PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth closed its season at the Little East Conference Tournament on Thursday, dropping two hard-fought contests in the double-elimination bracket hosted by Plymouth State. The Corsairs close the year at 22-19 overall as the fourth-winningest team in program history.
Scores: UMass Boston 3, UMass Dartmouth 2 | Eastern Connecticut 5, UMass Dartmouth 4 (10 inn.)
Records: UMass Dartmouth (22-19, 7-7 LEC) | UMass Boston (25-10, 8-6 LEC) | Eastern Conn. (15-24, 8-6 LEC)
How it Happened
UMass Boston 3, UMass Dartmouth 2
The Corsairs loaded the bases to jump back within a run in the sixth inning, but UMass Boston gunned down the tying scoring at the plate, maintaining the 3-2 advantage through the seventh.
UMass Dartmouth freshman Nicole McSweeney (Bridgewater, Mass.) went 3-for-4 in the leadoff hole, scoring a run and driving in an RBI. Classmate Cierra Sheerin (Bridgewater, Mass.) was responsible for the Corsairs' other RBI. In the circle, freshman Victoria Woodward (Middleboro, Mass.) allowed six hits with all runs earned in the complete game.
Beacon senior Kaitlyn Morse (Arlington, Mass.) and sophomore Roxanne Vento (Arlington, Mass.) drove in their team's runs, backing freshman pitcher Jess Greenspan's (Rocky Hill, Conn.) eight-hit, two-earned run effort for the complete game.
The Corsairs connected immediately off Greenspan with back-to-back singles by McSweeney and freshman Maxine Vincent (Hanson, Mass.) to start the game. After two outs, Sheerin stepped in to single to left field and score McSweeney from second.
Vento responded with an RBI single to draw the score even before the end of the first. Following 1-2-3 innings for both pitchers, the Beacons took their first lead off the bat of Morse in the bottom of the third as she rounded runners from second and third with a deep single to right center.
UMass Dartmouth's two-out clutch bats struck again in the bottom of the sixth, as freshman Brittany Polk (Bridgewater, Mass.) and senior Gracie Trudeau (Dartmouth, Mass.) laced singles and Woodward walked to stack the bags. McSweeney came through for an RBI single into the right gap, but Beacon right fielder Gia Raczkowski's (Stoneham, Mass.) throw beat Trudeau on the game-tying attempt. Both pitchers then sat the opposition's first three batters to close out the contest.
Eastern Connecticut 5, UMass Dartmouth 4
The Warriors broke the five-inning scoreless streak with an RBI single in the top of the 10th to hold off the Corsairs and stave off elimination.
UMass Dartmouth was bolstered in all 10 frames by junior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.), who struck out five to close her season at 11-10 in the circle. Eastern Connecticut saw a rock-solid relief performance by freshman Morgan Sanson (Thomaston, Conn.), who held the Corsairs to just three hits while fanning four in the final 5.2 innings.
Offensively, the Corsairs scattered nine hits, with Sheering posting a 3-for-4 line with an RBI. Senior Marissa Spinuzzi (Fair Lawn, N.J.) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
For the second time in three days, the Corsairs struck early on starter Jacky Arndt (Chelmsford, Mass.). In the top of the second, Spinuzzi reached third following a steal and passed ball and promptly scored when Sheerin dropped a ball into right center. Later in the inning, Smith helped her cause by rounding Lexi Pereira (Middleboro, Mass.) from second on a base knock to shallow left.
ECSU responded immediately, negating the two-run lead with three runs on four hits in the third, but the Corsairs would once more escape the frame with the lead. In the home half, Arndt walked in a run before Polk's fielder's choice gave Spinuzzi enough room to score from third.
One more Warrior run, this time off a double by Kristyn Ryan (Barkhamsted, Conn.), crossed in the top of the fourth before both teams locked down defensively. The Corsairs threatened in back-to-back at-bats in the fifth and sixth, advancing runners to third, but Sanson was able to hold strong.
It wasn't until the top of the 10th that ECSU's offense reemerged, with back-to-back singles putting Samantha Valentine (Ridge, N.Y.) on third. Freshman Crysta Wolski (West Hartford, Conn.) then drove what would be the winning run final hit for the Warriors.
Inside the Numbers
- Smith closes her campaign with 250 career strikeouts, totaling 89 for the season with a 1.78 ERA in 15 complete games.
- With a pair of hits in the Corsairs' game with ECSU, Spinuzzi closes her career tied with Emily Pontes for second all-time in program history with 149 career hits.
- The Corsairs close the season with a 7-2 overall record in extra-inning games, and had won four-straight extra-frame outings dating back to April 2 before Thursday.
- Behind the plate, Trudeau caps her two-year Corsair career with the second-highest fielding percentage in program history at .991. She's also third in the record books with 21 runners caught stealing.