BOSTON, Mass.—Salve Regina University earned a pair of tightly-contested comeback victories, to extend UMass Boston softball's losing streak to six in a row Monday afternoon at the UMB Softball Field.
GM1: Salve Regina 7, UMass Boston 5 (8 Innings)
GM2: Salve Regina 10, UMass Boston (5 Innings)
(UMass Boston 18-14)
(Salve Regina 19-15)
HOW IT HAPPENED
Salve Regina scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning in game one, to cap off a comeback win, in which the Seahawks trailed 3-0 after three innings. The second game was an even more difficult loss for the Beacons stomach, as Salve Regina crossed the plate six times in the third to erase an early 6-2 deficit, in a 10-8 five-inning victory.
Lexi Soucie hit a pair of solo home runs and finished 3-for-3 with three runs and three RBI, to lead the Seahawks to a 7-5 eight-inning win.
Elizabeth Lombardo added two hits and two RBI, while Lindsey Florent tacked on two hits, a run scored and an RBI.
In the circle, Kelsey Boarman improved to 9-8 on the season, after allowing 11 hits and five runs, two of which were earned.
Junior Lauren Mitsiaris (Taunton, Mass.) led the Beacons by going 3-for-4 with a run scored and three RBI. Senior Kristina Bove (Medford, Mass.) tacked one three hits and an RBI, while junior Gia Raczkowski (Stoneham, Mass.) registered two hits and a run scored.
In the circle, freshman Annie Thomas (Lunenburg, Mass.) was charged with 10 hits and seven runs, five earned, in eight innings of work. The freshman struck out seven, while walking three.
After seeing their scoreless streak extend to 18 innings, UMass Boston finally broke through in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and one out, Mitsiaris hit a two-run single to score Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) and Taylor Pawlina (Woonsocket, R.I.). Alexa St. Angelo (Cranston, R.I.) would follow with a double, but the extra-base hit only scored Mitsiaris, after Raczkowski was thrown out trying to take third on Mitsiaris' single.
Soucie cut the deficit to 3-1 in the fourth, as she lined a homer over the left-center field wall with two down.
The Seahawks came back to tie the game with two more runs in the fifth. After a pair of singles and a stolen base put two runners on with one out, Lombardo popped up a bunt, with two strikes, over Thomas' head in the middle infield, to score two runs.
Soucie would give Salve the lead in the sixth, as she opened the inning with her team-leading fourth homer of the season, to make it 4-3.
After leaving a combined five baserunners on in the fifth and the sixth, UMass Boston tied the game in the seventh. Raczkowski led off the inning with a double down the left-field line and came in to score on Mitsiaris' RBI single. Boarman settled down from there though, as she struck out one batter and then induced an inning-ending double play.
With a runner on second to start the eighth inning, Salve started the inning playing small ball, as they used a sacrifice bunt to move Melissa Figueiredo to third. Soucie followed with an RBI single and came home to score on Amanda Riley's RBI double to the center field wall. Salve added a huge insurance run with one out, as Lindsey Florent's sacrifice fly plated pinch runner Lindsay DelGrego.
UMass Boston attempted a rally in the bottom half of the inning, but left the bases loaded.
Bove cut the deficit to 7-5 with an RBI single that scored Alyssa Tulley (Lowell, Mass.), who had started the inning at second base. After an error and an infield single loaded the bases, Boarman ended the game with a groundout to the shortstop.
Game two was a free-for-all at the plate, as the two teams combined for 27 hits and 18 runs in just five innings.
Vento led the Beacons in the contest, as she finished 3-for-3 with a run scored, three RBI and her first collegiate home run at home. Morse added three hits, three runs and an RBI, and St. Angelo ended the game 2-for-4 with an RBI.
In the circle, Vic Zechello (Westborough, Mass.) was charged with the loss, after lasting just over two innings. The freshman allowed 10 hits and eight earned runs, before being replaced with the bases loaded and no outs in the second.
Sophomore Kelsey Whiting (Sharon, Mass.) came on in relief for her longest outing as a Beacon. Whiting went three innings and allowed six hits and two earned runs.
Seven of the nine Seahawks hitters finished with two hits in game two, led by Nikki Bukovsky, who hit two triples and added two runs and two RBI.
Nicole Parry earned the victory, despite allowing 11 hits and eight earned runs. Parry struck out eight in the win, but also walked four and hit two batters.
After Salve Regina struck for two, two-out runs in the first inning, Vento answered in the bottom half of the inning. Morse led off with a single and was able to walk home, after Vento blasted a home run over the right-field fence.
UMass Boston batted around in the second and scored four runs, to take what looked like a decisive 6-2 lead. Each of the first three batters reached to start the inning, and Pawlina made it 3-2 with an RBI single. After an RBI fielder's choice from Morse, Raczkowski walked with the bases loaded to plate Pawlina and make it 5-2. St. Angelo capped off the scoring with an RBI single, but Parry stranded the bases loaded with a foul out to left field.
The Seahawks came roaring back with six runs of their own in the third against Zechello.
Soucie and Kristen Hickey hit back-to-back RBI singles to score three runs, and then Zechello hit a batter to load the bases with no outs. Whiting came on at that point and settled down the Seahawks.
Whiting gave up an RBI single to start her outing, but then retired the next two batters, on back-to-back RBI groundouts. That would be almost all the offense Salve would need, as it pushed their lead to 8-6.
UMass Boston got one run back in the bottom of the third, as Bove was hit by a pitch and then scored on back-to-back singles from Morse and Vento.
The Seahawks scratched across two huge, two-out runs in the fifth. With a runner on first and two outs after a big pick-off from Raczkowski, Bukovsky hit an RBI triple to score Florent. Lombardo pushed the lead to 10-7 with an RBI double.
The Beacons continued to show their resolve in the bottom of the fifth. With the sun minutes from setting, Morse doubled to left-center to open the inning and then Vento walked. After a key strikeout, Mitsiaris hit a soft single to left field that plated Morse. With the tying run on first, Salve Regina induced a game-ending double play, to stymie the Beacons' comeback bid.
BY THE NUMBERS
- With their two wins, Salve Regina has won five-straight over the Beacons to improve to 5-3 all-time against UMass Boston.
- The Beacons stranded 20 runners on base on the day, including nine in game one.
- UMass Boston's six-game losing streak is their longes, since suffering through a 12-game drought from April 13-April 22 of 2015.
- Bove went 3-for-4 in game one and reached base three times in game two (two hit-by-pitches and a walk). She has now hit safely in six of her last eight games and has raised her batting average by 80 points (.214).
- The Beacons fell to 1-4 in extra-inning games this season with their game one loss. Salve Regina earned their first win in five tries with the victory (1-4).