March 28, 2009
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-Courtney MacFarland outdueled freshman right-hander Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS) in the opener and Ali Keith quelled a seventh-inning rally in the nightcap as visiting Plymouth State swept a doubleheader from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team in the 2009 Little East Conference opener for both teams at the UMass Dartmouth Sports Complex Saturday.
The teams were scoreless for three innings in the opener. The Panthers broke out on top on Eldridge's wild pitch in the fourth inning, added a run in the fifth on a run-scoring double by designated hitter Sammi Romano, and scored in the sixth when right fielder Jen Skilton walked with the bases loaded. The Corsairs scored in the last of the sixth on an error by PSU catcher Kortney Nedeau, but PSU scored another run in the seventh on center fielder Heather Bartolo's run-scoring double. MacFarland limited UMass Dartmouth to four hits and earned the victory, improving to 4-2. Eldridge also went all the way and took the loss, falling to 2-3. In the nightcap, designated hitter Andrea Pydynkowski hit a two-run homer in the second inning as the Panthers took an early 3-0 lead. Left fielder Leanne Barry singled in a run in the fourth, and a wild pitch allowed PSU to take a 5-0 lead into the last of the sixth.
The Corsairs rallied, getting doubles from sophomore center fielder Jessica Falzone (Revere, MA/Revere HS), Eldridge, and freshman catcher Hannah Rounds (Lincoln, RI/Lincoln HS) for two runs. Pydynkowski singled in a run in the seventh to make it 6-2 before UMass Dartmouth threatened in the last of the seventh.
Sophomore Cassie Mota (Fall River, MA/Durfee HS) and freshman Rachel Fonseca (New Bedford, MA/Greater New Bedford Vo Tech HS) led off with pinch-hit singles before Keith replaced starting pitcher Jenna George. Falzone walked to load the bases. But Keith got freshman designated hitter Michelle Conway (Burrillville, RI/Burrillville HS) to bounce into a fielder's choice, senior shortstop Vicki Andruszkiewicz (Danvers, MA/Danvers HS) lined to third, and Eldridge grounded out. George got the win and improved to 4-1 and Keith earned her first save of the year, while Corsair sophomore starter Ashley Puls (West Springfield, MA/West Springfield HS) took the loss and fell to 0-3.
"We just didn't have enough offense," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Kelly Roy. "We played well in both games. We didn't take advantage of all of our chances, especially in the seventh inning of the second game. Brittany pitched pretty well, and Vicki made three diving plays at shortstop. We did some nice things on defense. We just have to put it all together."
UMass Dartmouth is now 3-9 and 0-2 in the Little East Conference, while Plymouth State is now 9-3 and 2-0 in the LEC. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Roger Williams Thursday, while the Panthers will visit Fitchburg State Tuesday. UMASS DARTMOUTH SOFTBALL