UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

11/27/23 pdf
November 27, 2023

Softball season begins with thrilling 7–2 record


Beacon softball players look on from the dug out at a game in South Carolina. Photo by Michael Vesci / Beacon Athletics.

During Spring Break, the UMass Boston Softball Team participated in the 2023 Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in Little River, S.C.

Fastpitch is a tournament where various DIII teams kick-start their season and get a feel of the dynamic they will employ (1).

“Taking this trip is an essential part of our season. We use the time to grow as a group and learn our identity. It brings us closer, which translates directly onto the field,” said Softball Head Coach Natalia Ardagna.

Spring 2023 marks Coach Ardagna’s 16th season with the Beacons. Through the years, she prepared strong and consistent teams that have made their way to Little East Conference and NCAA championships (2).

During Fastpitch, UMass Boston faced nine teams, winning seven and losing two, one of their best starts in the program’s history.

Coach Ardagna ensured these first games helped the Beacons start on the right foot, celebrating the games as a whole. She said, “The most exciting part [was] how [the team] celebrated every part of the game. Every out, every hit was a big deal, as it should be!”

They began with a double win on Saturday, March 11 when they faced the University of Scranton and Wilson College.

During their game against Scranton, the Beacons scored two runs during the second, fourth and sixth inning. The Royal Wolfs were only able to score once during the first and third inning, leading to a score of 6–2 in favor of the Beacons.

Later that day they slammed Wilson College, scoring three runs on each of the first three innings. By the time Wilson was able to have their first run, the Beacons had nine and were able to cut the game short with the mercy rule. The mercy rule ends the game at the fifth inning when a team is ahead by eight or more points (3). The winning score was 11–1.

The Beacons were on a winning streak. The following day, Sunday, they encountered the University of Saint Joseph and scored their second mercy win of the tournament. The Beacons scored three runs during the first, third and fifth inning, ending the game in the fifth. Saint Joseph was only able to score one run during the second, giving the Beacons their third win of the week with a final score of 9–1.

The next game against Spalding University was canceled, giving the Beacons an early chance to rest. The following game would be Tuesday.

March 14, they continued undefeated as they faced the College of Mount Saint Vincent. The Beacons scored five runs in the first two innings, while Saint Vincent tried to catch up to them in the third, scoring three runs. The game calmed down for the following two turns, where each team scored only one run.

During the sixth inning, the Beacons caught on fire and scored seven runs, the maximum allowed per inning. Saint Vincent only scored two and led to the Beacons’ win with a final score of 13–6.

Later that day, the Beacons played against Stevenson University. The game was close, as both teams scored five runs in the first two innings. During the third inning, Stevenson got an advantage by two runs, which the Beacons quickly caught up to during the fourth.

Nevertheless, the Mustangs marked four runs in the sixth inning, while the Beacons only scored one. This marked the first defeat of the tournament for the Beacons, with a final score of 11–8.

The Beacons remained strong and came back to their game against Keystone College the following day with a winning mentality. This game was also even, with two runs for both teams during the first two innings. UMass Boston scored one run in the subsequent inning that likely led them to win the game.

From the fifth to the seventh inning, both teams scored four runs, but UMass Boston’s small advantage from the third was enough to give them their fifth win of the tournament with a final score of 7–6.

Later that day, they encountered the Green Terrors of McDaniel college. The game started slow with only one run in each inning. The Beacons scored in the first while McDaniel scored in the second and third, making it seem this would be the second defeat of the tournament.

Things began to pick up in the fourth inning, as the Beacons scored two runs. In the fifth, they came out with full force, scoring four and catching a good advantage over McDaniel. The Green Terrors had no points in the latter half of the game leading to a final score of 9–2.

The last day of the tournament for the Beacons was Friday, March 17. At this point, the Beacons faced undefeated Utica University. This game proved why the UMass Boston softball team will present an exciting season.

The game was tight with only one run for each team during the first four innings of the game. At the fifth inning, Utica caught an advantage of two runs while the Beacons only scored one, leading to a score of 3–2. The Beacons were determined to make this a win and scored three runs in the sixth inning, leading to a surprise ending of 5–3 in favor of the Beacons.

The trip to South Carolina ended with their game against Muhlenberg college. The Beacons may have been tired after a week of games because Muhlenberg scored seven runs in the first three innings of the game while UMass Boston only scored one. Although they showed a fight after, the game ended as the second loss for the beacons with a score of 9–4 (4).

Team leaders of the trip included Amauri English, Jordan Toomey, Emily Doble and Bri Melchionda.

Coach Ardagna said, “I’m excited to continue to grow as a team and see where that takes us. We are trending in the right direction!”

In the right direction they are headed, indeed. The Spring Break warmup games put UMass Boston first among their LEC peers. Now they prepare to face them head on, starting with the Keene State Owls Saturday, April 1 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The following Monday, April 3, they will have a home game against Emerson college at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.

All home games are played in the softball field in front of the residence halls. As they continue their season, they will hopefully have the same stellar record they had in South Carolina.





About the Contributor
Valentina Valderrama Perez, Features Writer