BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The visiting UMass Boston softball team outlasted Bridgewater State University, 14-12 in eight innings, in game one of a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon at Alumni Park. Game two of the twinbill was called due to darkness in the fourth inning and is not an official game.
The Beacons improve to 9-8 on the season with the win, while the host Bears fall to 3-12.
The two teams combined for 26 runs and 32 hits in the extra inning affair which took three hours to play.
Junior Giovanna Bonilla (Queens, N.Y.) went 4-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and three RBI to pace the Beacons' 15-hit attack, while classmate Ari Bilotta (Leominster, Mass.) was 3-for-5 at the plate with a double and five runs batted in. Fellow junior Kiera Prusmack (Houston, Texas) also finished with three hits for UMass as she went 3-for-4 and scored three runs. Freshman Jayla Blackmon (Cambridge, Mass.) reached safely four times in five plate appearances as she singled, twice, walked, was hit by a pitch and scored three runs.
Freshman Megan Sharon (East Longmeadow, Mass.) went 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple, two walks, two runs scored and five RBI to highlight the BSU offense. The Bears banged out 17 hits in the contest.
Junior Samantha Mulcahy (Taunton, Mass.), senior Jenny Heller (Taunton, Mass.), and sophomore Alexandra Ruprecht (Kingston, Mass.) finished with three hits apiece for Bridgewater State. Mulcahy reached safely four times as she went 3-for-5 with a double, a walk and three runs scored, while Heller was 3-for-5 with a run and an RBI. Ruprecht also reached four times as she went 3-for-4 with a home run, a walk, two runs and an RBI.
Sharon belted a two-run blast over the left field fence in the bottom of the first inning to stake the Bears to an early 2-0 lead. The home run marked the first of Sharon's collegiate career.
The Beacons answered with three unearned runs in the top of the second as they took advantage of a BSU error. Blackmon delivered a two-run single in the frame while Bilotta added an RBI base hit.
The Bears' offense exploded for six runs in the home half of the third to take an 8-3 lead with the key hit being a bases clearing, three-run triple by Sharon. Junior Meghan Navarro (Taunton, Mass.) and seniors Courtney Gouveia (Taunton, Mass.) and Rebecca Uschmann (Feeding Hills, Mass.) added RBI singles in the inning.
UMass pushed across three runs in the fourth on RBI singles from Blackmon, Bonilla and senior Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) to cut the deficit to 8-6. Ruprecht answered for the Bears with a solo shot over the left field fence to make it a 9-6 game. The home run marked Ruprecht's first of the season and third of her career.
A two-run double by Bilotta in the fifth and sacrifice fly off the bat of sophomore Cassidy Gaeta (North Reading, Mass.) in the sixth knotted the score at 9-9. The Beacons then scored three time in the top of the seventh on Bonilla's two-run double and an RBI single by Vento to pull ahead 12-9.
The Bears took advantage of a pair of UMass errors in the bottom of the seventh to score three runs and send the game into extra innings. Mulcahy doubled to lead off the frame and advanced to third, one out later, when Uschmann reached on an error. Heller followed with an RBI single scoring Mulcahy from third and sending pinch runner Shannon Grindle (Halifax, Mass.) to second. Ruprecht then lined a base hit into left with both Grindle and Heller coming all the way around to score when the ball got by the outfielder and rolled to the edge of the warning track.
With the tie-breaker rule in effect in the eighth inning, Bilotta came through with a clutch two-out, two-run single to give the Beacons a 14-12 lead. The Bears had runners on second and third with two outs in the home half of the eighth, but UMass junior pitcher Jess Greenspan (Rocky Hill, Conn.) got out of the jam by inducing a fly out to left and a ground out to short to end the game.
Greenspan (7-3) went the distance in the circle for the Beacons as she worked all eight innings. Greenspan allowed 12 runs (ten earned) on 17 hits with five walks and six strikeouts. She threw 164 pitches.
Freshman Kelley Reichert (Milford, Mass.) got the start for the Bears, but did not factor in the decision. Reichert gave up ten runs (seven earned) on 11 hits with three walks and three strikeouts in six-plus innings of work. She threw 125 pitches. Classmate Laura Hatch (Middleboro, Mass.) gave up two runs on three hits in one inning of relief as she came on with a runner on and nobody out in the seventh. Junior Natalie Sorrenti (Bridgewater, Mass.) was the pitcher of record for the Bears despite pitching well in an inning of relief. Sorrenti (3-4) gave up the two unearned runs in the eighth inning on one hit while striking out three.
The Bears left 13 runners on base, while the Beacons stranded nine. UMass stole six bases in the game and had nine two-out RBI.
The Bears open Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) play on Saturday afternoon as they travel to Salem State University for a noontime doubleheader with the Vikings. The Beacons host Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference twinbill on Saturday afternoon starting at one.