CLERMONT, Fla. – The offense of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team came alive on day two of its annual Florida trip with a combined 22-hit, 14-run effort lifting the Corsairs to two more victories on the young season as it downed Smith in an 8-7 battle before cruising to a 6-0 decision versus Becker in the nightcap.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 8, Smith 7 (Game One) | UMass Dartmouth 6, Becker 0 (Game Two)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (0-0), Smith (1-2), Becker (0-2)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 8 Smith 7
In game one, the Corsairs were paced by junior Maddie O' Gryzek (Norfolk, Mass.) who led the offense with her first collegiate 4-for-4 performance at the dish while also scoring three runs. Freshman Leah Major (Fairhaven, Mass.) turned in a career-high three RBI effort and classmate Kylie Fletcher (Dighton, Mass.) posted her first career multi-hit game with a 3-for-4 display at the plate.
In the circle, sophomore Kate McDonald (Scituate, Mass.) earned her first collegiate victory with 4.0 innings of relief work, allowing just one run on a solo homer to silence the Smith bats.
UMass Dartmouth's offense was clicking from the first batter of the day as O'Gryzek singled into right field to lead off the game, moving into scoring position in the next at-bat when she swiped second base. With two down, Fletcher laced a single into right field to pick up her third RBI of the young season.
The offensive momentum continued in the next inning as the team increased the lead with three more runs. O' Gryzek got it started again, driving in her first of the season when her single through the middle of the infield allowed sophomore Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, Mass.) to trot in from third base. One batter later with runners on second and third, Major delivered a two-RBI single into left field to bring around O' Gryzek and Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) to make the score 4-0.
Smith fought back in the bottom half of the third with a quartet of extra-base hits allowing them to level it at four apiece. Rowan Turner (Kansas City, Ks.) got it going with a leadoff double before Emma Kraus (Wakefield, Mass.) duplicated the knock with one of her own to bring around Turner with the Pioneers first run. After a sacrifice fly cut the gap in half, Smith used back-to-back doubles off the bats of Tyler Feeney (Merrimac, Mass.) and Elodie Townsend (Mill Valley, Calif.) to erase the deficit completely.
UMass Dartmouth regained the advantage in the next half inning with their highest-scoring frame of the game, getting the four-run inning going with the use of small ball. It started with a single from Polk who was lifted for a pinch-runner in Mackenzie Joyce (Marblehead, Mass.) before moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. One batter later, Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.) ripped an RBI single up the middle for the 5-4 lead before coming around to score on a passed ball. Fletcher capped off the frame when she pieced an RBI double into centerfield to plate Emily Colton (Silver Lake, Mass.), giving the Corsairs the eight runs needed to capture the game won victory.
UMass Dartmouth 6, Becker 0
O' Gryzek and Colton combined for five hits in the nightcap, but it was Pereira's inaugural round-tripper of the season, and second of her career, that punctuated the Corsairs effort in game two. On the rubber, senior right-hander Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) recorded her second victory in as many days when she shutout Becker through six innings of work, striking out eight batters and surrendering just two hits from the opposition.
UMass Dartmouth struck for its first run in the bottom of the third when Colton drove in her first RBI of the young season, singling up the middle to plate O' Gryzek who led off the frame with a triple to left field. In the fifth, Major worked a ten-pitch at bat with two down in the inning, concluding the battle when she singled to the right side of the infield to bring home the Corsairs second run of the game.
One inning later the bats were still surging as Pereira jumped all over a 1-0 pitch, lifting it well over the fence in left field to round the bases with the solo shot. That hit sparked a flurry of base knocks for the Corsairs as two batters later sophomore Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.) laced a double into the gap in right-center field, coming around to score later on O' Gryzek's RBI single. Major added to the lead, later on, bringing McSweeney in from second base when she dropped a single into centerfield before O' Gryzek scored in unearned fashion to give the Corsairs their final run of the game.
Sophomore Annika Evenson (Lake Forrest, Calif.) came in for relief for the second time of the day in the last inning, tossing a spotless one-two-three frame while striking out a pair of Becker batters to secure the 6-0 victory.
Inside the Numbers
- The 4-0 start to the season marks the second-consecutive year the Corsairs were victorious in their opening four contests. Last season, the team strung together six-straight wins before taking their first loss.
- O' Gryzek finished the day 7-for-8 recording her 16th and 17th multi-hit games with the Corsairs. The day also marked the most hits in a doubleheader for the outfielder.
- A day after earning her first save with the Corsairs, McDonald recorded her first collegiate victory in the circle, tossing 4.0 strong innings for her longest career appearance.
- Smith extended her consecutive scoreless innings streak to 13, giving her the longest such streak in her career.
- UMass Dartmouth outhit its opponents 22-14 in their doubleheader sweep.
The Corsairs are back in action tomorrow with a doubleheader versus the University of New England and Lake Forrest at 11:30 A.M. and 2:00 pm respectively at Legends Way in Clermont, Fla.