MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) struck out six batters in the complete-game shutout, as the No. 5 seed University of Massachusetts Dartmouth tallied four first-inning runs to down No. 2 seed Eastern Connecticut in the first game of the Little East Conference Tournament Tuesday evening. Both teams advance to Thursday's double-elimination rounds at top-seeded Plymouth State.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 4, Eastern Connecticut 0
Records: UMass Dartmouth (22-17, 7-7 LEC) | Eastern Connecticut (13-24, 8-6 LEC)
How it Happened
Smith did not allow an ECSU runner past second for the entirety of the game, permitting just four hits. Freshman Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) was the lone Corsair to drop multiple hits, and classmate Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, Mass.) drove in a pair of her team's runs.
Warrior freshman Jacky Arndt (Chelmsford, Mass.) got the first two outs in the first two Corsair at-bats before UMass Dartmouth delivered on its first crack. The next two batters, junior Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) and senior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) reached on walks, and Colton would score the first run on an ECSU error off the bat of Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.)
Pereira then stepped in to drive home both Spinuzzi and Sheerin on a well-placed single, and after advancing to second, tacked on the final run of the game with Polk's first hit of the game. Arndt was replaced after Polk's at-bat in favor of freshman Morgan Sanson (Thomaston, Conn.), who finished off the frame.
Over the remainder of play, both teams combined for just five hits, with Samantha Bardos (Norwalk, Conn.) serving as the only Warrior to drop multiple hits on Smith.
Inside the Numbers
- Tuesday's win marks UMass Dartmouth Softball's first victory over a higher seed in the LEC Tournament since the sixth-seeded Corsairs defeated No. 3 seed Keene State in 2006. The Corsairs advanced to that year's semifinal game.
- With the win, Smith earns her fourth shutout decision of the season and second in less than a week. Her strikeout total marks her highest since fanning eight against the Warriors earlier this spring.
- UMass Dartmouth hands Eastern Connecticut its first shutout loss of the season, and extends its win streak over the past four days to four games.
UMass Dartmouth will meet No. 4 seed UMass Boston next on Thursday at Plymouth State, with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. The Warriors face an elimination game against No. 6 Keene State at 10 a.m. on Thursday.