Panthers finish off disappointing weekend with setbacks
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth softball team picked up its first career sweep of Little East Conference foe Plymouth State University on Sunday, as sophomore Emily Colton (Kingston, Mass.) went 3-for-4 at the dish with her first collegiate home run to lead the Corsairs to 10-2 and 3-2 wins.
UMass Dartmouth improves to 17-6 overall and 3-1 in the Little East, while PSU drops to 7-13 and 0-4. UMD is having its best season in years after finishing 8-20 last year and 11-21 the year before.
UMass Dartmouth 10, Plymouth State 2 – 6 innings
UMass Dartmouth pounded away for 12 total hits to Plymouth State's four in game one, dropping five in the third including Colton's home run to build a lasting lead and close the contest in six innings.
Colton was a perfect 2-for-2 with three RBI in the leadoff spot, while classmate Rebecca Field (Brentwood, N.H.) laced a 3-for-3 performance to bat in one run. Junior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) drove in two runs and scored twice, and an additional four Corsairs posted one RBI each.
Sophomore pitcher Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) picked up her 10th win of the season in the circle, the first LEC pitcher to reach the number this season, going the full six to allow just four hits and two earned runs while striking out five.
After junior Adi Alicea-Cordero (Dorchester, Mass.) reached on an error by the Panther third baseman, Colton came up for her second at-bat. She launched a deep ball over the left-center fence to begin the scoring in the third. Freshmen Maddie O'Gryzek (Norfolk, Mass.) and Jill Miller (Freetown, Mass.) each singled, and both would score on a Spinuzzi double to left center. In the next at-bat, junior Gracie Trudeau (Dartmouth, Mass.) knocked a ball to the same location to plate Spinuzzi before Plymouth State ended the frame.
The Panthers gained a run on a bases-loaded walk by sophomore Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) in the fourth, but UMass Dartmouth increased the lead back to five in its turn when Plymouth State committed a bases-loaded error. In the bottom of the fifth, Field singled through the right side with Spinuzzi and senior Rachel Carey (Holbrook, Mass.) on base, driving in the former, and Colton scored Carey to up the advantage to 8-1.
Murray recorded her second RBI of the game in the top of the sixth on a single, but freshman Briana Flaherty (Franklin, Mass.) put down an RBI ground-out with the bases loaded and Carey secured a sacrifice fly to tack on the two needed Corsair runs to end the game early.
Murray went 2-for-2 with both RBI for Plymouth State on the game. Pitcher Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) took the loss in the circle, scattering eight hits and six runs, all earned, with two strikeouts in four innings.
UMass Dartmouth 3, Plymouth State 2
Senior Shannon Orton (Swansea, Mass.) connected for a sacrifice fly with two runners on base in the fifth, sending home what would be the winning run while tossing all seven innings in the circle to secure the sweep in game two.
The Corsairs recorded just three hits in the game to Plymouth State's seven, but Orton allowed just two runs, one earned, striking out seven and walking just one to keep the Panthers at bay. Flaherty batted in the other two runs on a double for her lone hit of the game.
UMass Dartmouth's hot bats from the first contest carried over in the beginning, as Flaherty took advantage of two runners who reached on walks and a Miller single. She dropped a well-hit ball near the left field line, giving Miller and Colton enough room to score from second and third, respectively.
Both pitchers pushed through the next two innings, allowing just two total baserunners until the Panthers struck back in the fourth. Junior Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) singled to right field, reaching second in the next at-bat on a Corsair error. Both she and Julia Royer (Pawcatuck, Conn.) advanced another base before Callia Abbott (Atco, N.J.) knocked a ball into space and tied the game at two.
Orton helped herself in the fifth, taking advantage of the bases-loaded opportunity by sending a ball into deep center on a sacrifice fly. The ball had enough distance to plate O'Gryzek from third.
The Panthers earned chances in both the sixth and seventh innings, peppering three total hits, but Orton got a huge looking strikeout to end the sixth. Alicea-Cordero then snagged a line-drive rocket out of the air with a runner on third in the seventh, closing the game.
Abbott recorded the only Panther RBI while pitching, fanning four as all three runs were earned in six innings of work. Junior Rachel Morrissey (Salem, N.H.) posted a 2-for-3 outing as the only Panther with multiple hits.
UMass Dartmouth is back on the road Wednesday, making the short trip to Bridgewater State for a doubleheader beginning at 3:30 p.m. The Panthers will also host a MASCAC opponent in Fitchburg State on Thursday, with the first game scheduled for 3 p.m.
(Courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)
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