Four-Defeat Weekend for Softball

Photo by Tony Naro

Photo by Tony Naro

Shun Hasegawa

In front of 75 loyal spectators who came to cheer the Beacons instead of watching Curt Schilling take the mound at the “pahk” against A-Rod’s Yankees, the UMass Boston women’s softball team lost both games to Western Connecticut State University to make its record 6-18 in the Saturday afternoon doubleheader.

The Beacons couldn’t cling to a one-run lead with six outs to go, eventually losing the first game by 1-6. They then lost the second game by 0-10 in a 5-inning called game as their exhausted pitching gave up nine runs in the fourth.

The Beacons’ head coach Gretchen Randall spoke of the team’s sudden collapse, “I think they just got tired. We had less focus in those innings. We really need to focus on the game for seven innings.” The Beacons had difficulty playing a doubleheader two days in a row. They played and lost two games on the day before at Southern Maine.

In the first game, the Beacons took an early lead in the bottom of the first. Freshman Carla Collins led off with a walk, stole second base, and then advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. And sophomore Siobhan Lynch, last week’s Little East Conference “Player of the Week,” drove Collins in with a sacrifice fly.

This minimum lead looked like insurance. Sophomore hurler Stephanie Poulos prevented the Colonials from scoring through five innings. Her fastball was powerful enough to retire the opponent with nine flies and two strikeouts.

However, she suddenly got caught in the sixth. The Colonials hit back-to-back doubles to place runners on second and third. Poulos issued a wild pitch to tie the game at 1-1. And the Colonials’ added two more runs with a couple of RBI singles. In the seventh, they scored three more times by a sacrifice fly and two RBI singles to secure a win.

Poulos completed the game. She gave up six earned runs, thirteen hits, three walks, two wild pitches, and struck out two. She has a record of 2-11.

Facing against the right-hander Kristy Swanson, with a 2.76 ERA, the Beacons’ offence failed to score more than once. They produced only three singles after the second.

In the second game, the Beacons again suffered a torturous inning. Chasing by 0-1 in the top of the fourth, Lynch, with a 4.54 ERA (as of April 13), relieved Collins. However, she showed uncertainty in her control. Among the six hitters she pitched against, she walked two, hit one, and saw a pair of errors by infielders, with only one out. Then, Poulos relieved Lynch, only to let the scoring flood go. She gave the Colonials two consecutive run-scoring hits by pitches, and gave up an RBI single. This vicious circle didn’t end before Colonials’ Melissa Walsh smashed a grand slam over the left field fence to cap the 9-run inning.

The UMB starter Collins kept the game close by pitching three fine innings. She gave up only one run with two singles and two walks before she left the mound.

“I wasn’t satisfied by my pitching today. I couldn’t throw balls to the spot where they should have been,” Collins commented.

In regards to the team’s batting, UMB wasn’t able to score as the Colonials’ Brooke Morris tossed a six-hitter. The Beacons wasted two early chances in the second inning with the bases loaded and one out, and then in the third with runners on first and second and nobody out. UMass Boston was 1 for 10 with runners in scoring positions on the day.

Only freshman Andrea Ciarletta had multi-hits in two games. She went 5 for 6 with a stolen base.

Coach Randall commented on the team’s batting, “Today was not a good batting day for us. We didn’t have two good hitters.”

The Beacons have three more doubleheaders to play in this season. They will visit Salem State College on Friday, April 23, Plymouth State College on Saturday, April 24, and Johnson & Wales on Monday, April 26. There are no more home games to be played.