DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team entered the day 4-0 in the Little East Conference (LEC), and the second-longest winning streak in program history, but the visiting Plymouth Panthers rose to the occasion, dethroning the Corsairs in a two-game sweep to take possession of the top spot in the conference.
Scores: UMass Dartmouth 0, Plymouth State 2 (Game One) | UMass Dartmouth 2, Plymouth State 5 (Game Two)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (19-7, 4-2 LEC) | Plymouth State (16-10, 5-1 LEC)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 0, Plymouth State 2
UMass Dartmouth was unable to solve the Plymouth State right-hander, as Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) stymied the Corsairs bats, allowing just four hits in a complete-game shutout to snap the 12-game winning streak. Corsair freshman Kylie Fletcher (Dighton, Mass.) was responsible for half of her team's hits, picking up her sixth multi-hit game in her last eight appearances.
The Panthers pushed across the only two runs in the game during their first plate appearances of the game. A slow start defensively proved to be the undoing for the Corsairs, as a pair of misplayed balls resulted in the 2-0 deficit. With one run already across, Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) picked up the only RBI of the game as she placed a double on the warning track in center field to bring home Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.).
With the lead in her possession, Miller kept the Corsair hitters off-balance with a good mix of pitches, retiring five consecutive to start before Fletcher broke up the streak with a two-strike single up the middle. Miller set down the next five batters before allowing her second runner of the ball game when she plunked Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) before leaving her in scoring position.
After leaving another runner in scoring possession in the top of the fifth, the Corsairs had their best offensive inning in the sixth as a pair of baserunners reached safely, but had been the story through the game, neither advanced past second base. In the home-half of the seventh, Miller worked around a pair of walks and the second knock of the game by Fletcher to conceal the 2-0 complete game shutout.
UMass Dartmouth 2, Plymouth State 5
The game one theme remained in the backend of the doubleheader as Plymouth State's starter turned in a notable effort to dispatch the Corsairs. Outfielders Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.) and Fletcher carried over their success at the plate from the first contest, both notching a pair of knocks to pace the team.
In the circle, Panther's righty Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) moved to 5-0 on the season with six innings of work while allowing just a pair of runs. For UMass Dartmouth, freshman Jill Richards (Kingston, Mass.) toed the rubber in her collegiate appearance for a 4.2 inning-effort.
Plymouth State's offense got it going in the early innings, striking for a run in back-to-back frames. In the top of the second, Kayla Nester's (Fairfax, Vt.) two-out single into centerfield put the Panthers up, before Deyo's duplicate hit extended the lead by one.
After Richards sat down the order one-two-three in the top of the fourth, the Corsairs leveled the score, using timely hitting to get the offense involved. With two outs in the inning, Sheerin made use of a defensive miscue from the Panthers before Richards helped her own cause, rocketing a double off of the outfield fence. As the next batter, Fletcher remained locked in, bringing home her teammate with a single landing just before the centerfielder.
The blank slate lasted just two outs because Plymouth State had a response in the top of the fifth, nabbing a 4-2 lead with Deyo's solo shot highlighting the inning. In the seventh, the visitors added the final run, as Miller made her second appearance of the day, scattering a pair of hits from the Corsairs in their final chances before closing the book.
Inside the Numbers
- With the loss in game one, the Corsairs had their 11-game winning streak snapped which began on March 17. That streak marks the second-longest in program-history behind the 1990 team which had a string of 14 consecutive victories.
- After being called upon in relief twice during the day, sophomore Annika Evensen (Lake Forrest, Calif.) was able to set a new career-longest streak with 11.1 innings.
- With two base knocks in each contest, Fletcher extended her hitting streak to a career-best five games. In the past ten contests, she has a .483 batting average including six multi-hit performances.
- With five stolen bases and no runners caught on the day, the Corsairs have swiped 43 bags while being thrown out on just eight occasions (84.3%). In game one, the team had its 11 contest with multiple stolen bases.
UMass Dartmouth will pair up with Rhode Island College for a road LEC doubleheader on April 17 starting at 4:30 p.m. Plymouth State will also return to conference play in its next action as the Panthers travel to Keene State on the same day.