CLERMONT, Fla. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team split the Tuesday doubleheader in Clermont, Fla., posting 12 base hits in the 8-3 opening victory against MCLA before falling to Suffolk in game two by the 3-0 final at Hancock Park.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 8, MCLA 3 (Game One) | UMass Dartmouth 0, Suffolk 3 (Game Two)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (5-3), MCLA (0-1), Suffolk (3-2)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 8, MCLA 3
Sophomore Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) recorded her second win in the circle, shutting down the MCLA offense through five innings of work with seven strikeouts. Annika Evensen (Lake Forrest, Calif.) paced the offense in the designated-hitter spot, swatting her first three hits of the season. Maddie O'Gryzek (Norfolk, Mass.) and Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) each added two-hit games with a double apiece.
The Corsairs struck for a run in each of the opening two innings as O'Gryzek scored the first of the game in unearned fashion before driving in Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) during the second frame with an RBI single. UMass Dartmouth tacked on two more in the third when Evensen picked up her first ribbie of the season on her single to right, scoring during the next hitter when Polk laced a double over the head of the center fielder.
The scoring continued for the Corsairs offense in the fourth and fifth innings, starting in the former when Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.) led the frame with a walk, coming all the way around the bases one batter later on O'Gryzek's double into left field. In the fifth, Kerry Farrell (New City, N.Y.) entered as a pinch-hitter, making good use of her appearance when she drove in McKenzie Joyce (Marblehead, Mass.) with a two-out single, giving the Corsairs a 6-0 advantage.
After the Trailblazers broke the scoreless streak in the sixth, the Corsairs got back to work, plating a pair in the bottom half of the inning on a fielder's choice and defensive error. MCLA showed resiliency, striking for a pair of runs in the seventh on three consecutive hits, highlighted by an RBI triple from Kaitlyn Berghela (Watervilet, N.Y.) before the junior came around to score the game's final run.
UMass Dartmouth 0, Suffolk 3
In game two, the Corsairs were stymied by Payton Sylvester (Worcester, Mass.) as the senior outdueled Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) in the circle during a complete-game shutout effort. Sophomore Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.) supplied half of UMass Dartmouth's four hits in the game, reaching base twice on singles while Kylie Fletcher (Dighton, Mass.) and Polk picked up the other two knocks offensively.
UMass Dartmouth had opportunities to take charge in the game but was unable to cash in. After going down in order to start the game, the Corsairs loaded the bases with just one out following a single, walk, and error on the defense. The threat quickly came to an end as Suffolk cut down the lead runner at the plate following a grounder to third, and escaped it on a harmless pop fly in the infield. In the fourth, Fletcher reached on an infield single before moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt. But the Rams again held the Corsairs scoreless, this time with a precise throw from the center fielder nailing the out at the plate to conclude the frame.
The momentum from the play spilled over to the offensive side for Suffolk as it used three doubles in the bottom of the inning to gain the advantage. With two outs, Devlin Frost (Tewksbury, Mass.) delivered the game-changing hit when she plated a pair of runners, finding the gap in right-center for a double. One batter later, Frost came around for the final run of the game as Kelley Keene (Hamilton, N.J.) reproduced her teammates knock with a two-bagger to center field.
Sylvester cruised once she had the lead, setting down nine straight Corsairs to end the frame, making the final outs of the sixth and seventh innings on mirrored plays as she fielded a liner up the middle before throwing over to first to double up the runner.
Inside the Numbers
- Woodward's six-inning performance in game one marked the second longest of her career, going the distance in six contests last season. But her seven strikeouts set a new career-high, topping the previous one of three which she attained in both of her previous starts this year.
- Evensen set a new career-mark at the dish in the first contest of the day, surpassing her previous high for hits in a game of two which she reached five times last year.
- With her third complete-game of the year, Smith has no thrown 5+ innings in eight consecutive starts.
- Sheerin penciled two-hits into the ledger for the 13th multi-hit game and the first of this year.
- The Corsairs offense have now had two games of 12 or more base hits after reaching that amount six times in 2016-17.
The Corsairs have an off-day Wednesday, returning to action March 15th when they take on a pair of top-15 teams in #7 Amherst and #14 Stockton at 9 am and 2 pm respectively.