Softball, Johnson & Wales Split in Friday Evening Doubleheader

Softball, Johnson & Wales Split in Friday Evening Doubleheader

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) belted a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to hand the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth a 4-2 win in game one, but Johnson & Wales' bats came alive to secure a 7-4 score in the second contest on Friday evening.

The Basics
Scores: UMass Dartmouth 4, Johnson & Wales 2 | Johnson & Wales 7, UMass Dartmouth 4
Records: UMass Dartmouth (9-5) | Johnson & Wales (7-4)

How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 4, Johnson & Wales 2
Spinuzzi blasted the Corsairs' first home run of the season in prime fashion, plating two runs to lift UMass Dartmouth over the Wildcats in the ninth inning.

In the circle, freshman Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, Calif.) rose to 2-0 after tossing the final three innings, permitting just two hits and no Wildcat runs while fanning five. Evensen relieved starter Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) after the junior captain scattered four hits for two earned runs and five strikeouts.

Freshman Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.) put UMass Dartmouth on the board in the first, scoring on a passed ball after lacing a lead-off triple to start the game. Smith and JWU starter Jennifer Corona (Middle Island, N.Y.) traded hitless streaks in the second before Meghan Gavin's (Wallingford, Conn.) sacrifice bunt plated Alex Fantasia (Framingham, Mass.).

In the fourth, back-to-back doubles by junior Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) and freshman Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.) rounded Colton to bump the visitors back ahead one, but Brenna DuPerry (Cranston, R.I.) launched a solo shot to right center in the fifth to bring the score back even.

Johnson & Wales advanced a runner on third in the sixth, but Smith held off the run with a swinging strikeout to end the frame. Both squads were able to reach third in the eighth thanks to the placed runner on second, but it took Spinuzzi's homer in the top of the ninth to finally break the tie. Evensen then fanned three Wildcats for the final outs of the contest.

DuPerry was 3-for-4 in the leadoff slot for JWU, while six Corsairs recorded hits on the nine frames.

Johnson & Wales 7, UMass Dartmouth 4
The Wildcats jumped out to a four-run lead through the first three frames before Corona picked up the save with three strikeouts in the final two innings.

Evensen was again the pitcher of decision in game two, taking her first loss of the season in 3.1 innings with three earned runs and a pair of Ks. For Johnson & Wales, Emily Gorecki (Bremerton, Wash.) drove in four runs on a 2-for-3 outing including a three-run homer.

JWU tallied a lone run off Gorecki's RBI double in the first, and loaded the bases against UMass Dartmouth pitcher Gabby DeLeon (Hanson, Mass.) in the third. A single, wild pitch and error put the Wildcat lead at 4-0 before Evensen got out of the inning.

In their next turn at the dish, the Corsairs cut the lead in half with a pair of hits. With Sheerin on second, freshman Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) singled up the middle for the RBI and made her way around the bases when Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, Mass.) connected for her own single in the next at-bat.

The rally was short-lived, as Johnson & Wales tacked on three more in the bottom of the inning on Gorecki's three-run bomb over the centerfield fence. The Corsairs jumped back within striking distance with quick base-running by freshman McKenzie Joyce (Marblehead, Mass.) and McSweeney, but Corona silenced the bats in the sixth and seventh.

Freshman Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) earned the start for UMass Dartmouth in game two, permitting one earned run in just one inning. On the other side, Nicole Weiss (Hartland, Wis.) gathered the win by yielding just five Corsair hits in five innings of work, despite all four runs earned. 

Up Next
UMass Dartmouth is back on the road for another doubleheader tomorrow, traveling to Framingham State for a 1:30 p.m. start.