NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's softball team split a doubleheader with visiting UMass Boston in the Little East Conference opener for both teams at the UMass Dartmouth Athletic Complex Sunday. The Corsairs won the first game, 4-0, and the Beacons took the second game, 8-0.
In the first inning of the opener, sophomore shortstop Emily Pontes (Tewksbury, MA/Essex Agricultural Tech HS) doubled then scored on a single from senior pitcher Brittany Eldridge (Raynham, MA/Bridgewater-Raynham HS). Eldridge would come around to score on a single from senior catcher Hannah Rounds (Lincoln, RI/Lincoln HS), staking UMD to a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, freshman infielder Jenna Sylvia (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS) walked, stole second, and then scored on a single by freshman infielder Olivia Kenyon (Canton, MA/Canton HS). Kenyon scored on a single from freshman outfielder Samantha Gregoire (Dartmouth, MA/Dartmouth HS), pushing the Corsairs lead to 4-0. Eldridge (2-3) went the distance for UMD, throwing a complete game shutout, allowing three hits with five strikeouts. UMB senior pitcher Kara Willis (3-4, Burrillville, RI/Burrillville HS) gave up four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in six innings of work.
In the second game, UMB used a two-run single from sophomore outfielder Lyndsey Capra (Lowell, MA/Lowell HS), taking a 2-0 lead after four innings. The Beacons took a 6-0 in the top of the fifth when freshman catcher Amanda Perry (Worcester, MA/Worcester Technical) launched a grand slam over the left field fence. UMass-Boston added two more runs in the sixth on a fielding error by UMD third baseman Breanna Marcyoniak (Westfield, MA/Westfield HS) en route to the 8-0 win. The game was called after six innings. UMB freshman pitcher Michelle Zullo (5-2, Everett, MA/Everett HS) earned the win, pitching six scoreless innings, allowing two hits with three strikeouts. Corsairs' senior pitcher Ashley Felaccio (2-3, Acushnet, MA/Fairhaven HS/Massasoit CC) took the loss, giving up six run on four hits in five innings. Kenyon threw the final frame for UMD, allowing two runs on two hits with a strikeout.
"We jumped on them early in the first game," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Amy Sasin. "Our bats came alive, which was one thing we lacked in Florida. We were aggressive but we got undisciplined near the end when we were popping up first pitches. Brittany Eldridge was a leader for us today on the mound and our underclassmen came in with the enthusiasm and competitiveness to put us over the top. We lacked offense in the second game, but it's early in the season so we still have time to pick it up. It was a nice confidence builder to get the two wins at Massachusetts Maritime, and it would've been nice to get the two wins today, but we're happy getting that first conference win."
UMass Dartmouth is now 4-10 and 1-1 in the Little East Conference, while UMass Boston is now 8-7 and 1-1. The Corsairs will return to action when they host Framingham State in a doubleheader Tuesday. UMass Boston will visit MIT Tuesday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH SOFTBALL