CLERMONT, Fla. - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball newcomers carried the load on opening day, as freshmen Kylie Fletcher (Dighton, Mass.), Leah Major (Fairhaven, Mass.), and Kerry Farrell (New City, N.Y.) supplied all five runs to lead the team to a pair of victories over Northwestern (Minn.) and Bates in respective 3-0, 2-0 finals to kick-off the 2018 Spring Games.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 3, Northwestern (Minn.) 0 (Game One) | UMass Dartmouth 2, Bates 0 (Game Two)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (2-0), Northwestern (4-4), Bates (8-2)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 3, Northwestern 0
Sophomore Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) tossed six scoreless innings with three strikeouts to pick up her inaugural victory of the season. In the second inning, she escaped the only jam she found herself in, stranding a runner at third base when she forced a harmless pop-up in the infield. That incident was just one of two throughout the game where the Eagles placed a runner in scoring position.
In the fifth inning, UMass Dartmouth put forth the winning effort as Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, Mass.) led off the frame with a single before being lifted for a pinch-runner in McKenzie Joyce (Marblehead, Mass.). Joyce moved over to third on a grounder to the left-side of the infield before Farrell plated the go-ahead run with a double over the head of the left fielder. Later in the inning with runners in scoring position, Major picked up her first two collegiate RBIs when she singled through the infield to take the 3-0 advantage.
The Corsairs defense stranded a runner in scoring position in the top of the sixth inning and shut the door in the seventh when sophomore righty Kate McDonald (Scituate, Mass.) sealed the victory for her first collegiate save.
UMass Dartmouth 2, Bates 0
In game two, Emily Colton (Kington, Mass.) and Pereira paced the eight-hit performance by the team, picking up two knocks apiece as the Corsairs took the 2-0 final. Senior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) twirled a complete-game shutout, striking out three and allowing just four base hits from Bates.
The offense opened the game stagnantly as Bates sophomore Kirsten Pelletier (Sidney, Me.) sat down six straight Corsairs to open the game. Freshman catcher Kaitlyn Hart (Norton, Mass.) broke the streak in the top of the third when she dropped a bloop single into shallow right field for her first collegiate base hit. The bats of UMass Dartmouth came alive in the fifth inning for the second-consecutive game, as singles from Pereira, Maddie O' Gryzek (Norfolk, Mass.), and Smith loaded the bases before Pelletier escaped the two-out jam without any damage.
In the top of the sixth, the Corsairs struck with the eventual game-winning hit as Colton reached base with a single for the second time in the game, before being brought-in one batter later when Fletcher pieced her first collegiate homer, sailing the ball just inside the foul pole to take the 2-0 lead.
It was all that was needed for Smith as the senior cruised through the sixth with a one-two-three frame, before finishing her complete-game effort in the seventh, stranding the lead-off walk on first base when Paige Ahlholm (North Andover, Mass.) popped out to third for the final out of the contest.
Inside the Numbers
- The two-game result marks the fourth consecutive season the Corsairs finished day one in Florida with a 2-0 record.
- Woodward picked up her ninth career-outing of 5 or more innings while collecting her sixth collegiate victory on the mound in the season-opening contest.
- Smith logged her 37th career-complete game and third career-shutout during her seven-inning outing in game two.
- Colton had her 27th career multi-hit performance during game two, posting 12 such games a season ago.
- The Corsair offense outhit their opponents a combined 14-7 but left six runners aboard in each of their victories in the double-header triumphs.
UMass Dartmouth returns to Hancock Park tomorrow evening when it takes on Smith at 4:30 pm and Becker at 7 pm.