Softball Stays Unbeaten with Extra-Innings, Pristine Defense

Softball Stays Unbeaten with Extra-Innings, Pristine Defense

NAPLES, Fla. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth rose to 4-0 on the season in day two of spring training on Saturday, escaping with a 4-3 extra-inning victory over Nichols before cruising past Edgewood College 9-1 in the afternoon at North Collier Regional Park.

The Basics
Score: UMass Dartmouth 4, Nichols 3 (8 inn.) | UMass Dartmouth 9, Edgewood 1
Records: UMass Dartmouth (4-0) | Nichols (2-1) | Edgewood (0-8)

How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 4, Nichols 3

Freshman Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, Calif.) sent a single to right center in the top of the eighth, plating two Corsair runners, and junior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) prevailed through the final half inning to give UMass Dartmouth its first extra-innings victory on the season in game one. 

Evensen totaled a game-high three RBI on a 1-of-3 performance, and Smith tossed a gem, rising to 2-0 while allowing just two Bison hits and one earned run with eight strikeouts. 

Freshman Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.) and senior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) both dropped two hits in four at-bats, and freshman Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) laced a double for her first collegiate hit. 

In the top of the third, sophomore Maddie O'Gryzek (Norfolk, Mass.) connected for the game's first hit with a bunt down the third-base line and sped to third on a Nichols throwing error. The next batter, junior Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.), singled through the left side to send in O'Gryzek. With Colton on third and McSweeney on first two batters later, Evensen made the score 2-0 in favor of the Corsairs with a deep sacrifice fly to right field. 

Nichols threatened in the fifth with their first run, when Courtney Manarky (Amston, Conn.) scored on an errant Corsair throw, but it wasn't until the bottom of the seventh that the Bison would draw even. With a runner on third, Meghan Sears (Tewksbury, Mass.) drove a ball through the right side to force extra innings. 

The Corsairs went to work immediately in the eighth, with McSweeney singling to advance Colton to third before stealing second.  Evensen then fouled off several balls before slicing a clean hit deep enough to score both runners and give UMass Dartmouth a 4-2 lead. In the bottom of the frame, the Bison gained one back on a sacrifice fly by Christina Drake (Lebanon, N.H.), but Smith forced a pop-up with a runner on third to escape.

For Nichols, Alexis Ferris (Holyoke, Mass.) dropped to 1-1 on the season in the full eight with eight hits, three earned runs and seven K's. 

UMass Dartmouth 9, Edgewood 1
The Corsairs combined for 13 hits in game two, led by freshman Lexi Pereira's (Middleboro, Mass.) 3-for-5 performance offensively and an errorless defensive effort to stay perfect with a 9-1 win over Edgewood College later in the morning. 

In her first career start, Pereira knocked in an RBI and scored a run, with Spinuzzi driving in a game-high three runs while going 2-for-3 at the plate. Freshman Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) and Evensen combined in the circle to allow just six hits and one earned run, fanning six. 

Spinuzzi put UMass Dartmouth on the board with two outs in the first with a single up the middle, plating Evensen and Colton. Following a quiet second and third innings for both teams, the Corsairs tacked on two more runs in the fourth with RBI doubles by Colton and senior Gracie Trudeau (Dartmouth, Mass.). 

The lead then more than doubled during the Corsairs' at-bats in the sixth and seventh, with the Eagles walking in a run to start the sixth and Pereira striking a hard shot down the first base line to score O'Gryzek from third. In the final inning, McSweeney tripled to round Colton and Hannah Sullivan (Shrewsbury, Mass.) before scoring herself on an Evensen single in the next at-bat. 

Edgewood tallied their lone run in its final at-bat, when Alyssa Hickey (Friendship, Wis.) knocked an RBI single to left field. 

Woodward earned the decision with the start, permitting just three hits and zero runs. Evensen pitched the final two innings with one earned run on three hits, sitting four. 

Inside the Numbers

  • Through four games, Spinuzzi paces the Corsairs with seven hits, while Evensen has driven in five runs with just four hits.
  • Against Edgewood, UMass Dartmouth put out 21 runners on 28 attempts and didn't register a single error. The last time the Corsairs went errorless in a game was last season's 6-5 win over UMass Boston in the opening game of the LEC Tournament.
  • As a team, UMass Dartmouth is batting .345 with a .430 on-base percentage, with Smith, Woodward and Evensen combining for a 1.45 ERA.

Up Next
UMass Dartmouth is once again at North Collier Regional Park on Sunday, facing off with Curry College at 11 a.m. and Wilmington at 1 p.m.