PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The #5 University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team broke a pitcher's duel in the top of the eighth as freshman Kerry Farrell (New City, N.Y.) belted a stand-up triple to right field to plate the game's only run, lifting the Corsairs to the 1-0 victory against #2 Eastern Connecticut in the Little East Conference opening round.
Score: #5 UMass Dartmouth 1 | #2 Eastern Connecticut 0
Records: Corsairs (24-13, 7-7 LEC) | Warriors (17-21, 10-4 LEC)
How it Happened
Smith and Eastern Connecticut freshman Morgan Bolduk (Vernon, Conn.) battled for the second time this season, as the two tossed seven scoreless frames in the opening round. But, it was Smith's day, as the senior exacted revenge with an eight-inning shutout, surrendering just four hits en route to her 13th win of the year.
UMass Dartmouth had trouble making solid contact off of Bolduk throughout the game, as it managed just five hits in total. Kylie Fletcher (Dighton, Mass.) swatted the first of the game in the top of the first, sailing a liner out of reach of the opposing third baseman before moving to second on the next at-bat. Bolduk settled in from there as she didn't allow a baserunner over the next four innings.
On the other side, Smith scattered hits in the first two innings before retiring five in a row for her longest streak of the game. In the fourth, she found herself in trouble as she walked back-to-back hitters with two outs, only to escape the jam one batter later when she forced a harmless pop out to end the frame. Eastern Connecticut had a chance in the sixth when sophomore Sara Pisanelli (Wallingford, Conn.) got the inning going with a single, moving to second on a sacrifice bunt. But again, Smith buckled down to keep the game locked at zero.
In the top of the eighth, the Blue and Gold made the game-winning push. Emily Colton (Norfolk, Mass.) led off with an infield single to the shortstop, moving even closer on Leah Major's (Fairhaven, Mass.) sacrifice bunt. With one out, Farrell delivered the eventual game-winning knock when she sent it over the head of the right fielder to bring home Colton with the game's lone run.
Inside the Numbers
- The tournament victory marks the second consecutive season the Corsairs got the postseason started with a win against Eastern Connecticut.
- Fletcher collected her 75-total base of the season with her first-inning single. With that number, she is just two bases away from tying the single-season record.
- Smith had her 43rd career complete-game in the victory with seven of those coming during the 2018 campaign.
- Farrell's game-winning hit marked the first collegiate triple for the freshman and the fifth career extra-base knock. She also had her third career multi-hit game in the process.
- With 24 victories on the season, the Corsairs have their second-highest win total since 2008. The most in a single-season came back in 2016 when the team ran off 27 wins.
The Corsairs continue the postseason tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. with the team taking on the winner of #3 Southern Maine versus #4 Western Connecticut.