a fly-out and a pop-up tallied in the bottom of the seventh, Votto stepped in to steal the game.
Smith went the distance by yielding just five hits, both runs earned.
UMass Dartmouth 8, Keene State 5
Spinuzzi's bat accounted for seven of the Corsairs' eight RBIs as she belted a pair of 3-run home runs in UMass Dartmouth's 14-hit total in game two.
The Corsairs solved St. Germain, who pitched the entirety of the second game with five runs earned and six strikeouts. Freshman Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, Calif.) collected the victory in the final 3.1 innings, holding the Owls to just two hits and none in extra frames.
Junior Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) scored twice as she reached base on a 3-for-5 outing. Polk generated an RBI on 2-for-3 batting at the dish, and Evensen was a perfect 2-for-2 in her plate appearances.
UMass Dartmouth jumped out to a one-run lead in the second with Polk sent home Spinuzzi successfully from third on a single through the right side. Spinuzzi upped her batting to 2-for-2 in the next inning when she launched the first of her homers to extend the lead to 4-0.
A quiet fourth and fifth innings for both teams gave way for Keene State to lace five hits in the top of the sixth. Olivia Indorf (South Portland, Maine), Brooke Arruda (Pawcatuck, Conn.) and JoEllen Racicot (Greenfield, N.H.) all dropped RBI-singles in the hit parade, with Racicot tying the score by plating two runs with two outs. Evensen entered the circle and held on for the final out with a pop-up.
In the seventh, Spinuzzi sent across a fifth run on a single to center field to bump UMass Dartmouth back ahead briefly, but Keene State responded once more with Arruda's second RBI-single in the bottom of the frame.
Evensen sat Keene State in order in the eighth, setting the stage for the Corsairs' ninth. With two outs, freshman Maxine Vincent (Hanson, Mass.) and Colton both reached on singles. Spinuzzi then stepped in for her fourth hit and second long ball of the game. Evensen stranded two runners with a final-out fly-out to keep Keene state at bay.
Inside the Numbers
- Spinuzzi's performance in game two marks her first-career multi-homer game and a career-high for RBIs in a single game. Her previous career-high was four RBIs, driven in last season against Salem State.
- With game two's nine-inning victory, UMass Dartmouth rises to 6-1 in extra-inning games on the season. In three ninth innings this year, the Corsairs have outscored opponents 9-0.
- Additionally, the Corsairs rise to 14-0 on the season when leading after four innings.
- Fourteen hits are the most UMass Dartmouth has registered in LEC play since lacing 15 in the first conference series of the season against Plymouth State on April 8.
- With 5.2 innings and 4 earned runs in game two, freshman pitcher Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) jumps back into the LEC top five with her 2.45 ERA. Smith moves to second in the league at 1.76.
The Corsairs will determine their LEC Tournament fate tomorrow, hosting Southern Maine for the final doubleheader of the season at noon. Spinuzzi and catcher Gracie Trudeau (Dartmouth, Mass.) will be recognized for Senior Day.