March 24, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Freshman right-hander Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) pitched a five-hitter in the opener and hit two home runs in the nightcap to lead the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team to a sweep over visiting Fitchburg State in their 2009 home opener at the UMass Dartmouth Sports Complex Tuesday. The Corsairs defeated the Falcons in the opener, 7-2, and won the second game, 11-7.
Eldridge allowed five hits, walked none and struck out seven in the opener, improving her record to 2-2. Freshman first baseman Kaitlin Hogan (Tewksbury, MA/Shawsheen HS), who singled and scored in the first inning on a double by sophomore center fielder Jessica Falzone (Revere, MA/Revere HS), doubled with the bases loaded to drive in three runs in the bottom of the third inning and then scored on a double by junior left fielder Katy Williams (Charlemont, MA/ Mohawk Trail Regional HS) as the Corsairs broke the game open with four runs. Allison Cousins took the loss for FSC, falling to 1-5.
In the nightcap, UMass Dartmouth took a 6-0 lead, watched Fitchburg State cut the lead to 6-5 with five runs in the fifth inning, then scored four times in the bottom of the fifth to seize a 10-5 advantage. Freshman catcher Hannah Rounds (Lincoln, RI/Lincoln HS) doubled home a run and junior third baseman Emily Surprenant (Attleboro, MA/Attleboro HS) singled to drive in a run in the first, Rounds knocked in another run with a second-inning single, and Eldridge hit a two-run homer in the third. Third baseman Ashley McKinnon singled home a run and shortstop Leigh Trzcinski doubled home two more in FSC's five-run fifth inning, but Eldridge hit another two-run homer and sophomore pinch-hitter Michelle Conway (Burrillville, RI/Burrillville HS) singled home two runs in the fifth to allow UMass Dartmouth to take a five-run lead. Senior right-hander Amie Nickerson (Wrentham, MA/King Phillip Regional HS) earned the victory and improved to 1-3, while Bethany Stone took the loss and fell to 2-4.
"We finally put a complete game together," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Kelly Roy-Sale. "In the past, we've always had a bad inning, and we couldn't come back. We played well defensively in the first game, and hit the ball. In the second game, we had the one inning that we dreaded, and we came back and didn't let it get us down. We used three pitchers and were able to make changes and still keep the game under control."
UMass Dartmouth improved to 3-7 with the sweep, while Fitchburg State dropped to 3-9. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Plymouth State Saturday in their 2009 Little East Conference opener. The Falcons will visit Roger Williams Thursday. UMASS DARTMOUTH SOFTBALL