WORCESTER, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team had career firsts as Kerry Farrell (New City, N.Y.) and Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.) each smacked their first collegiate homers as part of a three home run day. After winning game two on Farrell's late round-tripper, WPI mounted its own comeback in the backend to split the non-conference series.
Scores: UMass Dartmouth 3, WPI 2 (Game One) | WPI 7, UMass Dartmouth 6 (Game Two)
Records: Corsairs (21-9, 5-3 LEC) | Engineers (24-8, 13-1 NEWMAC)
How it Happened
UMass Dartmouth 3, WPI 2
Farrell supplied the late-spark as her two-run shot in the top of the sixth paved way for the slim-victory. That homer marked the second hit of the game for Farrell while Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.), Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) and Jill Richards (Kingston, Mass.) all accomplished the feat to round out the offensive.
In the circle, Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) recorded her 10 win and fifth complete game, using 108 pitches to get through seven innings with four strikeouts. On the other side, Kelsey Saucier (Worcester, Mass.) took just her second loss in a five-strikeout complete game effort.
UMass Dartmouth jumped ahead in the top of the first as it executed a sacrifice bunt. After McSweeney sent a single down the left field line and advanced to second on a passed ball, shortstop Leah Major (Fairhaven, Mass.) moved her teammate even closer. One batter later, Colton lifted a ball to the outfield to plate the opening run.
The Engineers threatened offensively each time they were up to start the game, putting runners aboard in the first three innings, and in scoring position in the second and third frames. But in each case, Smith buckled down to escape any chances created by the opponent.
In the fourth, that trend broke as WPI finally struck to tie the game. Cassie Graca (Somerset, Mass.) led off the frame with a triple before being bunted in later on in the inning. The Engineers made it back-to-back innings with runs, taking the lead when Caraline Wood (Averill Park, N.Y.) belted a solo homer.
But facing just a one-run deficit, the Corsairs went to work when Richards got the top of the sixth started with a leadoff double past the left fielder. With one down in the inning, Farrell swatted the eventual game-winning two-run home run for the 3-2 final.
WPI 7, UMass Dartmouth 6
After combining for 15 hits in game one, the two offenses upped the ante in the backend of the doubleheader with 21. UMass Dartmouth continued to show its power as home runs from Colton and Sheerin highlighted the offense while Farrell added two knocks to build upon her earlier success on the day.
Sophomore Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) made her 12th appearance of the season with 3 2/3 innings of work in the no-decision. Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, Calif.) tossed 1 1/3 of relief with a pair of strikeouts.
With the game knotted at three, Colton drilled her second-long ball in the last two days, sending a two-run shot to left field. One batter later, Sheerin added to the lead when she duplicated her teammate for her first collegiate homer.
WPI battled back for a pair in the bottom half of the inning on Wood's two-run single through the middle of the field. In the bottom of the sixth, the Engineers mounted their own come-from-behind result as a costly throwing error with two-outs allowed for the tying and go-ahead runs, splitting the series with the 7-6 final.
Inside the Numbers
- With three home runs on the day, the Corsairs have hit 12 on the season to double their total from a season ago. Five players have shown their power compared to just three in 2016-17.
- With a Sheerin's homer, she has now tied Kylie Fletcher (Dighton, Mass.) for the most extra-base hits on the team with 11 apiece.
- UMass Dartmouth has three in the LEC's top-ten for RBIs with Fletcher (23), Sheerin (20), and Colton (19) leading the team.
- Farrell posted had multiple in both contests, accomplishing the feat for the times in her collegiate career.
- McSweeney stretched her team-leading hitting streak to five games with her two-hit performance in game one.
UMass Dartmouth jumps back into LEC play on Saturday when it travels to UMass Boston for a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m.